So, I believe after a healthy discussion with @hippietrail in this paintball-related question, he changed the description to be more fitting as to what the tag is about. Currently the description for firearms is:

Covers questions about guns and questions about whether items resembling guns in some respect which may be categorized the same way by airlines or authorities.

However, IMO the better-fitting text for the tag, given the above is gun or perhaps even gun-like-objects. The idea being that the item is question being carried on luggage is not or might not be classed as a firearm or weapon, it might be "troublesome" to carry since it can resemble one, and be considered one by wacky laws/airline rules.

What say you?

  • 1
    I used to play paintball a lot (socially), and the competition players still called them guns. I wouldn't have called them firearms, but don't have a problem with paintball guns being tagged firearms. However, guns (plural) seems fine too, but no, wow, NOT gun-like-objects, that's awful :) Note that here in New South Wales, Australia, the police consider paintball guns to be firearms.
    – Mark Mayo
    Dec 1, 2014 at 11:59
  • weapons might be worth consideration too. @hippietrail?
    – Mark Mayo
    Dec 1, 2014 at 12:03
  • @MarkMayo Not trying to be US-centric, but there's this implicit consensus that only paintball "noobs" use the politically sensitive term paintball gun here. Sure, people will know what you mean... but the PC term most paintball pros prefer is paintball marker. That's what I've learned. Makes sense to me, as paintball is a sport and the last thing any player in said sport would want is for their "gear" to become involved in the whole polarized "guns in America" debate. Also, TSA (and US law) doesn't consider them firearms, so there's a big effort avoid the use of "gun." Just FYI. Dec 3, 2014 at 22:06
  • yeah at the time I used to look at the 'devices' a lot online, and the US websites all sold 'markers'. But you NEVER heard that term at the clubs in NZ. However, this was over a decade ago.
    – Mark Mayo
    Dec 4, 2014 at 6:56
  • I read somewhere that paintball started in the 70s when loggers/farmers used these industrial (more powerful) airguns to "mark" trees (or cattle?) and such, and in their spare time would use them on each other "for fun." So that's where the "marker" term came from. Dec 5, 2014 at 4:54

1 Answer 1


We have tags for many "things," and I see no reason why couldn't be added alongside or and the like. The real question, I think, involves the other axes— what are we thinking about doing with our bourbon, our mountain bike, our laser tag laser. Here I think there is some room for improvement.

When people ask about whether other things are allowed through airport security, we have tagged them accordingly as , , , , and so on. We have a great many questions about knives, so I could see a case for — or perhaps . I would consider an airsoft gun, paintball rifle, BB gun, or realistic water pistol to be guns in the broad sense, but not firearms, so I would favor making use of as appropriate.

It shouldn't be exclusively for whether something is or can be construed as a firearm, or whether or not it would be allowed through security, as that can be indicated with another tag, like . After all, not every question involving a gun is about whether or not it is allowed through security, and the overwhelming majority of such questions do not involve guns. And that brings me to the question of improving our other tags.

  1. We have no consistency at all in how we tag "is this allowed through security" questions: some are , some , others , , , and among others, not to mention if called for. Since we can't expect to create tags for every category of thing (questions have covered balloons, kirpans, AVR boards, 3-D printers, parachutes, and an AVR board), we should settle on one tag or another to cover them; I think this was the original purpose of and would favor making that the canonical tag.

  2. Can I carry a weapon with me in Place X? – There are several questions about carrying knives in various countries, or substitutes for them, though none so far about firearms per se, whether for personal defense, sports competition, or any other reason. This could be considered a superset of #1, and could be further genericized as . One broad question on this front is Can somebody travel with their gun internationally?

  3. Should I carry a weapon with me in Place X? - While superficially related to #2, it is really a question.

  4. Where can I shoot? or Where can I buy a gun? exemplified by Where in Europe can I pay to fire guns or have military experience? and Can a tourist buy a gun in the USA?. I don't think we need a special tag here; the first question should be (perhaps, if there are enough questions, could be created) and the second as well as whatever the gun tag will be.

  • I think prohibited items is more for like where Brunei bans alcohol, not so much about stuff not being allowed on planes (eg for security reasons). I could be wrong though.
    – Mark Mayo
    Dec 2, 2014 at 12:03
  • @MarkMayo It needn't necessarily be prohibited-items then, though as I note there are many questions tagged thusly. allowed-through-airport-security?
    – choster
    Dec 2, 2014 at 16:32
  • excellent analysis @choster, I agree. Yet to play devil advocate, I think we have the general airport-security as sort of the broad topic, and then "article-in-question" tag as sort of the "type" of object that might be problematic with airport/border security. But you bring up a great point there's quite a bit of overlap in the tags Dec 3, 2014 at 21:51

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