The crossbow law, or the law that determines the legality (or not) of the possession of a crossbow, is a rather ambiguous law in the United States as it applies differently in the various states. First of all, a crossbow is a weapon that makes use of an arrow or a bolt to hit a target by mounting it on a stock and then using the trigger to cause the arrow string to propel the projectile. Due to its structure and dmv handicap placard construction, the crossbow is a rather controversial weapon as it closely resembles a firearm. But some people won’t go so far as say that it is actually a weapon like a firearm. As such, the crossbow law is different from state to state.
In some states, crossbows are legal during certain times or seasons of the year. In Alabama, crossbows are legal for all people only during the deer hunting season. In Colorado, Virginia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Carolina, New Mexico, Wyoming, West Virginia, and New Jersey, crossbows are legal for all hunters during the gun season and for the handicapped during the archery season. In Arkansas, crossbows are officially permitted even during bow seasons, but the crossbow should weigh at least 125 lbs. and must have a mechanical safety function. In Delaware, crossbows are legal in the December and January gun seasons, and on Mondays to Saturdays in November during shotgun seasons. In Georgia, crossbows are legal in all seasons. In Indiana, permission to use a crossbow is granted only in the late archery season and only if antler-less deer are hunted.
In Kentucky, the use of crossbows is allowed only during the muzzleloader and rifle seasons, but is only legal during the archery season for handicapped people only. In Louisiana, a crossbow season is decided by the state. In Maryland, crossbows are only legal in the Suburban Deer Archery Zone during bow season, but are legal after the age of 65. In Michigan, crossbows that fire bolts at a speed of 350 per second are legal anywhere for people aged 50 or older during bow season; for people aged 12-49 during any hunting season in Zone 3; and for all during gun seasons. In Nevada, it is legal during all gun seasons. In Texas, the crossbow law allows use anytime, except at Gray County.
Some states require hunters to have a permit before they can even ask for permission to use a crossbow. In Alaska and Montana, crossbows are not permitted in bow-only areas, although they can be used in areas where firearms are permitted during the hunting season. Sad to say, there are no stipulations for the handicapped. In California, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, South Dakota, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Hawaii, Florida, Minnesota, Idaho, Utah, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Arizona, crossbows are legal for the handicapped strictly only after they have secured a permit.
Like much of the Pennsylvania Code, state regulations on the posting of signs for private parking lots is somewhat wordy and can be difficult to understand. One key provision to notice, however, is that it is illegal to tow any vehicle unless the signs posted in the parking lot are fully in accordance with Pennsylvania law. Thus, it is very important that any Pennsylvania business owner with a private parking lot fully understand the regulations in place to ensure the business lot contains the proper signs in the proper places.
The Code covers two different types of signs used in any private parking lot. The first is defined as “Public Notice Signs,” which show messages referring to the entire lot, such as “Parking for XYZ Business Customers Only,” or simply “Private Parking.” These signs must be posted in specific areas, and must also follow several other regulations. If the parking lot has clearly defined entrances and exits, the law is fairly straightforward and states that a sign must be posted at EVERY entrance to the lot and that each sign must be facing traffic. Unfortunately, the Pennsylvania Code is not as clear on what is required in parking lots with no clearly defined entrances, such as those that are simply open to the street on one or more sides. In these cases, the Code states only that signs must be posted so that they are “readily visible to an ordinarily observant driver.” How many signs are necessary, or where exactly to place them, is difficult to pin down, so business owners may be best off following the law of “better safe than sorry,” and posting signs very clearly at relatively small intervals throughout the lot. It may also be helpful to speak with a representative from a towing company or even local law enforcement to make sure the signs are posted properly.