Originally Posted by Monty
Agree, but the number of reasonable excuses for having a loaded air rifle in a public place are far fewer than for having an unloaded one so finding a valid reason is going to be tougher. You would need to have your rifle in the car to get from home to the range, but it does not need to be loaded to do so.
True, but it also doesn't need to have air in the cylinder when going to and from the range, but that doesn't make it illegal either.
The law explicitly states "Whether loaded or not" the implication being that it doesn't matter if it's loaded. If it mattered, then there would be no need to include that wording in the act.
It's still a very bad idea to have a loaded mag in the rifle at any time other than when it's safe to fire the gun and should certainly never be in the rifle while it's being transported.
But I'm pretty certain it's not illegal to do so.