Here is the definition of a "firearm" as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921:
The term “firearm” means
(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;
(B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon;
(C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or
(D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm
Ninja Edit: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/ ... -000-.html
Hmmm. So would that make a pre-1899 rifle legal to own?
Title 18 USC, Section 921 (a)(16) further defines an "antique firearm" as follows:
"(16) The term "antique firearm" means -
(A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system
) manufactured in or before 1898; or
(B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica -
(i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition
(ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or
(C) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition
. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term "antique firearm" shall
not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof."
The legal definition of a "firearm" in Texas statutes is provided by Title 10, Section 46.01 (3) of the Texas Penal Code, as shown below:
"(3) "Firearm" means any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use. Firearm does not include
a firearm that may have, as an integral part, a folding knife blade or other characteristics of weapons made illegal by this chapter and that is:
(A) an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899; or
(B) a replica of an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899, but only if the replica does not use rim fire or center fire ammunition
I think this is the key. I have highlighted the relevant parts. Both the Title 18 USC and the Texas Penal Code CLEARLY STATE that a muzzleloader is NOT a firearm by definition. There is no need to "get around" the rules. Simply follow them.
I believe the reason it is written that way is that everyone has the right to hunt. Using a single shot muzzleloader allows that. Bonus that you can shoot zombies if the need arises.
Your mileage may very. Check again with a lawyer..... maybe the NRA........ saying that the language declares that a muzzlelaoder is NOT a firearm!!!!! and you should be allowed to have one. Inquire about the airgun while you are at it.
----All THAT said----- I'll tell you that I inquired about buying a muzzleloader in Ohio, and what paperwork was required. They told me there was **NO** paperwok, because it was not considered a rifle, and was not regulated in any way. Anyone, any age can go in and buy one.