Breaking Down State Laws and Felon Bow Ownership
As always, it is still wise to consult your local state authorities or even your parole officer if you have any concerns or doubts about your ability to obtain and possess a weapon such as a bow. Many states have laws which are more restrictive than the overall federal laws, and indeed some counties can even impose harsher restrictions still. So we highly recommend reading the websites for your specific state and county.
For example, some have questioned whether Idaho laws actually restrict bow ownership at this time, because it’s definition of a firearm is broader than average. A firearm, per their laws, is
any weapon from which a shot, projectile or other object may be discharged by force of combustion, explosive, gas and/or mechanical means, whether operable or inoperable.” Some have therefore interpreted that to include a bow, because of the inclusion of the words “mechanical means.”
(Source: www.idfg.idaho.gov )
However further research via the Idaho Department of Fish and Game website indicates that such restrictions have been lifted: “Idaho no longer restricts felons’ possession of archery equipment.” I’d say the takeaway lesson here is, do your homework and don’t just accept the first answer you read!
(Source link: https://idfg.idaho.gov/question/did-rule-change-can-felon-now-hunt-idaho-bow)
New Hampshire State Law
Another state to consider is New Hampshire. Their law has a pretty specific breakdown of what is a “deadly weapon” (and therefore a thing which would be banned from felon ownership). As their law states, a
“pistol, revolver, or other firearm, or slingshot, brass knuckles, billies, stiletto, switchblade knife, sword cane, pistol cane, blackjack, dagger and dirk knives are deadly weapons.”
(Source link: http://www.seacoastonline.com)
But–no mention of a bow (or arrow, since technically that would be the deadly part!).