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Sling Legality (Read 4000 times)
Douglas
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Just give me a good stone
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Sling Legality
Feb 28th, 2004 at 1:04am
 
I got in a conversation with a co-worker, and the subject of slings came up. I split for my car, where I kept my trusty strap. When I brought it back, he calmly advised me that I might be arrested for a felony weapon if I was using it in public. He used to be a cop, so he quoted chapter and verse of the California code. I checked, and I saw "slungshot" (which is another weapon entirely) and "slingshot" (recently restricted in California), and the generic "or any deadly weapon".

He said it all depended on the mood of the cop involved and what kind of check I could write for my lawyer...

Later, I was teaching a class on slinging (whence I got the photos for my webpage). We converged at a large empty parking lot by an empty rodeo arena. An animal control officer drove up and saw our slings and asked us to practice out of the city limits. I didn't ask how she recognized the slings.

Hey, let's be careful out there.
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David_T
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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #1 - Feb 28th, 2004 at 1:25am
 
Sound like California Grin I love the moutains and the ocean out there!! I lived there in the 70s.
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Chris
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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #2 - Feb 28th, 2004 at 2:39am
 
I have thought about this in the past, but luckily slings aren't really considered to be on the same level as bows or slingshots, which is good for us, although it does undermine our sport.  But if you think about it, a pencil is a deadly weapon too, so you can't live in fear.  If you say sorry and move on, I doubt they'd give you much trouble unless you're being a danger to other people.

Chris
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justbarak
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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #3 - Feb 28th, 2004 at 4:18am
 
As a child of the jungle, the hardest thing about coming to the States for college was getting use to the rules.  I got kicked out of so many trees in parks b/c it was "dangerous" and "immature" to climb them.  My brother and I use to climb up in the University campus oak trees and hang our hammocks and sleep there all night.  Campus security looked upon us feral MK's (missionary kids - there were about 70 of us on average at this university) with tolerance and let us sleep till about 6am before kicking us out b/f any university professors caught us Shocked)  lol.

Fortunately in New Mexico you can register for a hand-gun and carry it around the mall in a holster as long as it isn't concealed.  So concealed slings shouldn't be a problem.  My martial arts instructor once got pulled over by a cop for speeding and the cop asked him if he had any weapons in the truck.  My instructor slowly began passing a couple of Chinese swords out the window followed by a pair of nunchuk's, a fighting staff, an assortment of night sticks, rattan eskrima sticks, a butterfly knife, along with many other unspellable (let alone unpronounceable) Asian weapons, and finally a dummy hand gun along with his real hand gun...  After the cop recovered from his shock and discovered that Michael was an instructor he let him go... funny picture to imagine though.   

It does pay to be careful however.  My brother and I were out at our favorite slinging spot which is a 75 foot cliff overlooking the Farmington reservoir.  We were slinging stones out into the lake, and because of the height, altitude, and fairly decent skills, the stones spent a great deal of time in the air before hitting the water several hundred yards out.  On this particular day I made a fantastic fling and as the stone left the cradle, a solitary kayaker came paddling innocently from around the cliff bend.  It's amazing how many prayers you can utter in 10 seconds as we watched the stone descend in it's arc, at the same time try to figure out how we would explain to the police that the dead kayaker in the lake was really hit by a small meteor and that these were really just Peruvian belts wrapped around our waists.   Fortunately God was able to decipher our hastily uttered prayers and the stone landed a good 50 feet off the Kayaker's port bow.  I couldn't see the look on his face, but judging the extreme distance, he must have thought that we were NFL quarter backs practicing our end-zone passes.  We should have just packed it up and gone home, but since God had thoughtfully assigned a couple of guardian angels to keep us out of trouble, we decided it would be rude not give them something to do.    In the spirit of scientific discovery, we next decided to see if we could exceed escape velocity and put the first sling-slung-stone into orbit.  After sending a couple dozen rocks 300 feet straight up into the air, Joel's sling hooked his stone backwards over his head and we watched in slow motion horror as it arced up and then plummeted down, missing the one and only car parked on the lake front by about 10 feet.  Taking that as a sign from God that He was not amused with our keeping His angels occupied, we packed it up and went home...

Anyway, it’s late at night and I felt the urge to reminisce.  No doubt everyone on the forum will be leery of slinging with me should chance ever cross our paths; however I assure you that I have never hit a single soul while slinging (though a strange phenomenon of small meteor showers does seem to follow me which have been known to strike by-standers... But for that I hold mother nature responsible). 

Barak - who loves to hammock in trees and can't wait for summer
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Dan_Bollinger
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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #4 - Feb 28th, 2004 at 8:57am
 
Yep, definitely California, where the rules are so muddy that even the DA doesn't know if your paring knife at a picnic is grounds for an arrest.

Since slingstones aren't sharp like arrows and don't travel with the same velocity and accuracy as a 375 magnum, it is less of a weapon and more of a sporting good. Lethality-wise, a sling and slingstone is not much different than a hockey stick and a puck or baseball bat and ball. Heck a hockey stick and bat are dangerous in their own right. Its not like we can bludgeon someone to death with our 2 ounce slings.
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WalkingBird
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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #5 - Feb 28th, 2004 at 11:16am
 
Douglas
      You are right about the need to be careful. For years I've carried a sling in my pack and vehical, never worried about being harrased by anybody. That was because few people knew what it was, and less still, how destructive it can be. This is just not the same world I grew up in. Now that there are so many people who use the sling the laws may change. For our part we just need to be carefull, slinging takes room and it is something that is getting to be less and less available. I'm not supprised about the California law; when people live in fear they tend to pass laws that make them FEEL safe. Living in fear drives people to try and make the world foolproof, a major mistake, but one that has not changed since there have been people living in fear. Somehow they never quite get around to admitting what the real problem is.  Fear God and you need fear no man; fear man and you end up fearing everything. Seems to me the best thing that we slingers can do is to sling responsibably, and always to consider that if people are afraid of what we do, then we may be infringing on their need to feel safe. I know that sounds stupid, but in todays world keeping it formost in our minds may, for a while at least, keep slinging out of the banded by society laws.

Not that it will change things, but that's my two cents

WalkingBird

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Hobb
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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #6 - Feb 28th, 2004 at 1:26pm
 
I used to work in shop that sold self-defense tools, police and security supplies, martial arts and fantasy weapons  -- everything from stun-guns to samurai swords. 8)  We got lots of cops coming through.  Most of them thought we were great and recommended us to friends, family, and their own self-defense students.  Some of them thought we were barely more than criminals and harrassed us.  One officer angrily demanded to know how we got away with selling "all these concealed weapons."  I told him we didn't sell them concealed, and he left in a huff.  The local sherrif even went so far as to falsify evidence against the store's owner in an attempt to get an illegal weapons charge to stick -- He failed.  

Cops aren't lawyers.  They follow departmental policy and use their own judgement.  The bottom line is, anything that scares the cop will be deemed illegal until proven otherwise in a court of law.  I think we slingers should be safe, right up until some chucklehead starts taking potshots at passers-by or taking aim at a lawyer's car window. 











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« Last Edit: Feb 28th, 2004 at 2:39pm by Hobb »  
 
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Douglas
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Just give me a good stone
and plenty of room!

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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #7 - Feb 28th, 2004 at 1:28pm
 
Quote:
Yep, definitely California, where the rules are so muddy that even the DA doesn't know if your paring knife at a picnic is grounds for an arrest.

Right, they'll shoot you on sight for that, and have. Sad

Quote:
Since slingstones aren't sharp like arrows and don't travel with the same velocity and accuracy as a 375 magnum....  

Speak for yourself...  Grin
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David_T
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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #8 - Feb 28th, 2004 at 1:48pm
 
Good Points everyone! Right you are Walkingbird--about fear that is!!

Barak

Your sound like a good friend of mine. He spends half his nights sleeping outside in his parents back yard rather than in his room. We look for snowstorms and then make plans to hike to the highest mountain this side of the Mississippi during the storm. One April we had 50+ mph winds and the ice and snow was standing out 12" on the windward side of trees. He's one of those "purists" ---a bag of homemade granola, a hunk of bread and he's ready for the hills. That particular trip, as we were in our tent, I fired up my compact stove and had hot Swiss Miss and some hot "just add snow soup"
while he chewed his granola and cold water. He now has a stove Grin Grin

Man!!!!!!!look what you started I'm in a nevous sweat thinking about heading for the hills. Durango here we come! Hey, when I lived in Durando we would get together with a Baptist church in Farmington. We went on a couple "Durango to Silverton Hikes" together. Wow do I miss it out there Cry
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Yahweh Bless you in Yeshua
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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #9 - Feb 28th, 2004 at 1:57pm
 
JustBarak,


I feel your words!  I have experienced the same things and have felt the same!  I'm certainly not one to blow smoke up one's kilt, but let me say..... that was an engrossing account!  Your writing style is witty and entertaining.  If you are not already, may I suggest having a go professionally?


Peace,

TS

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Blessings in Yeshua!&&
 
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mgreenfield
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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #10 - Mar 1st, 2004 at 11:09am
 
...a slightly "fat-pouched" sling and bags of tennis-ball ammo should put the local law at ease.    Tennis-balls are exactly 2oz each, and not too bad for closer-in target practice.  You may have to "tune" sling length to fit this ammo.   Get worn out "dead" balls for free at your local tennis club.     Yeah, I know, ....not nearly as much fun as letting fly with a 4oz rock at 200+ yards.    mgreenfield
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Eudave
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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #11 - Jul 8th, 2019 at 7:18pm
 
ask them if you can play baseball in the area then ask them  to hit a  5.25 oz baseball at 90 .to 100 miles per hour ask them to hit a target with that and then show them you can hit one at 150 feet with a one oz rock.
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Rat Man
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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #12 - Jul 8th, 2019 at 9:58pm
 
    In my state of New Jersey, which probably has the thickest law book in the union, slings are legal and slingshots aren't go figure.  I don't think the powers that be realize the destructive power of the sling or they'd certainly be illegal too.  Many times I've used my slings right in front of the local cops.  They didn't care at all.
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NooneOfConsequence
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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #13 - Jul 9th, 2019 at 2:03am
 
A lot of US jurisdictions (state, city, and county) have “dangerous weapons “ clauses that act as a catch-all. Even if it isn’t explicitly banned, you can still be convicted of a crime... but most places also have exemptions for historical relics and re-enactments, so if your sling looks like a historical replica, you might have a defense, but a sling made from paracord is a hard sell if someone really wants to throw the book at you.
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Jauke
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Re: Sling Legality
Reply #14 - Jul 9th, 2019 at 5:35am
 
We have the most ridiculous law here, all catapults are forbidden to own or build. It would even be illegal to build a small trebuchet in my backyard. Slingshots are illegal, slings are illegal. Fine is close to 250 euros. However, chance of a police person knowing what a sling is, is very small.

It has happened many times that hobby fishers with a fishing catapult (for shooting bait) have been fined and their catapult confiscated..
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