A Little Backyard Tin Can Alley Fun AKA BB Guns and MA Law


Fresh air, family friendly competition and a Daisy Red Ryder! So today I assembled a tin can alley, a BB gun range with reactive targets. Lets cover safety 1st and then give you the legal citations (state only) covering BB guns in the Commonwealth.


Disclaimer: This brief article isn’t about hunting. It is written for folks that may want to shoot a BB gun on their own property. Check to see if your town or city has any bylaws prohibiting the discharge of BB guns and air rifles.


Safety glasses! Urgent care facilities have enough to deal with! A good pair of safety glasses provides all the protection you and your kids need to be safe and have fun. Demonstrate and follow the NRA 3 rules for safe gun use and handling.


Range design: BB’s bounce and ricochet. Reactive targets increase the possibility that a BB goes someplace it wasn’t supposed to. A good backstop with side/top baffles are crucial to keep BB’s on your property. I’m using old, wet wafer board for my backstop and side baffles along with a canvas top. My DIY BB gun range has a max distance of about 30 yards.  A cardboard box stuffed with crumbled up newspaper or towels is always a good backstop for a paper target. Hanging a tarp or sheet works well for the slower moving BBs. Test your setup and if it keeps BB’s contained, you should be good to go!


The Massachusetts laws that pertain to BB gun possession and use are Chapter 269 Section 12A and 12B. People 18 years of age and older don’t need a license of any kind to purchase and possess BB guns. Minors 17 years of age and younger that are not under adult supervision must possess a hunting or sporting license and a permit from their chief to be in possession of a BB gun while in a public place or an area where the public has a right to be. No person shall discharge a BB, shot or pellet across a street, alley or railroad way. Minors must be under adult supervision or possess the required license and permit.


So get out there and have fun.

Written By Jon Green