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Maryland rushes to regulate hunting with new-fangled weapon

WYE MILLS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is rushing to regulate a new kind of hunting weapon that’s a cross between a high-powered air rifle and a crossbow.

The device is marketed by the Crosman Corp. as an “Airbow.” The company’s website says it uses compressed air to fire full-sized arrows with more speed and accuracy than a crossbow.

The Maryland agency said in a statement Monday it’s proposing to regulate the devices as air guns, which are currently allowed for hunting certain bird species.

The agency is proposing to expand its definition of air guns to include those that fire arrows. The weapons would be permitted for hunting deer during the muzzleloader and conventional firearm seasons. They would also be legal during black bear season.