Silly Question? Please Help!

Hello All!,

I’m new to the USCCA community and I have a question that seems to be unanswered.
I have talked to the State Police and County and some say yes it’s totally legal and others say it’s not legal but I have yet to find the law here in Maryland preventing me from carrying a pellet gun.

okay so, I live in a pretty nice neighborhood and my wife and I walk through trails every once in a while.

I would like to know if I can conceal carry a high powered pellet gun OR a something like a Byrna HD ,which is a pepper OC ball gun and not a firearm. I live in Maryland and in Maryland it is extremely hard to obtain a CCW even with a clean criminal record!!!. I do have plenty of shotguns , SIG 9mm, full auto firearms etc for home defense. Allot of times people in my neighborhood or the next neighborhood over let their pitbulls loose without a leash and it’s frustrating, I don’t want to kill their dogs but I have been bitten twice!, I have a SIG X5 pellet gun which is roughly 500fps, it’s pretty powerful for a .177 pistol and at close range (15feet or less) it definitely can do some real damage. I know it may be a little silly to some but I would carry ONLY for self defense and attacks. Thank you for your assistance and information, any help is greatly appreciated.


Neighbor in VA here. I disarm every time I come into MD just to be safe. Needless to say… I dont visit MD much :smiley:

I can’t say whether or not a pellet gun or the Byrna is legal to conceal (paging @Dawn and maybe @MikeBKY ?) in Maryland.

However, I would recommend (if its legal) carrying pepper spray (spray, not gel) instead of something you have to aim like a pellet gun or the Byrna. Dogs are small, fast moving targets, even at the best of times hitting one would be tough. Even harder if they are charging you.

Also, I would 100% report a dog that bit a person to the police.


I doubt a pellet gun would bother a bad dog much. I’d carry a large Bear spray instead. Never know, you might actually see a bear…


Why would you recommend spray over gel? Really curious because I think I bought gel for my wife a while back. It’s advertised as being more accurate and less of it getting on you when sprayed.


About Little Sabre personal units… After buying 4 of them:

Looks nothing like the dark orange goo that is shown in the dummy photos. Looks more like like tan milk colored liquid. It shoots a stream of stuff about 6’ or so reliably, for about 4 seconds or so. If you try to hit further, it just doesn’t have enough power. Probably ok for close quarters, or perhaps bad dogs that are already attached to your leg or arm, if you can still get to it with your other hand…

I bought 4. One small gel, and three larger sprays. First spray was mostly a dud on pressure when I tested it. Second and third were just ok, but geez, how many do I need to test before I know I have a good one. 33% failure rate so far.

Frontier (or any) 2% Bear Spray is WAY BETTER for this kind of defense, especially from bad dogs. Just my opinion.

Little one is “gel”, bigger unit was spray. They’re both about the same, and both inadequate for big problems.


I would steer clear of a pellet gun for multiple reasons not the least of which it is cruel wounding of the animal which will have no concept of why it suddenly hurts and will not associate it with you and will likely continue the attack at an increased pace because it thinks that now that it is hurt it has to stop you faster. Animals only attack for very few reasons defense of property/family/territory or a threat.

On the legal side of the above I can only imagine how much I would get out of you if you wounded my dog in civil court. That you planned to bring a non lethal WEAPON could/would be considered malicious wounding.

If I were faced with a similar situation and my neighbors refused to keep their pets leashed or confined I would invest in a body cam and an ash shovel handle for a “walking stick”. If you smack a dog with something you are holding it understands that YOU are the person causing them pain. If you hurt them more than thier need to defend /attack they will stop. Then you take your body camera footage to the police and the situation will be handled, one way or the other. Document when you talked with your neighbors. The easiest way to do this is write down everything you said in the convo and what they said and how they reacted and mail it to yourself. Don’t open the envelope and keep it where you can find it. Then you can present it as evidence if you have to see a Judge.

Best I can give you while not answering the question.




You have the pros & cons right. Spray is a cone of “mist”, gel is a tight stream. Gel travels further and has less “blowback”.

For defense against people, I’d prefer gel. The accuracy and lack of blowback helps there.

Specifically for this case against dogs, that accuracy against a small fast moving target is (IMO) not helpful. A cone of spray that just soaks an area in front of you is better than a well aimed gel shot that misses the dog’s face and ends up on his ribs.


I have done just that and went to court and won both times, there is leash laws here in Maryland that owners have to abide by. Outside of the that is it illegal to carry a pellet gun for self defense? for humans rather? I think a few shots to the face above 400fps at close range would stop anyone pellet or not.


@TheProtector can you comment on which part you went to court for? Having a wounded dog or wounding the dog or something else. Just trying to clarify “I have done just that”? I don’t think I can support your statement about a couple shots to the face tho… JMHO and worth what you paid for it, again context is everything.



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Hmm, maybe, and while I don’t live in MD, in CA that’s probably the same legally speaking as a few close range shots to the face with a 9mm. You’d really want to have all the right reasons in place for a good self defense shoot regardless of which size weapon it was. I feel like if I thought I should carry a BB gun for actual human defense, I should just pack a real gun instead.

Wasn’t this a topic on pepper spray vs bb gun on bad dogs…?


This cop is about as calm as one can be with loose dogs and pepper spray:

It clearly worked though.


oh! sorry, no I didn’t wound any dog I was bit twice on two separate occasions and sue’d the owners in court.


kind of, I was asking if it was legal to carry a pellet gun or pepper spray or not. I’d rather carry an OC pepper spray but since I already have a SIG pellet gun I thought that maybe I could legally use that instead

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Maybe start here:

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That was an exemplary use of force by that officer. I’ve seen way too many dogs shot by police in similar situations


Thanks! Good to know. Just want to make sure I’m supplying my wife with the right thing. She works at a hospital and can’t carry there. She also has to walk in the dark quite a ways after work.

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What ever you do no pellet gun you would do better with mace , the pellet gun is considered a firearm in most if not all counties my experience in PG county made it so I never will walk outside in my yard again with one

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Agreed. He clearly likes dogs, and didn’t want to just pepper them unnecessarily because they were riled up.


I can’t find the legal definition of firearm. The USCCA links are outdated, unfortunately. I think this would be a good addition to the USCCA webpage, though. How does a state define “firearm”?

What I could gather was that the license to carry applies to firearms, and also that Maryland restricts capacity to 10. So if pellet guns are considered firearms, they’re already illegal, because they hold more than 10 pellets.

(I think it’s silly to call an air operated gun a firearm, but it’d be nice to confirm that in the state code.)

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Arizona’s Revised Statute 13-3101 (Definitions) says:

A. In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

. . .

  1. “'Firearm” means any loaded or unloaded handgun, pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun or other weapon that will expel, is designed to expel or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. Firearm does not include a firearm in permanently inoperable condition.
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