What is a "Trap gun, Spring Gun, or like device?"


G50AE

Well-known member
SC state code of laws section 16-23-450, reads as follows,

SECTION 16-23-450. Placing loaded trap gun, spring gun or like device.
It shall be unlawful for any person to construct, set or place a loaded trap gun, spring gun or any like device in any manner in any building or in any place within this State, and any violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor and be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment of not less than thirty days nor more than one year or by both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

What is this law referring to? I can find no working definition in the firearms laws as to what a trap gun, spring gun, or like device is.

The reason I ask is that I saw something, that under some interpretations of this law violate the law if installed in SC. The device I have in question is Link Removed would this device violate 16-23-450?
 

G50AE

Well-known member
Yeah, the devices you have pictured were what I was thinking the law was talking about. The root word "gun" implies that the device would fire a projectile of some sort, either by chemical propulsion, gravity, or spring loaded energy. The burglar blaster does not propell a projectile, it sprays OC into an area. Not sure who to contact to get a legal opinion though.

(Author's Note: bob loblaw posted a reply that has disapeared off of this thread, In the reply he had posted a few pictures of trap guns and spring guns.)
 
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FN1910

New member
I may have just been rumors or possibly my memory but seems I remember whne this law was passed. It was due to a man setting a shotgun to go off when anyone entered an old house that he had. Teen agers were using it for haunted house stories as well as other "unmentionable" actions. Some teenagers tried to break in and one was killed by the shotgun blast. The man was sued and lost in court. Right after that the "trap gun" law was passed.

Now back to your question about pepper spray it could fall under this law if someone was injured because of it. As an Internet non-lawyer I would say that normally it would not but that little clause about "any like device" could cause you lots of problems and no telling how a judge and jury would view it. Personally I don't think I would take a chance on it.
 
SECTION 16-23-450. Placing loaded trap gun, spring gun or like device.

Whether or not it is "like" enough would be between the lawyers after the wrong person got sprayed with it.
 

FN1910

New member
SECTION 16-23-450. Placing loaded trap gun, spring gun or like device.

Whether or not it is "like" enough would be between the lawyers after the wrong person got sprayed with it.

And that "wrong person" would probably be some low life trying to break in who deserved to be shot instead of sprayed. I still think that in some cases "He needed killing" should be a proper and adequate defense.
 

Garand

New member
Quite a few years back, there was an article that was proven to be true. A felon broke into a farmhouse and was severely wounded by a shotgun rigged inside the door to go off if the door was forced in. Evidently the farmer had previous break-ins and decided to do something radical. He was sued and the felon won the case. Rather a huge amount also.
 

G50AE

Well-known member
Ridiculous OC Canister Size Restriction

Bob Loblaw, thank you for reminding me of that restriction.

SECTION 16-23-470. Illegal possession of tear-gas gun or ammunition.
(A) It is unlawful for anyone except an authorized law enforcement officer to possess, use, transport, sell, or buy a tear-gas machine or gun, or its parts, or any ammunition, shells, or equipment that may be used in a tear-gas gun or machine. It is lawful for a person for self-defense purposes only to possess, use, transport, sell, or buy a tear-gas machine or gun, or its parts, or ammunition, shells, or equipment for a tear-gas machine or gun, but the capacity of a tear-gas cartridge, shell, or container shall not exceed fifty cubic centimeters nor shall a tear-gas machine or gun have the capability of shooting a cartridge, shell, or container of more than fifty cubic centimeters.

(B) A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(C) Except as permitted above, nothing in this section prohibits the purchase, sale, transportation, or use of tear gas for the destruction of insects or rodents if tear gas is not in containers or shells suitable for use in a tear-gas gun, equipment, or machine and if the purchaser has written authority for the purchase and use of tear gas from the county agent of the county in which he resides.

That's another section of SC I'd like to see changed.

And again, I can find no working definition of "trap-gun" or "spring-gun". And yes the vague "any like device" is also nebulously worrisome.

Perhaps I should write a letter to the City Attorney, local municpile judge, and state AG Henry McDisaster and pose the question of legality to them.

(Author's note: Bob loblaw posted, in another post that has disapeared, that he found another reason under SC law that the burglar blaster might be illegal. SC 16-23-470, which is quoted in this reply)
 
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G50AE

Well-known member
Update on previous posting

I cut and pasted SC 16-23-470 directly from the SC state website without contemplaiting what it says. A $5000 fine for possessing an oversized can of mace?!? :angry: Keep in mind that in SC, when you are handed a $5000 fine, you end up paying $10025, not just the already absurd $5000 fine.

Time for me to write my state representative, again. But as Ted Nugent once said, if your elected representatives don't know you by name, you are not doing your job as a citizen. I might not be a big fan of Ted Nugent, but I agree with him on that assesment.
 

G50AE

Well-known member
Update

I have editted the search tags on this thread and put in a few Author's notes. It apears that member bob loblaw's posts just vanished. He did add info to the discusion, so it is a shame.

I have composed a letter to my state senator asking for the silly OC canister size restriction to be lifted. I will send it off as soon as the election results are finalized, in the next day or two.

I have not written the letter asking about the legality of the burglar blaster however.
 

ForceTech

Instructor
OC (pepper spray) is not "tear gas". Tear gas is a man-made chemical; OC is naturally derived from peppers. A clear definition from AG McMaster may be the best answer to your question.

Just remember, you can (and probably will) be found liable for any injury/death caused by a device you install and set as a booby trap.
 

G50AE

Well-known member
OC (pepper spray) is not "tear gas". Tear gas is a man-made chemical; OC is naturally derived from peppers. A clear definition from AG McMaster may be the best answer to your question.

While you are technically right, the police, prosecutor, and judge might not see it that way. Elsewhere in the SC state code it states that the law prohibitting carrying concealed weapons does not apply to knives, metal knuckles and tear gas canisters carried for defense provided they are less than 50 cubic centimeters in size. It's clear that the law is poorly writen and needs to be changed.

I'd rather check all the legal particulars beforehand than have to be judged by 12.
 

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