Are Bang Sticks Legal? – Know The Real Thing

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“Are bang sticks legal to use?” The question cannot be answered directly with a simple “YES” or “NO”. Because though bang sticks are prohibited to use but they are legal if you serve the right purpose.

Fishing is an area that always attracts and enchanted me. Last Friday one of my friends was sharing his experience of fishing. And at that time, he told me about using bang sticks for defensive attacks against sharks or elevators while fishing in some dangerous areas. That was used just for their defensive purpose.

The experience he was sharing, was really very thrilling and interesting as it is very new to me. Though I have never had that experience of spearfishing, this story of his really makes me think about it. And I do some research about this over the last couple of days. When I researched about it more and more, and slowly got deep into this, that time I came to know that there are laws behind using a bank stick.

That made me more interested to know about this law. So, anyone interested in whether it is legal to use bang sticks and why not can go along with this article. Because it is kind of complex to tell by just “YES” or “NO”.

So, in this article, you will be able to get an overall idea about this fact, if you are interested in knowing about this.

What Are the Laws Around Owning and Using Bang Sticks? 

Before Jumping to the laws around owning and using Bang Sticks, first, we have to know about powerhead. A firearm that is specific for use underwater is known as a powerhead. Powerheads are usually used for spearfishing. They can be used against elevators or sharks for defense. When a powerhead is connected with a shaft to build a spear, then it can be denoted as a bang stick.

According to the Law of the United States, under certain conditions and circumstances firearms are considered powerheads. The US law stated that,

A device that is apparently designed and manufactured for undersea spearfishing, but can perform operations like firing and chambering .22 caliber rimfire bullets, is considered a firearm in the aspect of the National Firearms Act. Yet if devices are enduringly attached to the speargun tube by the constructor, would not be considered firearms. [Revenue Ruling 55-569, C.B. 1955-2, 483]

Moreover, in sport fishing, laws and acts might be also banned from the use of powerheads. Bang sticks are permitted in federally limited and controlled waters of the US, but then again, several states forbid their usage in controlled waters of that states. Anyone can be simply in violation and infringement of state law in spite of being compliant with US federal guidelines.[2]

So, under the rules and regulations of different states, the laws can be different.

What Are the Dangers of Using a Bang Stick?

1.     They can easily pierce your hand or foot if you slip while using them.

2.     The explosion of air inside the chamber can cause serious injuries to your ears.

3.     If you are not careful, you could easily be hit by flying debris caused by the explosion.

4.     A gun that can be pulled by simply trigger and create a collision similarly, bang sticks can also create “misfire” and any accident. It can blow your finger away from your hand if you are not maintaining safety properly. Misuse of a Bang stick can even lead to death!

But using Bang Stick correctly and carefully can be helpful. When it is used properly, it is the best, safest and quietest way to ensure defense from dangerous things.

5.     Firing Bang sticks above water or any other objects above water even in watermelon will create harm and damage to your eardrums. It could also lead to bone wreckages flying as noted earlier.

How To Use Bang Sticks for Fishing Safely? 

1.     Be sure to read the instructions first that come with your bang stick. This includes the safety precautions you need to follow before firing it.

2.     Do not fire the bang sticks above the water. Never ever. Not for even testing for the first time. The water act as a silencer while using bang sticks. You must let the bang stick tire, bring it up altogether, have a good look at the bang stick’s layout, choose any spot in arrears of the head of a spotted shark or elevator and drop it in the downward direction of water under 8″. Make sure that when you hit the Bang stick, hit it tough and hard as it is going down of water!

3.     Do not load a bang stick up until you are completely prepared to use it. After you loaded it, make sure that you at all times keep it pointed on the spot. If you don’t have to instantly fire it, then unload the bang stick.

4.     Make sure that you are aware of your surroundings before using a bang stick. If there are people nearby, be sure to keep your voice down so as not to scare them.

5.     If you are using a bang stick for fishing, be sure to keep your line tight so that the fish does not become entangled in it.

6.     Also check that the chamber of the bang stick is not oversized, not even slightly. Because it allows the casing to enlarge beyond its boundary.

7.     Silicone spray can help for keeping the barrel gliding easily and efficiently in the base.

8.     Place your hand through the loop as soon as you grip the bang stick for use.

9.     After each time you use it, examine firewood screws, mounting nuts, and cap for resolution.

What To Do If You Get Injured by A Bang Stick?

1.     Always carry a first-aid box with you, while you are carrying bang sticks while fishing. If the injuries are simple, then you will just help yourself with that first-aid box.

2.     If you pierce your skin with bang sticks then at first let the injuries bleed by holding that wound below water. You have to wash that place with water and soap. It is not permitted to scrub the wound at the time of washing it. Then it is needed to dry the wounded place. For avoiding infection, finally needed to cover the wound with a dressing or a waterproof plaster.

3.     Bang stick shot injuries always require medical attention to initiate treatment. If you are seriously injured, then you must call 911.

4.     If the shot has created a large wound, then as soon as possible have to cover the wounded area with any clean fabric available in that place. Because that time of waiting to go to a hospital may limit the high blood loss.

5.     If the bang stick shot creates any harm to your hearing, then consult a doctor.

6.     Whether the injuries are too few but it is always recommended to consult a doctor for avoiding infection.


Though the laws of using Bang sticks are slightly stiff and can also cause danger by creating accidents, they are fun to use if anyone can use them properly. Federal water is okay for using bang sticks. Bang sticks are illegal and unlawful to use for catching edible fish. But they are legal to use for self-defense and protection based on state. Hope this article helps you to get all the answers.

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  • Ayaan

    Hi, this is Ayaan. I have been fishing since I was a young boy. I love the outdoors and the peace that comes with being by the water. Fishing is more than a hobby to me, it is a passion. I have learned much about fishing over the years, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others. I am happy to teach anyone who is interested in learning how to fish. I love everything about fishing – the peace and tranquility of being out on the water, the challenge of trying to catch a big one, and the sense of accomplishment when I finally land a fish. I love fishing because it is a way to connect with nature and escape everyday life’s hustle and bustle.

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