Tuesday, May 3, 2011

California Paintball/Airsoft in Trouble - Bill 798

Hope you Californians like this, cause if some people have 
their way, it's all you'll be able to play with.

For those of you playing paintball and airsoft with realistic looking markers/guns in California, you'd better check out a bill introduced by Senator De León. This bill jeopardizes your ability to use and own airsoft guns and paintball markers that aren't coloured brightly or are transparent (to the point where you can see the internal workings of the device) by limiting the sale and distribution of these devices.

Here are some excerpts:

This bill would make the provision imposing a civil fine on the sale,
manufacture, transportation, receipt, or distribution of imitation
firearms for commercial purposes applicable to BB devices

Existing law defines “BB device” to mean any instrument that expels
a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, through the force of air pressure,
gas pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun [paintball marker].

Existing law defines “imitation firearm” to mean any BB device, toy gun, 
replica of a firearm, or other device that is so substantially similar in coloration
and overall appearance to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable
person to perceive that the device is a firearm

Devices excluded from the regulation:
A device where the entire exterior surface of the device is
white, bright red, [long list of colours]
or where the entire device is constructed of transparent or
translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of
the device’s complete contents [...]

Of course you can always use something 
like this as opposed to the Hello Kitty option.

Canada has similar laws governing the importation and possession of "replica" firearms, but this legislation in California will be an even greater legal quagmire. I say that because they don't stipulate that the devices in question have to be replicas, but only "imitations". This leaves a lot of room for interpretation, and could result in a lot of paintball markers currently used in California being within the reach of the proposed bill.

For those interested, here's a Facebook group opposed to the enaction of the bill: No On SB 798
Here's a means for Californians contacting their senators: California State Senate

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