Potato Guns Are Illegal in California. Who Knew?

redding.com reports:

A 35-year-old Red Bluff man faces possible criminal charges for firing a homemade “potato gun” near his neighbor’s home . . .

At 9:05 p.m. on Sunday, one of William Puffenbarger’s neighbors called the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office to report hearing what sounded like three gun shots. The caller reported that three men were standing outside a nearby home, deputies said today . . .

Puffenbarger told the deputies who arrived to check out the call that he had been shooting his “potato gun” from his front yard into the orchard across the street, deputies said . . .

Deputies told Puffenbarger that it’s illegal to own a such gun and they confiscated it, deputies said.

Puffenbarger wasn’t arrested, but deputies will be submitting the case to the Tehama County District Attorney for review of possible charges related to possessing dangerous weapons.


  1. avatar Buuurr says:

    Idiots acting in the way they are would be a good reason I guess. These things are legal in Canada and I have made and shot my fair share but standing in front of one of these suckers is just stupid. We had a home back in the day that had an old abandoned farm for the backyard and we would plink old appliances. We once used spark plug igniter, grocery bags for wadding and fired a stone straight through a hot water boiler. These things are very dangerous.

    1. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

      I used to shoot my buddy’s potato gun years ago and it was fun, but it got boring pretty fast. It’s also easier to list what’s legal to do in “THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOMMIE KALIFORNIA”, than what’s illegal. I’ll never get a carry permit in this commies paradise, but it doesn’t really matter cuz they’re going to fall into the ocean when the big one gets them one day.

  2. avatar Vigilantis says:

    Is it fun? Yes? Well then, it must be illegal in California.

  3. avatar John Fritz says:

    They’re illegal because they can’t tax them.

  4. avatar Will Litten says:

    They are? I live in California and have been shooting them for years. Hell I know cops who shoot them. Maybe its a city or county regulation?

  5. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    Since Spud Gun Prohibition clearly isnt working, it’s obviously time to ban the ammo.

    1. avatar Buuurr says:

      As an Irishman, I am loading my gun as we type. These words shall not go without answer! 😉

    2. avatar Daniel Zimmerman says:

      Rather than ban the ammo, I think it makes more sense to require that the guns imprint an ID number on each round. At least that way, the cops can trace the offending taters back to the gun owner.

  6. avatar Crapsworth says:

    I went pneumatic. A combustion powered potato gun is a firearm (sorta). A pneumatic is not, even though it packs more oomph.

    1. avatar Buuurr says:

      How does a pneumatic have more oomph then a third can of spark igniter spray?

      1. avatar Crapsworth says:

        In my limited experience, they shoot further and faster than standard combustion spud guns. Harder to build and maintain, though.

        1. avatar Buuurr says:

          Hemmm… never would have thought it.

  7. avatar PT says:

    Make it black powder and scrap the pvc for steel and you have a perfectly legal cannon.

  8. avatar WV Panhandler says:

    “man arrested for arsenal”
    California police defused a potential mass murderer today when his gas guzzling pick up truck was stopped for attempting to park in an intimidating and aggressive manner near a Prius whose owner felt unsafe. When police searched the offenders vehicle they found several unlicensed guns and arrested the offender. The offender claimed to be a “plumber” but official noted that no one “needs” such firepower. The arrest report shows over a dozen sections of unregistered PVC pipe and two twenty pound bags of ammunition each containing over fifty rounds of russet ammunition. In addition, two loaded chalk guns were recovered from the passenger compartment. The offender faces an increased penalty because the incident occurred with 1000 feet of a school which went into “code red lock-down” when alerted to the threat. Counselors are helping the children understand that specially trained police officers recovered the deadly projectiles.

    1. avatar Daniel Zimmerman says:

      I understand that the school will also be removing potato-based items from the cafeteria menu to help the children cope with inevitable stress and prevent flashbacks from the traumatic incident.

      1. avatar Creed says:

        Well the good news is that the children have (even with the therapy) bin allot helther becuse the kids have a mental brake down evory time thay get with in 300 feet of mc Donald’s

  9. avatar poppymann says:

    I load mine with a pound or two of Idaho bakers, a pound of cheddar and a stick of butter, then fire it at a window screen. Yum!

  10. avatar Roy Hill says:

    Yet another reason to never, ever, ever live in California or go to California.

    I’ll surrender my PVC pipe and cans of cheap hairspray when they pry them from my cold, dead fingers.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    Kalifornia just added potatoes to the list of Endangered Species. However, potatoholics can get a medical potato card from their doctors, and discount cards from MickeyDs.

  12. avatar Todd AF Vet says:

    I think it will depend on the DA in Redding. According to the site http://www.Spudgun.info it vaires by state and local laws.
    Spud Gun in the United States snip from site below

    Not federally regulated (unless the ATF finds that it’s classified as something else, such as a destructive device ), however legislation varies widely from state, county, and township. Check with your local authorities to make sure spud guns are legal in that area. Remember its better to be safe than sorry so just check as it will only take a quick phone call.
    Spudguns use in Walnut Creek, California , spud guns are considered legal.
    Spud Guns use in Glendale, Arizona and Phoenix, Arizona combustion spudguns are considered firearms.
    Combustion spud guns are considered firearms in the state of Texas so be careful
    Pneumatic spud guns are illegal to possess if you are under 16 in New York

    For all you California haters look at the last three lines, it not just a “California” thing.

    1. avatar John says:

      Well in most places in Texas isn’t it legal to shoot in your backyard? New York is just like California it’s all democrat

  13. avatar Todd AF Vet says:

    Here is one under the GW Bush years( Nov 2005). Note that they where on federal land but the ranger quotes state law. And then sites them for any infraction.

    R.F. do we need to start a Truth about Spuds Page?

    PVC Potato Cannons Seized from Scout Troop

    On the morning of Saturday, October 29th, park employees received reports of a disturbance from visitors who were camping in the group campsites at Indian Cove Campground. Protection rangers responded. During the subsequent investigation, the rangers confiscated seven cannons constructed from PVC piping which were being used to shoot potatoes into the area of the campground through the use of a gas propellant. The cannons ranged in size from two to six feet in length and are defined as destructive devices under the California penal code. Other miscellaneous PVC piping, which was used for making the potato cannons, and three five-pound bags of potatoes were also confiscated. A local California Boy Scout troop occupied the site. The site permit holder was issued a violation notice for possession/use of weapons. The Scoutmaster and group leaders were given multiple verbal warnings for disorderly conduct, sanitation/refuse violations, food storage violations, and miscellaneous traffic offenses.

  14. avatar CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    Does Hi-Point make one yet?

  15. avatar Jack says:

    California is where you get high and funky with some fine chicks. After your done you leave never look back.

  16. avatar ROBOCOP603 says:

    Lol, I’m making a semi invisible potato cannon that has a rounded mirror effect all around it and the sparking system will involve a stun gun! I will post updates on my blog, unfortunatly it’ll be a bit slow because I only get $10 a week.

  17. avatar MEL says:

    my question are these potatoe guns or cannon Illegal in Corpus Christi Texas area just give me a simple answer Yes or NO ?

  18. avatar TODDTFC says:

    IF you put duck tape over the tip and no potato comes out just big bang still illegal 4 comming up fast cal sucks

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