Can a Felon Own a Compound Bow?

For felons that want to hunt, owning a compound bow is a great alternative to owning a firearm. Felons are allowed to possess, purchase, and own their own compound bow. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs when it comes to compound bows, the laws surrounding them, and how felons are able to obtain one.

What is Considered a Compound Bow?

Bow arrows can be broken into two main categories, compound bows and recurve bows. Recurve bows are labeled as “traditional bows” since they rarely contain any advanced modifications. A recurve bow only has a single string and has no attachments. A compound bow is much more advanced.

A compound bow is a type of bow arrow that is very popular with hunters across the globe. A compound bow differs from the traditional recurve bow mostly due to their turn cam systems. The cam systems are the part of the bow that look similar to wheels on the ends of the bow. Compound bows also have the added advantage of being able to support multiple attachments to help with accuracy and precision.

Compound bows can shoot an arrow over 1,000 feet, making the bow deadly over a large distance. Consumers can purchase a compound bow for roughly $349.99 for a base model. Many hunters will opt to purchase a compound bow that falls within the $600-$1,000 range due to their needs, but for new hunters, the base model will work just fine.

What Compound Bows Can Be Used for.

A compound bow, at its essence, is a weapon. Compound bows are most commonly used by hunters during bow season to kill deer, or by competitive shooters to participate in contests/tournaments.  A compound bow has one more use, a use that is not often discussed, self-defense.

Felons are unable to own a firearm; therefore, felons are constantly looking for ways to protect themselves and their families within their own home. A felon may want to consider purchasing a compound bow. Do not make the mistake of thinking since compound bows have less regulations than firearms that they are less deadly. While it is true that firearms have a higher fire rate and a higher fatality rate, the truth is that both weapons, the compound bow and the firearm, can be used to protect yourself and your family.

It is completely legal to act in self-defense with a compound bow if you are a felon. A large majority of felons find the prospect of owning a compound bow exciting because the compound bow offers them peace of mind in the event of a break-in. Felons can use the compound bow to defend themselves.

Laws Surrounding Compound Bows.

There are not many laws surrounding the ownership and operation of compound bows in the United States. One of the only laws that are enforced when it comes to compound bows is the age requirement to purchase one, which is 18. Besides that, any adult can freely purchase a compound bow without having to go through a background check.

It is important to take notice of the fact that compound bows are made for all ages. Nine-year-old children are able to possess their own compound bow so long as the person who purchased it takes full responsibility for their actions. In most cases, an adult will purchase a compound bow for their child who is a minor to teach them how to hunt; this is completely legal. If the minor were to try to purchase the compound bow on their own, they would be turned away on the account of not being old enough.

There are a number of reasons why compound bows are not as heavily regulated as firearms, but the main one is the fire rate. A compound bow has a very low fire rate. The shooter has to manually reload the bow after every shot, as well as pull back the string and aim down the sights. If anyone had any malicious plans involving a compound bow, thankfully, they would not get very far. Compound bows are a deadly weapon, but the weapon is unable to fire quickly, making it a safer alternative to using a firearm.

Most of the laws that pertain to compound bows relate back to hunting, not the bow itself. Felons share the same rights as others when it comes to owning a compound bow. Because there is no background check when purchasing a compound bow, being a felon has no relevance because the salesperson will not even know.

Hunting Laws to be Aware of.

Those that plan to hunt with a compound bow should be aware of the laws that must be followed. For starters, hunters are required to have a hunting license. Hunting licenses vary in price but are typically range from $15.00-$150.00 depending on which state you are in and what game you want to hunt. If a hunter fails to obtain a hunting license, they will encounter steep fines and/or jail time, depending on how serious the violation was. To be safe, just go out and get a license, they can be purchased at your local sporting goods store or supermarket in most cases.

Hunters that hunt with a compound bow should be aware of the legal dates they are authorized to hunt. There are two seasons for deer hunters, bow hunting season and gun hunting season. Bow hunting season starts on October 1st and ends on November 14th. Gun hunting season starts on November 15th and ends on December 1st. These dates may differ depending on your state of residence, so do your due diligence and verify the dates for your area.

Even though there are two different seasons for hunting, bow hunters, in most cases, are able to hunt during gun hunting season. In order for bow hunters to do this, they must follow the same rules and regulations as gun hunters, meaning that they must wear the exact same amount of blaze orange as gun hunters, even though they are hunting with a bow. There is a “dress code” that hunters are legally required to follow for everyone’s safety. Hunters must wear an ample amount of blaze orange clothing that is visible from all angles and sides. The reason this law exists is to protect hunters from accidentally being mistaken for the prey and being shot. It is to alert other hunters of your presence.

What All This Means for Felons.

Felons are able to legally hunt so long as they are not hunting with a firearm. Felons are able to hunt with a crossbow, compound bow, or recurve bow. Felons have the same rights and privileges as every other hunter, their previous crimes cannot affect them while they are hunting. For most felons, this is great news; it means that they can continue to hunt after their felony conviction or have the ability to start hunting.

Background checks are not necessary to purchase a compound bow, meaning that your criminal record and felony conviction will never be known to the sporting goods staff; they will not even think that you are a felon. Felons have complete freedom with what they can do with their compound bow, the same freedoms that everyone else has. Felons are able to keep their bow in their home, car etc. They have the ability to choose what they want to do with it.


Do felons face any restrictions on the type of arrows they can own?

No. As long as the arrows in question are legal, then felons are able to purchase, possess, and own them. Felons may want to consult with a legal professional before purchasing any weapon to make sure that the purchase would not violate any prior agreements made in the courts, but this is rarely a problem.

Can felons hunt in other states?

Felons are able to hunt in any state so long as the felon follows the state’s laws when it comes to hunting. This means getting the proper licenses and abiding by their local laws. If a felon wants to hunt in a different state, it is a good idea to do some research and find out ahead of time what permits and licenses are required before going out into the woods.

As far as transferring the compound bow across state lines, the law is that the weapon must be unloaded and placed in a secure location. To be safe, consider investing in a compound bow carrier with a hard top and arrow storage. This is considered a safe way to transport a weapon and will not cause any problems.

Are there restrictions on where a compound bow can be shot?

For the most part, there are no legal restrictions where a compound bow can be shot, but there may be local laws that detail the rules on where a compound bow can be fired. For example, in Minnesota, it is legal to shoot a compound bow, but some neighborhoods in Minnesota may make it against their bylaws to fire the compound bow in the neighborhood.

Thank You for reading! Do you own a compound bow? Do you hunt? Let us know in the comments below!


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