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Crime and Courts

Think An Air Rifle Is A Firearm? Think Again

A panel of the Kansas Court of Appeals has ruled that an air rifle is not a firearm as defined by the state's criminal laws.

The court ruled Friday in the 2011 case of a man accused of pointing an air rifle at two people and threatening to shoot them.

Lawrence resident Timothy Craddick was convicted of two counts of attempted aggravated assault. A Douglas County judge found that Craddick had committed the crime with a firearm, which meant a presumptive prison term. The judge ordered him to serve 11 months.

But the appeals court ruled Craddick's pellet rifle was not a firearm under Kansas law because it shoots bullets by air or gas instead of an explosion or combustion.

Craddick will be resentenced.