Saturday, December 20, 2008

Methods of Playing Airsoft: Learning the Game

by Alexander Malroy
There are several ways of playing Airsoft. The main objective to the game is to have fun and enjoy time with your opponents. Be the last one standing with these methods below.

The MilSim, short for Military simulation is a method of Airsoft playing game that blends military live-action role-playing scenarios. Each team is assigned tasks or missions to accomplish. They are provided with ample supply of ammunition (pellets), batteries, food or rations, gears, uniforms and other safety equipment. Sometimes, equipments such as headsets and radios are being provided; other times, players have the discretion to bring their own communication equipment.

Military simulation games regularly lasts a number of days depending on how large the mission and the planning is. Both teams should remain in the playing field during the duration of the game and should only return to the neutral area only in medical emergencies and any other related circumstances. In large scale military simulations such as the likes of BERGET in Sweden, where the MilSim lasts up to a week without breaks, players may use military vehicles, trucks and vans. Sometimes an armored personnel carrier and tanks were utilized.

In large-scale military simulations such as the likes of BERGET in Sweden, where the MilSim lasts up to a week without breaks, players may use military vehicles, trucks and vans. Sometimes an armored personnel carrier and tanks were utilized. The Skirmish Operations were the most popular type of play among the Airsoft gun enthusiasts.

Skirmishing is the most common and popular method of playing, as it is easy to conduct one in any wide and ample space where hiding and moving around is possible. Skirmishing also imitates real close quarter battles with heightened excitement using familiar scenarios such as urban settings or the challenging jungle set up for a more confrontational game playing.

Skirmishing is the most common and popular type of playing, as it is easy to conduct one in any wide and open space where hiding and moving around is possible. Skirmishing also imitates real close battles with heightened excitement using familiar scenarios such as urban settings or the challenging jungle theme set up for a more confrontational game playing. The Honor System is one system that relies on the honesty of the players during the game. The ability to admit if being hit is the key factor in this game, which unlike paintballs, plastic pellets have no way to indicate if a player had been hit. There are plastic pellets in the market today with paint on it but players don’t like to use them because of how ineffective they are and the damage it may cause to the actual gun itself.

Referees play a vital role in every game. Bullets fired from a distance sometimes are not being felt by a player mainly due to the action or just being distracted or running doggedly. Referees determine and decide the matter of hit or miss. However honest declaration, if hit, is highly encouraged because no one can really see the exact happenings of the game when played on the field. Simulation knife kills can be performed depending on the type of the game. This can be pulled off if a player taps an unaware opponent during the game. This method prevents an opponent from being accidentally shot at point-blank within close range as one is being surprised by the stealth.

The main essence of the game is that the players must enjoy and should not be destructive enough to hurt others. Remember, this is a game not the real war field!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Parents explain airsoft gun appearance

PENNSVILLE TWP. - The parents of a 14-year-old boy whose airsoft gun sparked a police investigation Tuesday at the Penn Beach Elementary School showed up at police headquarters here Wednesday, police said.

According to Lt. Bruce Maahs, the distraught couple felt they should alert authorities, who did not have any suspects in the case.

Maahs said there will be no charges filed, and that police just wanted citizens to be aware of the dangers these realistic-looking airsoft toys possess.

"Apparently his son and friends were playing in the area and left the airsoft gun on the school grounds," Maahs said. "The father was very concerned and sorry for any inconvenience he may have caused."

The airsoft gun, a Double Eagle M-85 Airsoft, was discovered on the playground along with a removable magazine. Maahs said in the wrong hands, such a toy could produce tragic results.

Teen accused of brandishing Airsoft gun in traffic incident

WEST JORDAN — A traffic dispute landed three teenage boys in hot water Wednesday night after one of them showed a airsoft handgun to a woman who had changed lanes in front of them.
The incident took place around 7:30 p.m. at about 9000 South and 4000 West.

"There was a traffic dispute and a boy in the backseat decided to take out an Airsoft gun and poked his head out the window to show the woman the gun," said West Jordan Police Sgt. Drew Sanders.

The woman wrote down the license plate number and called police with a good description of the PT Cruiser and the boys that were riding in it. Sanders said an officer was in the area and quickly stopped the boys.

All of the boys were 15, including the driver of the vehicle. Sanders said the driver was cited for not having a driver's license and the boy with the airsoft weapon could face a misdemeanor charge of using a weapon in a fight or a quarrel.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Maker of 'deadly' airsoft guns arrested in Japan

The 64-year-old president of a Tokyo-based replica airsoft gun manufacturing company was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of possessing lethal replica airsoft revolvers.

It is unusual for an airsoft gun manufacturer to be arrested for possession of his or her products.

According to the police, Yoshimoto Tanaka, president of Tanaka Works in Kita Ward, Tokyo, is suspected to have violated the Firearms and Swords Control Law by possessing 867 units of an allegedly deadly replica gun, the Casyopea model, on Oct. 7, when the MPD searched the company.

The Metropolitan Police Department suspects Tanaka manufactured and sold the products even though he was aware of their deadly nature.

An industrial group to which Tanaka Works belongs has refused to issue a safety certificate for the model due to its alleged hazardous nature.

In an experiment, the MPD found toy guns of the series can fire real bullets without any modification and are powerful enough to shoot the bullets through six four-millimeter-thick wooden boards.

"If the series is illegal, all other types of airsoft gun must be illegal," Tanaka told The Yomiuri Shimbun before being arrested.

Airsoft gun enthusiasts have been engaged in fierce debates on the Internet and elsewhere over the potential deadliness of the Casyopea since it was released in July.

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry concluded four types of the model were subject to the law controlling the manufacture of firearms and other weapons.

The ministry ordered the industrial group and others to recall the products.

According to the MPD, about 2,000 of the toy guns have been put on the market, and about 500 have been recalled.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Toy gun maker held over lethal models

Tokyo police on Tuesday arrested the president of Tanaka Works, a maker of toy guns, for allegedly possessing hundreds of "air soft" guns that are considered lethal weapons.

It is the first time police have served a warrant defining an unaltered toy air gun as a lethal weapon, they said. The warrant was served to Yoshimoto Tanaka, who heads the Kita Ward-based firm.

The air guns are Tanaka Works' Cassiopeia-brand revolvers, which went on sale in July. Police have been trying to recover about 1,950 of them that were put on the market.

The air guns are capable of shooting metal bullets and are as lethal as real handguns, the police said.

Tanaka Works sold them without undergoing voluntary checks by an industry body, the Air Soft Gun Kyokai.

Tanaka, 64, is suspected of possessing 867 Cassiopeia revolvers as of Oct. 7, when investigators raided the firm's head office, the police said.

In an interview with before his arrest, Tanaka said he does not understand why his company was searched, noting its products are made of plastic.

"We sold products that were a dream to buyers," he said.

Monday, December 01, 2008

ICS MP5 A4 Airsoft Rifle Sportline Quality Review

Product Summary: ICS MP5 A4 Sportline and Deepfire M120 Spring
Cost: $154.95 (AEG) and $11.95 (Spring) MSRP
Source: Airsplat
Gun Type: AEG
Average FPS: 335 (.2g bbs)
Max Effective Range: 140 ft
Good fit and finish for a plastic body, useful rear sight assembly, excellent gearbox good long range accuracy selector switch is provides more tactile feedback than many, full metal magazines that cycled a large number of bbs.
Cons: Test model came with a bad spring and required replacement before max. FPS was achieved, the fire selector switch could have more positive click in.
Editor's opinion:
The ICS MP5 A4 Sportline was a mixed bag for us. The spring issue was a great dissapointment as this was the first ICS product we've tested. Based on our research ICS has an excellent reputation and thus, we have conlcuded that our model's malfunction was an isolated incident. Further, when the spring was replaced, the gun functioned flawlessly. We suspect that the gun may have been shipped from the factory with the spring inadvertently compressed, causing it to lose some of its tension by the time it reached our shop. Once the spring was swapped out this AEG performed well. We would give the gun slightly above average overall marks rating at a B- though it would have recieved an A grade but for the spring issue.
Final Grade: B-

Monday, November 24, 2008

Judge's Son Released from Custody After shooting with Airsoft Gun

A local teen arrested after a deadly crash is being released from juvenile custody. 16-year-old Michael Mosley, son of District Court Judge Donald Mosley, will be going home. He was involved in a deadly crash that killed 15-year-old Coronado High School student Olivia Hyten.

Mosley will be released, but under the judge's order he will be under house arrest with a GPS tracking unit.

There have been allegations that Mosley and another driver were street racing when the other driver lost control of his vehicle and flipped over, killing Hyten. Although Mosley was not the driver of the car that rolled, police did find alcohol in his system as well as a spring loaded knife.

Mosley has been previously charged with reckless driving and possession of a firearm. Several months ago, he was found with an airsoft pellet gun on school property.

Both of Mosley's parents were in court pleading with the judge for their son's release.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Man found with toy airsoft gun undergoes mental evaluation

The man taken into police custody Wednesday when officers responded to a 911 call about a possible gun threat on the South Quad was transported to a local hospital for a mental evaluation.

Luitenant Roy Acree of the University Police, said the 26-year-old man was not a University student.

"According to the phone call he was walking south and yelling at himself. From that, we knew we might be dealing with a mental problem," Acree said.

The weapon apprehended during the afternoon dispatch was an Airsoft pellet gun, which Acree said looks similar to a real gun, other than the orange muzzle.

"He was located quickly and the situation was resolved," AcreeWithin two minutes, officers stopped the man on Gregory Drive, where they quickly determined that the gun was a toy, Christensen said.

"The officers did an outstanding job," he said.

The man had an Airsoft pellet gun, which can look like a real gun, usually except for an orange muzzle piece, Christensen said.

"People who have these in public place themselves in danger," Christensen said. "Officers cannot always determine that it's just a toy. They look very much like a real gun."

The guns are spring-powered and shoot small plastic balls, he said.

Police were initially sent to an area at the south end of the Quad near Foellinger Hall, Christensen said. The man was found on Gregory Drive and questioned by police. The man, who was not arrested, was taken to a hospital for mental evaluation, Christensen said.

The incident was resolved so quickly that the campus emergency notification system was not activated.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Police catch teens who held up teens

Novato police detectives on Friday arrested two 14-year-old boys who, along with another teen, brandished a knife and a realistic-looking “airsoft” pistol and robbed two other teen boys on the night of Nov. 9 on Rowland Way between the Carl’s Jr. fast-food restaurant and the Sonic Solutions office building.

Police were still looking Tuesday for the third suspect.

An airsoft pistol uses compressed air to shoot a plastic BB. Airsoft enthusiasts stage battles similar to paintball combat.

“I was glad to see that this was an airsoft pistol, rather than a real pistol,” said Novato police Lt. John McCarthy.

But he said wielding a toy pistol could be dangerous for thieves because there have been many occasions around the country in which police have opened fire on a suspect “ only to find out he had an airsoft gun.

“They look exactly like real (guns),” McCarthy said. “I don’t want that happening.”

The suspects stole a cell phone and some personal items from the victims and then ran to a Golden Gate Transit bus. They got off the bus at Alameda del Prado.

McCarthy declined to say whether the suspects were identified from security video footage taken aboard the bus.

“I can’t confirm that,” he said. “I don’t know whether - we had video or not.”

The victims, who were not injured, were 12 and 13. The stolen items were not recovered.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ocular injuries associated with Airsoft guns: a case series.

Background: As Airsoft guns have gained popularity in Canada, there have been an increasing number of associated ocular injuries. This study reviews and evaluates the ocular injuries and effects associated with trauma secondary to Airsoft guns. Methods: The clinical records of 1232 patients seen by an on-call ophthalmology resident at the Royal Alexandra Hospital Eye Clinic were reviewed. Of these, 8 patients had ocular injuries involving an Airsoft gun.Results: All 8 cases were monocular injuries in male patients with a mean age of 18 years. Documented injuries included hyphema, corneal contusion, subconjunctival hemorrhage, lid contusion, corneal abrasion, traumatic iritis, commotio retinae, and traumatic mydriasis. Presenting visual acuities ranged from 20/15 to light perception. Interpretation: Injuries were confined mostly to the anterior segment and were not as serious as injuries reported from paintball and traditional BB gun injuries. However, hyphema was a commonly observed finding. Eye care professionals should be aware of the potential harm associated with injuries related to Airsoft guns.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Responsibilities of Owning an Airsoft Gun Go Beyond Safety

Whether you like informal airsoft skirmishes in woodland areas or are involved in major role playing at organized sites, Airsoft guns allow for relatively safe combat play. Owning one, however, comes with a lot of responsibilities that go far beyond simply taking proper care of your firearm and playing by the rules when you're actually using it.

One of the most important things you can do as a gun owner is educate others who might not be familiar with its uses. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding airsoft combat play and the guns used, especially in the United States. Many people who have never participated in a game or fired a gun don't understand what all the fuss is about. They may assume you're interested in them in order to cause trouble or intimidate others, which could not be farther from the truth.

Explain to people your interest in group airsoft combat play, teamwork on the field and how skirmishing and military simulations are organized. Stress the importance of playing by the rules and that airsoft play is actually very controlled. It is important to stress that there are no physical confrontations permitted and strict rules for airsoft safety are enforced. When others hear about the excitement of woodlands skirmishing and closed quarters strategic battles, many are intrigued enough to give it a try themselves.

It's also essential to teach others about the differences between an airsoft gun and a real gun. Most people are afraid of airsoft guns because they think these weapons will do serious harm. Like any weapon they can cause injuries if used improperly, but they aren't deadly. As a matter of fact, if handled appropriately, they are no more dangerous than a paintball gun or BB gun. Take the time to show anyone with questions the small pellet ammunition and explain the lower firing velocity compared to a real gun. Also reassure them that safety gear is worn at all times to protect participants during combat play. Finally, let them know that you would never use your gun for anything other than the intended purpose, which airsoft play or, occasionally, target shooting in the proper environment.

Another responsibility for every gun owner is proper respect of the gun. Being an irresponsible gun owner can be just as dangerous as being an irresponsible real gun owner. While you may not be able to shoot and kill someone across the street with your airsoft gun, a toddler who gets his hands on a loaded gun could certainly injure himself with it. Don't ever leave your gun out where others can get their hands on it. When not in use it should be in its case and on a shelf out of reach of children. It is important to always leave your gun unloaded when not in use.

Keep in mind just how realistic an airsoft gun looks and treat it with as much care as a standard gun. It 's certainly part of the appeal, but it can also frighten people and confuse law enforcement officials. You always must respect others while transporting your gun. Don't ever have it loose in your car or carry it with you. If it is mistaken for a concealed weapon or unlicensed firearm there is a possibility you could get into a difficult situation. Others might be wary if they are unfamiliar and it would certainly make others look down upon its uses. Don't ever remove the orange marker on the tip of your gun. In the United States this is illegal and can lead to criminal charges. Its main purpose is to notify others that this is not a standard weapon.

Remember, an airsoft gun is meant for recreational use. Treat it and others with the respect it deserves.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Two men plead guilty to Avenues Airsoft BB gun robberies

Two Utah men have pleaded guilty to robbing three Avenues businesses last spring with airsoft guns and now face up to 20 years behind bars.
Lynn Ailama Tiatia and Louis Hamilton, both 19, entered their pleas this week in U.S. District Court. They are slated to be sentenced Jan. 8 by Judge Ted Stewart.
The two were charged with robbing Subway, Dollar City, and Henries Dry Cleaners, all at 402 E. Sixth Ave., in Salt Lake City, on May 5. Prosecutors say the weapons used were Airsoft BB guns that had been spray-painted black.
In addition, they say Tiatia, of West Valley City, and Hamilton, of Bountiful, stole a Ford Explorer at gunpoint to use as a getaway vehicle.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What Not to Bring to the Emmys: An Airsoft Rifle

A worker entering the media and other-attendee entrance at the Emmy Awards was stopped and briefly detained at a police checkpoint when an officer noticed a rifle in the trunk. The episode prompted traffic to be stopped at various checkpoints around the Nokia Theatre in downtown.

The incident that began shortly before 4:00 p.m. only lasted twenty minutes after the airsoft gun was found to be a common Airsoft rifle (it's like a BB gun), available at most sporting goods and discount stores, according to the LAPD. The driver of the car was a contract worker for an Emmy Awards vendor.

"The explanation provided by the driver and his employment status checked out. He was allowed to continue to his work assignment," the LAPD press release stated (emphasis added by LAPD).

An Airsoft Gun | Photo via

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

CAVIT aims at safety Law enforcement class to use airsoft pistols

COOLIDGE - The Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology Governing Board on Wednesday approved buying police-replica airsoft pistols (airsoft guns) for CAVIT's new law enforcement program for high school students.

Instructor Brian Kennedy said the replica pistols (airsoft guns) are used at the East Valley Institute of Technology and in many other law enforcement programs.

They fire 6 mm plastic pellets that travel 195 feet per second, Kennedy said. A regular pistol round travels between 900 and 2,300 feet per second.

"Shoot me," said board President Frank Acuña.

Kennedy agreed, but made Acuña wear safety goggles during the demonstration.

Students will wear safety goggles, gloves, billed caps, long-sleeve T-shirts and heavy tactical pants when they train with pistols. Their everyday uniforms are the same, except the T-shirts are short-sleeved.

Kennedy shot Acuña, and the small orange pellet bounced off his shirt. Acuña said he could tell he had been shot, but there was no pain.

Kennedy said many law enforcement agencies use airsoft guns for training, and he could find no report of training injuries from these airsoft guns.

Someone asked why the program does not use paint balls instead.

Paint balls make a mess, Kennedy said. They hurt when they hit. Paint-ball pistols are not accurate. And they don't look like a police-use weapon.

Using the airsoft guns, CAVIT's law enforcement program can expose its students to real-world situations that will require them to make split-second decisions about the appropriate use of force, Kennedy said.

Before students can train with the replica airsoft guns, they must learn proper and safe handling of firearms, effective marksmanship, range commands and practices, and pass a written test with at least 90 percent competency.

Kennedy said the pistol training is used to improve marksmanship, learn proper handling of a weapon so no one can take it away and practice shoot/don't shoot use-of-force scenarios.

Business Manager Angela Terry said CAVIT will order 25 gas blowback airsoft pistols, 50 magazines, one case of ammunition and three cases of gas propellant from Airsoft for a total cost of roughly $4,600.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Exploring areas of law enforcement with airsoft guns

Inside a vacant dimly lit warehouse, Scott Christiansen carefully approached the entrance of a small room, his Airsoft Pistol poised on the target, a suspected prowler.

Behind him in the shadows stood his father, Algona Police Sgt. Lee Gaskill, monitoring his every move and correcting any misstep.

The student spotted the man and identified himself. No shots were fired. The suspect cooperated.

The mock drill with a toy airsoft gun, a watch-and-learn building search, was on the agenda for a group of teenagers interested in law enforcement.

The group gathered to learn proper procedures – from communications and concealment to cuffing and containment. Building searches are just one of the many areas of police work introduced to those who belong to the Algona Police Department’s Explorer Program.

“I want to become a police officer, and this gives us a lot of basic training. It gives you a head start,” said Christiansen, a senior at Bonney Lake High School.

Christiansen, who has completed basic and some advanced Explorer training in 2 1/2 years with the program, is determined to take the next step – enter the academy police department come winter.

Son intends to follow his father.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Gaskill said. “I support him in whatever he wants to do. It makes me proud, just like any police officer would be if their son wants to follow in their footsteps."

But as Gaskill explains, the program is much more than exposing young adults to the police world. It is all about mentorship, preaching old-fashioned values, providing good choices and building strong character. Especially with the use of airsoft guns.

“We take them bowling, to the movies, Laser tag, airsoft games, and competitions, we introduced them to our families, our children,” Gaskill said. “They get to know us, not as police officers, but as fathers and community members.

“We give them guidance. We point them in the right direction, whether it is a college education or the military,” Gaskill added. “We are there for them.”

The Explorer Program, open to career-oriented young adults 14 to 21 in good standing, has been in motion at Algona since March with plans to soon expand to other regional cities. Algona, under Police Chief Buster McGehee, and the City of Sumner are sharing resources.

The Explorer program is an extension of Learning for Life, a non-traditional subsidiary of scouting that provides in-school and career education. And once the younger trainee's hear about the tactical simulations with airsoft rifles and guns, they all jump at the chance.

While the program uniquely placed Gaskill with his son, such an arrangement is the exception. The Explorer program does not tie parents to their kids in training.

The specialty youth career oriented program is endorsed by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

At Algona, the community-based policing program is designed to educate and involve young men and women in police operations and to interest them in law enforcement functions whether they enter the law enforcement field or not, Gaskill said.

“Very few make it into law enforcement,” said Gaskill, who added that the normal hiring age for a police officer is 27. “But a large majority of them go on to firefighting, the military, communications. Many of them get involved in the system. And many of them go off to college or go on to company jobs.

“We guide them,” Gaskill said. “A lot of them are self-motivated. They get there regardless, but we push them in that direction.” And while they're having fun with airsoft guns, who can blame them.

As an Explorer, young adults have the opportunity to assist police. Explorers can broaden their understanding and firsthand knowledge of the challenges and job skills that make up their community’s police service. And the integration of airsoft guns is almost second nature to these kids since they play with them in their back yards.

Explorers are introduced to different areas of law enforcement, including narcotics, investigations, fingerprinting, crime scene work, photography, canine and helicopter units, traffic and felony stops, searches, tricks and tips and other procedures.

They also go on ride-alongs and assist in the communication center or with animal control and the jail.

In addition to gaining a working knowledge of police work, the participants have the opportunity to give of themselves to their community. Explorers are volunteers and do not serve as police employees, sworn or civilian. Training with airsoft is a very cost effective manner and a new arena for these youths.

The program is dependent on donations from businesses and communities for equipment and food. Among those who have participated are: The Rock Pizza, Tim’s Cascade Chips, Wal-Mart, and Red Robin, McDonald’s next to the SuperMall.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Key West to tighten airsoft gun law

The Key West City Commission is expected to vote Wednesday on an ordinance that would prohibit selling airsoft guns to minors and make it illegal for minors to possess them.

The proposed law requires retailers of airsoft guns, which fire airsoft pellets using either compressed air or gas or a spring, to acquire a $200 license from the city every year. The person holding the license wouldn't be able to sell the realistic-looking weapons to someone under age 18.

Chris Robinson owns and operates State of the Art. His store is the only place to purchase airsoft guns in Key West and strictly enforces an 18-or-older policy.

"Parental supervision is lacking," Robinson said. "Kids ... have broken into our store and stolen the guns." Robinson cited the availability of airsoft guns for sale on the Internet as a real cause for concern. "It's absolutely ludicrous.... Are they going to go after the Internet next?"

The law would also outlaw anyone from discharging an airsoft gun on public property, including roads. Further, possession of an airsoft gun by a minor would be prohibited in public places unless the weapon is securely and inoperably stored in a sealed carrying device.

Commissioner Clayton Lopez first presented the proposed law at a City Commission meeting Aug. 5, and was met with unanimous approval.

As it stands, anyone buying an airsoft gun must be able to prove he or she is 16 or older. Lopez said the rules are not being enforced.

"By putting it into an ordinance, we're giving teeth to the enforcement," he said. Lopez's proposed ordinance was drafted following two reports of minors misusing airsoft guns.

In May, a woman driving her car near the George Allen apartment complex was hit in the face with a pellet fired by a young boy. In June, a Key West police officer drew his firearm after an underage boy was found carrying an airsoft gun on Olivia Street.

Wednesday's meeting begins at 6 p.m. in Old City Hall on Greene Street.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Markieff Morris’ attorney enters not guilty plea in airsoft battery case

attorney entered a not guilty plea for incoming Kansas University basketball player Markieff Morris Thursday in Lawrence Municipal Court and denied that his client fired an Airsoft rifle BB gun out of his Jayhawker Towers apartment Saturday night.

According to the KU Public Safety Office, Morris, 18, admitted to shooting the Airsoft rifle BB gun out of his apartment Saturday. A 47-year-old woman in the courtyard below received minor injuries when she was hit in the arm by a plastic airsoft pellet. According to a police report, Morris was suspected of using alcohol.

Brad Finkeldei, Morris’ attorney, said the facts in the case haven’t been accurately reported.

“Most importantly, Mr. Morris was not the person who fired the Airsoft pellet gun from the window,” Finkeldei said. “He did not admit to firing the gun out the window.”

Finkeldei said he wasn’t able to comment further because of a pending investigation.

A Dec. 12 Lawrence Municipal Court hearing has been set in the case, in which Morris is charged with battery, although he could submit an application for diversion, the city prosecutor’s office said.

The case does involve the possibility of jail time, City Prosecutor Tom Porter said.

Morris also faces possible university sanctions if he’s found to have violated a student housing policy, which could include suspension from university housing, according to the KU Student Housing handbook.

“University code and housing policy expressly prohibits weapons of any type, including pellet guns, airsoft guns, and paintball guns,” said university spokeswoman Jill Jess.

A university investigation will address whether an Airsoft BB gun is considered to be a weapon, Jess said. Federal law forbids the university from discussing student disciplinary investigations.

Ken Farris, a distributor of Airsoft guns in Lawrence, said the guns aren’t considered weapons unless they’re used as such.

“These things can be used in a game,” Farris said of their intended purpose, “but it’s not a toy that you’re supposed to run around in public with or snipe people from windows.”

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Utah mayor calls ban on toy guns ridiculous

WASHINGTON TERRACE - Kids just want to have fun - but in one Utah town, they can't even play with a water pistol.
So a 14-year-old boy is launching a campaign to overturn a ban on certain toy guns.
Matthew Taylor said he was playing with friends in April when a police officer in Washington Terrace told the boys to stop using so-called airsoft guns that shoot plastic pellets.
Taylor enlisted Mayor Mark Allen, who says the laws in his city and Weber county that prohibit certain toy guns are ridiculous.
According to Allen, the laws don't even allow water or Nerf guns.
City council members in Washington Terrace are revisiting their ban.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mayor calls ban on toy guns ridiculous

WASHINGTON TERRACE, Utah -- Kids just want to have fun -- but in one Utah town, they can't even play with a water pistol.

So a 14-year-old boy enlisted the mayor of Washington Terrace to overturn a ban on toy guns.

Matthew Taylor said he was playing with friends when a police officer ordered the boys to stop using so-called airsoft guns that shoot plastic pellets.

"He said that they're illegal within city limits. We didn't think that was very fair," Taylor told the Standard-Examiner of Ogden. "We put a lot of money into using our airsoft guns and didn't really want to give them up."

Mayor Mark Allen said the laws in his city and Weber County that prohibit certain toy guns are silly.

"We thought it was kind of ridiculous," Allen said. "You can't even have a Super Soaker at a family reunion to hold a water fight."

According to Allen, the laws don't even allow harmless Nerf guns that shoot foam darts.

City officials say they plan to lift the ban on private property.

"Of course, you can't bring any of those to school, but Nerf guns and Super Soakers don't hurt anyone, usually, unless you shoot someone straight in the eye," Allen said.

First, the city will calculate the projectile force of various toy guns by a feet-per-second formula that's still subject to change. And they want to distinguish between a Nerf gun, for instance, and paintball guns or airsoft guns that can leave a body welt. Elected officials said they were inclined to legalize airsoft guns, squirt guns, sling shots and Nerf guns.

Toy guns can look like real guns, cautioned Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Philip Howell, who patrols Washington Terrace.

"If police are concerned, they will assess the situation from a distance and approach cautiously if it still isn't clear," he said.

City Manager Mark Christensen said toy guns can draw objections regardless of the projectile.

"We get complaints about being hit by marshmallow guns," he said.

But Taylor said the good outweighs the bad when it comes to toy guns.

"We like airsoft guns because we can go outside and get some exercise instead of just being in front of the TV or computer," he said.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

South Jordan bans toy airsoft guns

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC 4 News) - One Utah city says it's safer because it is banning toy guns, including airsoft guns. On Tuesday night, The South Jordan City Council took the vote and decided that airsoft pistols are off limits in some places in the city limits.

The fake guns are not banned on private property, but in public places, streets and parks. South Jordan Police asked for tougher laws because of vandalism and because the airsoft guns look so much like real ones.

It came down to a vote on Tuesday night with no public hearing, but it wasn't without compromise. The airsoft guns are off limits in parks or other public areas.

"It gives our police officers the protection they need to be able to make the point that this is serious and that we don't want these things flying through public parks where someone could be blinded," said Aleta Taylor from the South Jordan City Council.

The new law provides for warnings for first offenses, but repeat offenders could face Class B misdemeanor charges.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Airsoft guns pack a wallop

As misnomers go, airsoft is a whopper. I should know. I was shot recently from close range with one of the large plastic BBs fired by one of the imported air guns, which are the latest backyard sensation among kids in many Canadian communities like this one.

Even through blue jeans, the 6-mm BB, which is roughly twice the size of a standard metal BB and half as big as a paintball projectile inflicted a sting similar to an elastic band being snapped hard against bare skin.

In other words, it hurt like hell. And it gave me an immediate appreciation for the potential danger of these unregulated weapons in the hands of thrill-seeking youngsters with little or no understanding of basic gun safety.

While there are no hard numbers about the prevalence or severity of injuries caused by airsoft guns in Canada, the director of the trauma programs at Montreal's Children's Hospital says they are starting to become a cause for concern in Quebec. "So far we've been lucky in that we haven't seen the numbers and kinds of severe injuries we see that are caused by BBs and paintballs," said Debbie Friedman. "But we're beginning to see more and more cases."

According to Friedman, the Children's has only treated about a half-dozen airsoft injuries annually over the past few years. Thankfully, she added, those injuries have all involved welts to limbs and necks.

"Our greatest fear is that we're going to start getting kids in here with life-altering injuries to their eyes," she said. "It just takes a split second to happen."

And when it comes to playing with airsoft guns, pain and danger are the name of the game.

"Sure it hurts when you get shot," says my oldest son, William, 12, who owns three airsoft guns. "But trying not to get shot - and shooting other people - is what makes it so much fun."

Like the dozen or so 11- to 15-year olds who get together regularly after supper to wage simulated warfare around the Maison des jeunes in the centre of our village, he'd never even heard of an airsoft gun until a few weeks ago.

Neither had I, despite the fact that I'm a gun owner who grew up using compressed-air weapons like pellet and BB guns.

Then, like now, the golden rule of responsible gun handling was to never aim or fire a gun - any gun - at another person.

But the very nature of airsoft tag - and how the guns are marketed, particularly to kids - runs counter to that principle.

Originally produced as toys in Japan, where individual ownership of real guns is illegal, in the 1970s with a name - Air Soft - that differentiated their larger (and therefore slower) plastic ammunition from the smaller, faster copper and steel shot fired by standard BB guns, the clear plastic-barreled pistols and rifles are so real looking they are widely used as a non-lethal, live-fire training tool for police and military forces in the United States.

Still popular in Japan, where the number of "airsoft hobbyists" is believed to be in the hundreds of thousands, the guns are also becoming increasingly popular among many American sport shooting and close-combat enthusiasts. "The whole idea and beauty of airsoft," reads the website of one Kentucky-based weapons retailer who sells the guns, "is the fact that it is relatively safe and useable (indoors) where conventional BB guns or paintball guns cannot be used."

Unlike paintball, which has been popular across North America for two decades, airsoft guns started showing up in Canada just a few years ago, first in small sporting goods stores and, now, on the shelves of the country's biggest retailers, including Wal-Mart.

Because airsoft bullets fire at a velocity of less than 152 metres per second, they are not regulated by federal gun-control laws in Canada.

While some provinces and municipalities have laws regulating such non-powder firearms (Ontario, for example, requires a minimum age of 18 to buy the ammunition for air guns and BB guns, while Halifax forbids their firing within municipal limits), there are no restrictions on their sale or use in Quebec.

Airsoft manufacturers, however, most of them located in the U.S., caution retailers against selling the weapons to minors.

Most models also come with safety glasses - the only protective gear that the manufacturers "strongly recommended" users wear.

Steve Deschênes, owner of Passion Chasse & Pêche, a store in the Quebec City suburb of Beauport that caters to hunters and anglers - and the only one of the half-dozen hunting shops in the region to carry airsoft guns - says most of his airsoft sales have been to boys age 14 to 18, who come into the store with fathers who are there to look at firearms.

Deschênes said he and his staff try to adhere to a policy of refusing to sell the guns to kids under 16 who aren't accompanied by their parents, "but it's not always easy. It comes down to using your common sense."

He has enjoyed brisk sales of the weapons since he began stocking Crossman products for the first time in March. "I'm happy with how they're selling," he said, noting that sales of airsoft guns at his store now rival pellet gun sales. "It's really good when you consider that I've never even advertised that I carry them."

According to Roy Stefanko, U.S. national sales manager for Crossman, which controls as much as 80 per cent of the air-gun market in North America, the guns are intended for shooting targets, not other people. "I've heard anecdotally that (airsoft guns) are being used to play (war simulation games)," he said this week. "But that's not what they are intended for. They're intended for practising shooting in a safe way."

He said Crossman goes "over the top" when it comes to safety concerning airsoft guns in Canada, like adding the orange tips to the barrel ends of the guns for sale in Canada, where customs regulations require the replicate guns be made of clear plastic, so as not to cause confusion with real guns.

"Our goal with airsoft guns is to help families rediscover the fun of shooting," said Stefanko. "We don't condone their use for shooting other people at all. It ultimately comes down to the responsibility of parents and adults to make sure the guns are used properly."

Wal-Mart Canada did not return calls to discuss its airsoft sales, but an official with an Alberta company that sells the weapons via the Internet did.

"There has not been an organized push to bring airsoft into the country, it has mostly been private efforts through small stores," said the official with, who asked not to be identified.

The company, which was founded just two years ago, now sells a wide range of airsoft guns - replicas of everything from an Ultimate Bolt Action Sniper Rifle and M16 rifles to the Desert Eagle .44 Magnum - to people of all ages "from Salt Spring Island, B.C., to Stittsville, Newfoundland. Obviously we sell more guns to larger cities such as Montreal and Calgary. However, per capita, we probably sell the most to small towns."

She noted, too, that sales tend to follow a pattern - one that I witnessed here in this rural village, a half-hour's drive east of Quebec City.

"We find that when we start selling product to one small town for the first time, we have multiple orders from the same town over the next few weeks," she said. "Airsoft is addictive and very quick to be picked up once people have seen the product or a game being played."

That was evident watching my son and his friends in battle.

Divided in schoolyard fashion into two teams of about 10 players each - half with guns, half without; all wearing a variety of protective eyewear ranging from the safety glasses supplied by the gun-maker to ski goggles and sunglasses - they ran around on the grass inside the village's outdoor rink, shooting each other to screams of pain and laughter in an ad hoc game that resembled tag.

"This is the best game I've ever played," says Alexandre Couture, a tall and lanky 13-year-old who recently bought an airsoft pump shotgun - one of a half-dozen being used that night. "It's really good exercise and it's a blast shooting other people."

"It's awesome," adds Alexis Herrmann, a 12-year-old with an infectious smile who has also participated in airsoft battles with kids his age in other nearby villages - and who proudly shows off a half-dozen angry red welts on his back at the break. "It hurts to get shot but you have to to get close enough to shoot somebody."

All the kids said they recognized the danger of being shot in the eye. But they said those risks were diminished by the rules they set, like no shooting after a time out is called and no shooting of those who aren't wearing protective glasses.

Those crimes are supposedly punishable by the mass shooting of the perpetrator by all the participants. But in the half-hour I watched the kids wage simulated warfare, I saw numerous infractions that went unpunished - one of which resulted in a welt on the face of a non-combatant.

I also saw many cases of dangerous handling of firearms, like the pointing of a weapon - with finger on trigger - at unprotected faces. Loaded guns were passed around freely, their barrels waving in every direction, instead of pointing down to the ground and away from others.

According to the Montreal Children's Friedman, most injuries that occur in simulated battles happen when the participants think the game is over and remove their protective gear.

The use of weapons by unsupervised minors is also a recipe for disaster.

"These guns are not toys (and) things can get out of control very quickly," she said. "They have the potential to cause serious injury at any moment (so) kids should not be let loose with them."

She added that, like any activity in which risks are involved - everything from skiing and cycling to the use of airsoft guns and backyard trampolines - it's up to parents to assess those risks.

"A great day outdoors filled with laughter and fun should not end in a visit to hospital."

Much to William's chagrin, this dad has decided the shootouts at the outdoor rink are a little too far on the wild side. And I'm not alone, since the young adults in charge of the Maison des jeunes next to the rink have asked both their administrative council and the village to ban the guns from the municipally-owned facility, which is designed as a safe place for teens and pre-teens to hang out.

Not wanting to be a stick-in-the-mud, however, I have offered to supervise airsoft battles between my son and his friends in a nearby sandpit or another suitably isolated location. That way I can make sure the guns are being used safely, safety glasses are being worn properly, and fights are fair.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Police officers train for shootings at Ball State with airsoft guns

Four Kokomo Police Department officers ready to storm the building. Equipped with masks and airsoft guns, they rush into the Johnson Residence Hall at Ball State University .
As the officers rush in with an instructor following them in a neon vest, they find a disheveled room with chairs and mattresses festooned along the floor.

They keep moving through the room, patrolling for any shooters, and they pass through a door. As they enter, the lead officer trips over a string that is attached to a chair.
“It’s a booby-trap,” one of the Kokomo officers says.

“All right, the first officer is dead,” the training guide says.
The first officer – the one who tripped the trap – drops to the ground. The others proceed with their emergency response exercises. In this case, the emergency is a shooter.

Gene Burton, Ball State University director of public safety, said the training sessions combine classroom work and a realistic simulation to teach about 70 officers how to combat an active shooter.
“I think they are vitally important,” Burton said.

Plans on paper are important to have, he said, but plans lose value if officers don’t have hands-on training in those situations. Also, campus incidents such as the deadly shooting at Virginia Tech in April 2007, emphasize the importance of these exercises. Tech student Cho Seung-Hui killed 32 before taking his own life.
Ball State held a similar training session five or six years ago in the Burris Laboratory School , and it was Ball State ’s turn to hold the training event. Training events occur throughout the state at various locations.

“We try to do something to this effect yearly,” Burton said.

The cost of the exercises would be minimal, Burton said, but most of the costs would be labor costs where departments would pay officers and instructors overtime for the training. Airsoft guns are cheap, especially compared to simunitions.
Russ Tussey, a Peru Police Department police officer, said training sessions such as these offer the most realistic experience for an officer trying to learn what to do with an active shooter. Tussey went to Ball State ’s training instead of other police training sessions elsewhere because of the realism its course would offer.

“As a law enforcement officer, our job is to move toward that target,” he said. “That’s the most difficult part. That’s why we train like this.”
Tussey said the training offers applicable knowledge because there is always a potential to have a shooting happen at the local high school or an office building in town.

Jeff Whitesell, a Yorktown police officer, said he’s attending the training sessions because of the importance of knowing what to do if a shooting ever happens.
“I don’t think you can put a value on this training,” he said.

Whitesell went to Ball State ’s training because it was local, and if a shooting ever happens at a local school, he would probably get the call. If a shooting ever did happen, he said, a police department could never get enough help.

The practice sessions continue Tuesday and Friday. Officers go through one, four-hour session to complete the training.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Airsoft: Bang-up good time

A hostage is being held at gunpoint in a windowless room. Do you kick the door down? Do you go in shooting, hoping you’ll hit the bad guy before he gets you or his captive? Remember that the game ends if the hostage dies.
Decisions, decisions.

And, ohhhh, dude, the adrenaline rush!

Scenarios such as this, enhanced by disorienting laser beams, strobe lights, smoke machines, booming music and other special effects, are enacted five days a week in the spirit of good, safe fun at Airsoft CQB (for “close-quarter battle”) Playground, a 20,200-square-foot converted warehouse in the southwest made to look like an urban airsoft combat zone.

“I’m trying to create a place where people come and respect the gun and have a safe place to play,” said owner Samsom.

Similar in size and weight to real guns, airsoft guns use motorized gear boxes with pressurized springs to shoot BBs. The models allowed at Samson's venue shoot pellets at no more than 350 FPS (Feet per second).

Samson claims the game is safer than paintball. “If you’re looking for injuries, it has a very low injury rate,” he said.

“Airsoft BBs are like an extension of your hand. It’s like playing tag.”

Albeit with a welt-raising punch: Goggles are a must and gloves are optional but highly advisable, as are vests.

Even Jarad Mann, host of the who wears a size 15 shoe, stands 6 feet 5 and weighs “370 on a good day” — “I’m a whole lot of man,” he likes to say — had an anthill-sized bump on his impressive belly after his first round of airsoft antics recently.

The stinging mishap, par for the course for both beginning and more experienced players, did not deter him: “I live three miles down the road, down in Silver Creek, so I’ll be here a lot,” he said.


Some might wonder whether those — especially kids — who play airsoft and other war-inspired games are being socialized to be violent.

“It’s not my place to say it’s right or wrong, but there would be competing arguments,” said CSUB sociology professor Rhonda Dugan.

“People on one side would say that this is socializing kids to solve problems through violent means instead of talking.”

The other side, she said, might say these games teach such positive values as respect for weapons, patriotism and competition — as well as teamwork, as games usually consist of teams fighting each other. A pellet hits you and you’re out.

Dugan said kids are exposed to various “agents of socialization”: family, school, peers, the mass media and other influences like video games or reality scenario re-enactments.

Ultimately, families that allow their children to participate in battle games should teach them that they are just games, she said. Which is why the idea of having kids shoot pellets at one another did not cause Dugan as much concern as the re-enactment of a hostage-taking. That made her “a little uncomfortable,” she said.


“We always treated guns like they were loaded,” he said. “We grew up that way. That’s how we were taught. We never messed around when our parents weren’t around.”

He used to run a local paintball field called Target Zone, he said, but closed it down about three years ago.

He opened his airsoft playground at the beginning of the year because he wanted to have “a controlled environment” where kids and other enthusiasts of simulated battle games could come and vent some energy, hone their skills or just plain have fun.

“Usually most of my customers are probably in their late teens up to 50,” he said.

One such customer is Donny Breedlove, 41. He’s been at Bakersfield Airsoft a few times, he said.

“Everyone really, really thinks about what it would be like to be on a SWAT team or police,” he said. “You get to play army like when we were kids. Everyone comes out laughing and saying how much fun we had.”

Dugan said reality games can create what sociologists call a “hyperreality.”

“It’s as real as you can get but it’s even better than reality because there is no risk involved.”

Kaytlin had not yet played airsoft. Her dad was just showing her the place.

“I would not let her go in by herself unless I went,” her father said. Watkins wouldn’t have it any other way when younger teens are involved.


“Just set up and let them do their own training,” he said. “It’s a safe and inexpensive way for law enforcement to train” using SWAT-like realistic scenarios.

And he’s not at all concerned that the war game experiences he sells might inspire real-life violence in the minds of his clients, either. He said he caters to “upstanding members of the community.”

“I want to have moms or dads, or both, bring their kids to come to a place where they’ll be safe and enjoy ‘family-oriented fun.’”

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Sport Of Airsoft vs. The Sport Of Paintball

In the previous article of The Sport of Airsoft vs. The Sport of Paintball, we established one of the major differences between the two sports is the actual guns, and not necessarily the cost. I would now like to turn to the conditions of each sport and what they entail.

I have recently seen more and more professional Paintball games being played and broadcasted on Television. I watch the teams compete and the strategy they import to the playing fields. With no offense towards these Paintball teams, I have to say I don’t see much strategy used, especially in “SpeedBall.”

It always seems to come down to the same thing and same strategy for every team. Get your sprinters to get in close, making sure the first line is spread out while the back field players shoot as much and as fast as they can. Now, I know that most people think that this is strategy, but in my experience any Joe Blow who can move their index and middle finger fast enough can get into the sport.

When I first started participating in Paintball games I had a rental gun that wasn’t so accurate or effective from a long distance. I remember that a guy on the other team had a great gun with a double tap trigger and stood in the very back of the field shooting tons of paint towards our team. I understand that he was using the only strategy that he knew to work, but to me that contradicts the game.

In that specific case there is no sport involved, it has everything to do with equipment. I could only imagine if they had five other people standing back there doing the same thing. How much fun would that be?

So is strategy involved in Airsoft, or a better strategy that involves more than just equipment? I want to make a note that better equipment will definitely optimize your sport experience, but I don’t think a sport should solely rely on having the best equipment. It takes the fun out of the game and sooner or later it takes the strategy out as well.

Personally, I would much rather be holding a airsoft sniper rifle with a long range scope, backing my team up from an elevated level several hundred feet behind them and making sure that their every move is safe. Or posted on the flank while skirmishing through a thick set of woods holding an Airsoft M16 AEG fully-automatic machine gun, backed up with a 9milimeeter strapped to my ankle incase I needed it for some close combat.

Gaming can take place in an open field with no barriers or a 100-yard field full of trees, brush, and bushes. This all happens while talking on the radio, knowing every location my team is in. This makes for some extreme planning and strategy, not to mention some extreme fun.

So what sport is emerging and what sport is becoming the ‘equipment war’ rather than a sport? When it comes to The Sport of Airsoft versus The Sport of Paintball I would have to choose Airsoft, and not just because of the costs or the clean up, but simply because of the realistic features and adventures involved. From the guns to the gaming it makes more sense to have fun in a realistic game of warfare without the death part.

In any case, when it comes to sport, I would have to say crawling on the ground under brush or posting yourself 35 feet in the air decked out in camouflage sniping people from an elevated position is more sport than standing in the back of a field loading and shooting, loading and shooting as fast as you can. In other words I think it is evident which sport is actually emerging and unfortunately which equipment race is on its way out.
About the Author
PJ Ace is a writer a site that specializes in airsoft and paintball.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Police: Marengo dad shot Airsoft gun at kids

MARENGO – A Marengo father told police that he was playing a game of airsoft with his children when he shot them in the legs with hard plastic projectiles similar to pellets, authorities said Wednesday.

Police saw otherwise and charged Thad Smith, 33, of the 800 block of North Hale Street, with two counts of domestic battery this week. Smith shot at least two of his three young children with an Airsoft gun, leaving welts on their bodies, Marengo Deputy Police Chief Joseph Hallman said.

Smith’s ex-wife filed a police complaint Sunday evening after the children, a 10-year-old girl and twin 9-year-old boys, returned to her house, Hallman said. Police arrested Smith on Monday evening and took him to the McHenry County Jail, where he posted 10 percent of his $1,500 bond Tuesday.

Hallman said Smith told police that he and the children were playing a game with the Airsoft gun. None of the children fired any shots at their father, he said.

“I think he was kind of surprised that we were involved,” Hallman said.

Smith’s next court date is scheduled for July 1. If convicted, Smith could be sentenced to up to a year in jail and fined up to $2,500.

Hallman said police had no problems with Smith in the past.

“I think it’s just poor judgment,” Hallman said. “To us, this is a first. There’s other forms of games to play, I would assume.”

Sunday, June 08, 2008

For 'weekend warriors,' airsoft is hard to beat

ROSEDALE, Md. | It's the year 2013, and Russian troops are locked in fierce combat with NATO peacekeeping forces in Eastern Europe.

Bedeviling both sides is "Sheik's Fist," an unpredictable band of terrorists led by Sheik Rattlen Roll, a mysterious mercenary whose sole objective is to inflict destruction and chaos.

Thus was the stage set for "Operation Grizzly Agenda," an airsoft scenario game played in late May in the woods at Outdoor Adventures paintball field in Rosedale, near Baltimore.

Cassandra Ingles (above, left) of Towson, Md., dons her equipment. Michael Kim (above, right) of Columbia, Md., prepares for his first airsoft game. Many participants have military experience or are in law enforcement, who play to keep their skills sharp.

More than 200 enthusiasts, mostly teenage boys and men in their 20s and 30s, plus a handful of brave, young women, sported full camouflage gear and carried stunningly realistic replicas of MP5 submachine guns, M4 carbines and L96 sniper rifles, as well as Beretta M9s and other side arms.

Despite the daylong, testosterone-fueled battle in the woods, no one got hurt. And that's by design. Airsoft guns, though realistic in size and looks, only fire lightweight, 6 mm BB-sized plastic pellets.

Photo Gallery: Airsoft Scenario

But because the pellets fly at up to 420 feet per second (nearly 300 mph), safety is paramount. Like paintball players, airsoft players wear Darth Vader-type masks that shield their faces, eyes and ears.

Airsoft pellets merely bounce when they hit a player, unlike paintballs, which leave an unmistakable colorful splotch where they break.

Cassandra Ingles (above, left) of Towson, Md., dons her equipment. Michael Kim (above, right) of Columbia, Md., prepares for his first airsoft game. Many participants have military experience or are in law enforcement, who play to keep their skills sharp.

Honesty and safety

Befitting an image of military integrity, airsoft players are encouraged to play honestly and call themselves out when hit.

In this scenario game, players that had been hit had to stop playing and wait be "healed" by a designated medic or fellow team member or walk off the field to their reinsertion point for a few minutes before rejoining the action.

"Airsoft is a completely honor-based game, which is the main reason why parents are eager to let their children be involved," said Josh Davenport, one of the founders of Mid-Atlantic Airsoft Players Registry (MAAPR), the group that organized last week's scenario game.

Ryan Kim, 13, of Crofton, Md., began playing airsoft with his friends in January.

"Now my dad and my uncle are here because of me," Ryan said proudly.

Similar to other members of the Russian team, the Kims all wore green camo, in contrast to the NATO team's desert tan.

"It's my first time," said Ryan's uncle, Michael Kim, wearing a protective vest and sporting an M4 carbine. His game strategy? "Stay low. Follow orders. Don't get shot."

A player on the NATO team patrols "Turducken City," the turf designated as a terrorist stronghold that both the NATO and Russian teams are challenged to secure. The setting is urban, as opposed to the woods, where most of the action takes place.

That, of course, was easier said than done.

Following a detailed safety briefing by Ty Brown, an MAAPR official and former tactical medic with the Department of Homeland Security, the players, evenly divided between Russian and NATO forces, walked to their respective starting positions in the woods.

When the game started, whoops, hollers and battle cries mixed with the rapid-fire clicking of fully automatic airsoft guns. Being hit by an airsoft pellet is usually painless, except at close range (less than 20 feet), when it can leave a small bruise.

The teams scored points by accomplishing preset strategic objectives, including finding and retrieving a downed unmanned aerial vehicle (a four-foot long PVC pipe with cardboard and foam wings), boxes of (fake) munitions, and taking and holding sections of the woods.

"Keep the squad together so we can work as a team," yelled Jack Fitzgerald, 24, an automobile mechanic and avid airsoft player from Silver Spring who commanded Russian Squad 5, which included the Kims.

Whether by teamwork or plain luck, Russian Squad 5 located the downed aerial vehicle deep in the woods and brought it back to headquarters for valuable points.

Growing recreation

Airsoft guns has been around for a dozen or so years, a relative newcomer compared with paintball, which has been played for about 40 years.

With 5.5 million regular players and 2,500 fields across the country, paintball is the fourth-largest "extreme" sport in the United States after in-line skating, skateboarding and snowboarding.

Paintball also has amateur and professional league tournaments, televised on ESPN, and boasts more than $300 million in annual equipment sales, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.

Few such numbers are available for airsoft.

"We only began insuring airsoft fields 11 months ago. We don't have any statistics," said a spokeswoman for the National Sports Entertainment and Recreation Association.

But airsoft is quickly growing in this and other areas, especially on the West Coast and in Japan and Europe.

"We're seeing a real increase out there," said Lee Draper, president of Outdoor Adventures, which hosted the scenario game.

One of the region's oldest (since 1988) and largest paintball operators, Outdoor Adventures began offering airsoft games at its field in Bowie a couple of years ago, attracting at first only several dozen players.

"Now we have 200 or more players at a single event," Mr. Draper said.

Back on the field

In the scenario, game play was halted around lunchtime as a fierce thunderstorm drenched the metro area.

During the break, Ronald Flynt, a real-life emergency medical technician from Calverton and member of the NATO team, reflected on the Russians' prowess.

Before the match commences, a safety briefing is conducted. Because the BB-sized plastic pellets fire at speeds up to 420 feet per second, airsoft players wear masks that protect their faces, eyes and ears.

"We were holding them pretty good, but then we got to 'Pacmanistan' and got ambushed. We got clobbered," he said.

The morning session, it seems, belonged to the Russians. But by afternoon, the tables had turned, and the NATO soldiers dominated play.

But not all the action took place in the woods. A separate playing area, about a football field in size and surrounded by 20-foot-high netting, housed "Turducken City," home turf to the deadly terrorist Sheik's Fist.

Photographs by Joseph Silverman/The Washington Times A call goes out for a medic after a player on the Russian team is hit in an airsoft scenario match played May 31 at Outdoor Adventures, a wooded gaming area near Baltimore. The property is mostly frequented by paintball players, but airsoft is increasing in popularity.

"They hate everybody," said MAAPR's Mr. Brown. "They're the ultimate aggressors. They roam the city and shoot anybody who comes their way."

Turducken City was created for close-quarters battle, or CQB in military lingo. About a dozen open railroad boxcars and other bunkers are strewn about, re-creating the uncertain environment that real SWAT teams face in urban settings or what coalition forces in Iraq face while conducting house-to-house searches.

Many police and military personnel play airsoft to keep their skills honed, Mr. Draper said, noting that several law-enforcement types were present.

During the morning, NATO team members took on the Sheik's Fist (in actuality, a veteran airsoft team). In the afternoon, it was Russia's turn. Unarmed "civilians" and "hostages" roamed the compound, intermixing with Sheik's Fist players.

Sarah Bradley, 22, had volunteered to be a hostage.

"I just scream and fall on the ground to attract attention, and hopefully, I get rescued," she said.

Sarah had accompanied Mr. Fitzgerald, her boyfriend and Russian Squad 5 leader, because it was his birthday. "It's my first time playing, and I'm excited," she said.

Shooting civilians in Turducken City resulted in losing otherwise hard-won points. This proved to be the NATO team's downfall, because while both teams scored equally well in the woods, the NATO peacekeepers hit more civilians in the city, tipping the balance to the Russians.

But as in real life, some battles never end. Already organizers are planning a rematch, which likely will be well-attended.

"This is a lot more realistic than paintball," said Mr. Flynt, the EMT from Calverton. "It's as realistic as you can get without anybody getting hurt."

And befitting airsoft's image of integrity, MAAPR said it will donate proceeds from the scenario game to Relay for Life to support pediatric cancer research.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Bridgeton HS student charged for pointing airsoft gun at teacher

BRIDGETON -- A Bridgeton High School student was arrested Thursday after he allegedly pointed a BB gun at a teacher's head Wednesday night following a school concert.

Rajahn S. Hargrove was arrested without incident after music teacher Nicholas Kline reported the crime to authorities Thursday morning, according to police.

Hargrove, 18, of Mount Vernon Street, was charged with aggravated assault, possession of an imitation firearm and terroristic threats. He was released on his own recognizance on the charges.

The alleged crime occurred outside of the high school following the concert.

Hargrove has indicated the incident was meant as a joke and that he and his friends believed Kline would take it as such, Bridgeton Police Lt. Jere Branch said.

Kline did not take the incident as a joke and opted to sign complaints against the student on Thursday.

Two males, whom police did not identify because they were not charged, reportedly grabbed Kline, with one of them putting the teacher into a headlock, according to police. Hargrove then allegedly pointed the BB gun at Kline's head.

"He used, unfortunately, very, very poor judgment and, as a result, there will be an expulsion hearing ... That is just intolerable," Bridgeton Public Schools Superintendent Dr. H. Victor Gilson said Friday.

Gilson did not identify the student, by name or by grade, when contacted by the News, but he did indicate the expulsion hearing will be held before the school board in June.

Police recovered an airsoft BB gun from Hargrove.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

High School Student Shoots Airsoft Pistol; Schools Lockdown

RICHLAND, Wash.--Police say Friday (4/25) morning, two teenagers were walking toward Richland High School, holding what appeared to be a gun.

Three schools, Marcus Whitman Elementary, Carmichael Middle School and Richland High School went into critical lockdown.

Both suspects later drove into the high school parking lot. A plastic airsoft BB gun was found under the passenger seat.

"They could have came out with that in their possession, in their hand," mentions Ofc. Allen Jenkins. We don't know. We may have to return fire. We may take that as a lethal confrontation. That's the last thing we want to have happen."

Richland police say one of the students could face charges. He was released to his parents.

These types of plastic airsoft guns are widely available at local sporting goods stores. Friday afternoon, a store employee admitted they are very deceiving.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Airsoft Guns: from men to boys

PEOPLE running around an enclosed battle field, complete with camouflage suits and tactical gears, while blasting sounds from the rifles cover the arena. A real military combat exercise?

No, it is the fun-filled shootout of airsoft enthusiasts, where “dead guys” walk off the field after getting “hit.”

An online encyclopedia,, defines Airsoft as a combat sport similar to paintball in which “participants eliminate opponents by hitting them with 6 mm plastic balls launched from Airsoft guns that can be powered by CO2, green gas, or electricity powered gearboxes actuating a piston.”

In plain terms, it is a game where men—and not a few women—get to relive their Indians vs. Cowboys days, this time as terrorists vs. counterterrorists.

The game was developed in Japan in the early 1970’s to provide an alternative for gun hobbyists since local laws prevented individuals from privately owning firearms. However, instead of goofy looking paintball guns, a heavy emphasis was placed on making accurate replicas of real firearms

Local enthusiasts had the chance to dust off their combat gears and play soldier during the 1st Philippine Airsoft Club of Mactan (Pacman) Airsoft Close Quarters Battle (QCB) Competition held last weekend at Mactan Central School, Lapu-Lapu City. Ten teams with at least 15 members each joined and showed zest in playing the sport.

A closed battle field with obstacles all around it and a killing house at the center was prepared for the airsoft game.

“The obstacles are there to make the game realistic,” said Joe Barquero of Team Pacman. Single walls and blue drums, where the players positioned for defense—or ambush— were scattered all over the arena.

In each airsoft game, two teams got inside the fenced arena to fight each other and raced for the game’s objective—a “bomb” locked inside a box which was placed in the killing house right at the middle of the field. The first team to unlock and diffuse the “bomb” wins the match.

However, unlike any other game, coaching isn’t allowed and killing a “dead guy”—an opponent who has already admitted to being hit—is also considered a violation in the game.

To make sure everyone follows the rules, game marshals are scattered around the arena to look for violations and to identify players who got hit. Airsoft players who have been hit by an opponent or unintentionally by a teammate’s friendly fire, will no longer be allowed to continue the game.


And getting hit, or admitting to have gotten hit, is where the gun-toting, adrenaline rushing sport finds a parallel with that of the gentleman’s game of golf—there is a premium on honesty.

Barquero emphasizes that honesty among airsoft players is important since no one could really monitor everything that is happening on every player in the field.

On the other hand, for another airsoft player, “shooting someone” is an enjoyable form of stress management.

“The game gives the airsoft players discipline, camaraderie and team work. It’s also a means of anger management,” says Rudy Patalinjug, a senior player of Team Pacman.

Pearl Ann Balajadia, who has been hooked in Airsoft due to her husband’s invitation, now treats the sport as a form of exercise, source of real fun and adrenaline rush.

For another airsoft enthusiast, getting the chance to play soldier is a lot of fun.

“It is a fun game wherein we are like real soldiers deployed in Basilan,” expressed senior criminology student Leoncio Pescador.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Army Airsoft Assualt

A little silly fun with airsoft guns and some army soldiers

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

First squirt guns, now airsoft guns on a helicopter!

On Monday I wrote about a quad rotor Microdrone mounting a squirt gun, currently in use by the British Transport Police. Today I ran across this video of a quad rotor helicopter with an independently aimable, camera equipped airsoft gun mounted on the top. It doesn’t appear to be a UAV in this configuration, and I’m kinda wondering why they didn’t mount the gun on the bottom of the aircraft. Still, it’s pretty effective looking, and not something I’d particularly want to be in the sights of.

From what I’ve dug up, the quad rotor platform is called the Pegasus (no relation). It can lift a 7 pound payload for 8 minutes, and once version includes a “garage” mounted underneath that can deploy an R/C scout car. More information about that can apparently be found on the forums, which has been down (for me, at least) for the last few hours. I’ll check back tomorrow, or if you notice anything, feel free to post about it in the comments

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Recent threats in Fort Collins put focus on airsoft guns

A man arrested for brandishing an airsoft gun and threatening people in Old Town this week and a February case in which boys pointed the guns at girls in a park have focused attention on the weapons, which are illegal to shoot in Fort Collins city limits.

Police arrested 18-year-old Adrian Campof-Leija Wednesday on suspicion of felony menacing for threatening people with an airsoft gun at the intersection of Linden and Walnut streets.

It’s the second incident involving airsoft guns that police have been called to in the past two weeks. The guns shoot plastic pellets or BBs and are sometimes used in a sport similar to paintball.

On February 23, police were called to Killdeer Drive after a couple of young boys pointed an air-soft gun at several young girls at Beattie Park. The gun was confiscated by a neighbor, who followed one of the boys back to his house.

No charges were filled and the airsoft gun will be destroyed.

It is illegal to use any weapon that fires a projectile in Fort Collins, including airsoft guns, accord-ing to police.

The guns are a danger to people, animals and private property, said Susan Vance, a Fort Collins po-lice officer.

They are also a danger to law enforcement.

“Some of them are so realistic looking that it's difficult for officers to know if it's a real gun,” said police spokeswoman Rita Davis.

Manufacturers make the guns with a painted tip to differentiate them from real guns, but that does not always help.

“Criminals can paint there guns so that they look like toys and kids can paint their guns to look real,” Vance said.

Airsoft guns have prompted Fort Collins police officers to draw their own weapons in the past, Davis said. No shots have been fired in these instances.
In cases across the country this has not always been the case.

A teenager was killed by police in Orlando, Fla., in 2006 after he pointed a realistic looking air rif-fle at an officer. Later that year a Chicago teen was shot by police when he brandished a BB gun.

These situations are lose-lose situations for officers, Vance said.

Vance experienced this when she observed two children playing what appeared to be an auto-matic pistol. She had to order both children to the ground while she checked the gun.

“It's scary for the officers because they don’t know (if it is a real gun),” she said. “We might put the people in a very uncomfortable position.”

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Two teens shoot bear and tiger at N.J. Zoo with Airsoft Guns

Two South Jersey boys charged with shooting exotic animals with pellet airsoft guns at a zoo in Cumberland County were released to their parents Monday after being held overnight at a juvenile detention center, authorities said.

A 17-year-old from Vineland and a 14-year-old from Bridgeton were arrested Sunday afternoon at the tiny Cohanzick Zoo in Bridgeton after witnesses saw and heard them shoot at a rare white tiger and a black bear, zoo officials said.

The boys, whose names were not released, were charged on multiple weapons counts even though they were only airsoft guns, said Kenneth Pagliughi, first assistant prosecutor for Cumberland County.

In addition, the SPCA signed charges against both boys for tormenting an animal, Pagliughi said.

The two boys allegedly scaled a fence and targeted a white Bengal tiger and a black Asiatic bear with Airsoft hard pellet guns, said Bev Greco, director of the Cumberland County SPCA.

Neither of the animals was seriously injured.

Witnesses called police who apprehended the youths on a road leading out of the zoo, said Greco.

As police approached, one of the boys dropped his Airsoft gun. Police seized another replica airsoft weapon from the younger boy, Greco said.

Both looked like realistic guns, Greco said.

"This could have ended in a very very bad way," Greco said. Several months ago in San Francisco, "two teens were mauled and another killed after tormenting a tiger. In addition, these Airsoft guns have been mistaken for the real thing by police."

"In both ways, these kids put their lives in serious danger," Greco said.

Kelly Shaw, the zoo's animal curator, found two hard plastic pellets in the tiger exhibit and three in the bear's compound.

"Thankfully, the animals had no evidence of trauma," Shaw said. "They both appeared well when I examined them."

Ganesha, the 11-year-old white tiger, has been with the zoo since he was four-months-old. Holly, the 12-year-old black bear, has spent her entire life in Bridgeton, Shaw said. Holly's brother, Ben, lives at the Philadelphia Zoo.

The Cohanzick Zoo is one of the last free zoos in the nation and is nestled on 10 acres in Bridgeton City Park.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Child brings airsoft gun to school, is arrested

NEWBERRY -- Just before the tardy bell rang on Thursday morning, as most children were gossiping or grabbing books from their lockers, a 12-year-old Oak View Middle School student was busy showing off a gun he had brought to school.

The brown and black gun, about as long as a pen, could easily be mistaken for a real gun if not for the bright orange tip.

"It did look like a handgun," said Sgt. Keith Faulk, public information officer for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

At least two students who been shown the gun by the boy went to School Resource Deputy Casey Hamilton and told him that a student had a gun.

Hamilton took the suspected student out of his classroom and asked him if he had something in his backpack that he should not have.

The student said "yes" and showed him the gun, a type of gun called an "airsoft" gun that uses compressed air to shoot a pellet.

The boy was arrested on the charge of possession of a firearm on school grounds, a felony, and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.

The boy was not using the gun in a threatening way but rather was "showing off" the gun, Faulk said.

And even though the gun was not a real gun, the charge is the same as if it were, Faulk said.

"It's still considered a firearm because it shoots a projectile," Faulk said.

Police received conflicting information from the boy and student witnesses, Faulk said.

The boy said he brought the airsoft gun to school because he was going to go to a friend's house after school to play, said Jackie Johnson, pubic information specialist for the Alachua County School District.

But other witnesses told police that the boy showed only the back of the gun, keeping the orange-painted tip hidden in his backpack, and said the gun was real.

Even if the boy had not said the gun was real, he would have been arrested, Faulk said.

That's because of the county's "zero-tolerance" policy toward guns, Faulk said.

The situation was handled correctly, from the students telling their school resourse officer, to the arrest of the boy, Faulk said.

This is not the first time a fake gun has been brought to a school in the district this year, but "one time is too often," Faulk said.

In addition to the felony charge, the boy is suspended for 10 days and the school will send the School Board an automatic recommendation for expulsion -- the standard procedure that occurs when a student brings a gun to school, Johnson said.

But just because expulsion is recommended does not mean that it will necessarily occur, Johnson said. A hearing will be held before the School Board in which the evidence is weighed and the parents and others can say why the boy should not be expelled.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weapon or toy: Could you tell? - uses for airsoft guns

When deputies arrived, Sgt. Duane Hendrix's children were in the street outside the Seattle police officer's Pierce County home.

Neighbors had spotted them running around, playing with what, to any casual observer, looked to be handguns. The deputies approached with their own weapons holstered, checked the children's guns and found them to be airsoft pistols, an increasingly popular type of replica gun that fires oversize plastic BBs.

Hendrix says his children have a healthy respect for firearms. But the incident -- his children treating toy guns like toys, not guns -- didn't sit well with him.

"After that, we sold them," said Hendrix, one of the Seattle Police Department's training sergeants. "That was enough."

Until the trigger is pulled, the differences between an airsoft M-16 assault rifle or Glock pistol and the real deal are next to impossible to distinguish.

The airsoft guns are, by design, faithful copies of the firearms they're intended to replicate. They're sold with blaze orange tips, but most people who shell out for a replica gun are quick to remove it.

That realism is the appeal for a growing number of weekend warriors who use the fake firearms in elaborate battle simulations. Law enforcement agencies and the military also train with the weapons, working through bloodless shootouts in preparation for the line of duty.

But the guns have also proved doubly dangerous. For criminals bent on robbery or intimidation, they're a readily accessible stand-in for bona-fide firearms. For some youths, airsoft guns have drawn real fire from police officers or frightened bystanders.

"I've held my real guns up to the airsoft versions of them, and, if they didn't have the orange tip on them, I couldn't tell the difference," said Jason Pfingsten, owner of Pacific Rim Airsoft in South Seattle. "These guys need to treat it like a real firearm, not thinking they're tough sticking it in their pants."

Pfingsten and his wife got into the airsoft business two years ago. An advocate for the sport, he spends many of his Sundays tromping through the woods with 30 or 40 other enthusiasts during weekly battles held on private properties in eastern King and Snohomish counties.

Developed in Japan three decades ago, airsoft has a small but growing following in the United States. Pfingsten said he expects it eventually will eclipse paintball, in part because of the added realism the replica guns bring. The 6 mm plastic pellets are also cheaper than paintballs and deliver a little less of a sting.

Like firearms, Pfingsten said, the airsoft guns can and are being misused by some, particularly youths.

Pfingsten said he always checks customers' identifications to make sure they're at least 18, as the law requires. He said he's also refused to sell guns to people who he believes intend to use them unlawfully.

Others aren't so scrupulous. Pfingsten said specialty stores such as his have a long-term interest in limiting the illegal use of airsoft; it's an interest not shared by gas stations and corner-store owners that have taken to stocking replica pistols.

Seattle police are now regularly encountering the guns while on patrol. Officers sometimes discover a phony pistol while frisking a suspect, but the guns also have been used in robberies and muggings around the city, according to police reports.

More often, though, police come across the guns while responding to vandalism calls or reports of someone firing a gun in public.

In September, an officer on patrol in Seattle's Broadview neighborhood ran across a young man pointing a pistol at passing cars while seated on a motor scooter, according to reports. The officer rushed from her car and was moving to confront the man when she heard seven or eight loud pops.

Hearing the gun, she recognized the weapon as an airsoft gun. Facing an armed police officer, the man quickly dropped the weapon and fled on the scooter.

But similar confrontations have ended in bloodshed elsewhere.

In 2006, a SWAT officer shot a 15-year-old Seminole County, Fla., boy who had drawn an airsoft gun resembling a 9 mm pistol. The same year, Chicago police shot and wounded a 14- year-old armed with a BB gun modeled on a Colt .45-caliber pistol, prompting protests from the city's black community.

Even under the best circumstances, officers aren't in a position to judge whether a gun is real, said Officer James Kim, an instructor with the Seattle Police Department's advance-training unit. By the time an officer gets a good look at the gun, it's likely too late.

Airsoft guns play a crucial role in a training scenario aimed at preparing officers for one of the most dangerous circumstances they're likely to encounter -- responding when a suspect reaches into his pockets. The move creates uncertainty for an officer; a suspect could be reaching for a driver's license or a pistol. Facing such a situation in October, a Seattle officer shot and wounded a cell-phone-wielding 13-year-old boy.

Demonstrating the training in a Seattle police gym, Kim played the perpetrator as Officer Robert Mahoney, another defensive tactics trainer and former college instructor, moved to arrest him. Kim's hand darted into his baggy camouflage jacket; Mahoney drew an airsoft pistol modeled on a Glock service weapon and fired.

Before airsoft, officers trained with paint-filled rounds that were dangerous at close range and cost 50 cents each, Kim said. The airsoft weapons let them get closer and allow officers to run through the drills dozens of times to refine their responses.

"It's the only method where you can drill decision-making skills," Mahoney said.

Though he spends his days surrounded with airsoft guns, Pfingsten said he's not convinced he'd be able to tell the difference if a robber drew one on him.

And, he said, he wouldn't risk guessing wrong.

"If somebody came and pulled a gun on me -- orange tip or not -- I'm not going to take a chance," Pfingsten said.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

10 Year Old Boy Holds up fellow classmate with airsoft gun

A 10-year-old boy was sent to juvenile hall after holding a airsoft gun to a classmate's head and robbing him of his Pokemon trading cards.

No one was injured in yesterday's incident.

Redwood City police say the fourth-grader brought an Airsoft gun to Roosevelt Elementary School and held it to a 6-year-old's forehead, demanding that the younger child give up the trading cards.

The fourth-grader has been suspended, school officials are considering whether to expel him

Friday, January 25, 2008

500,000 fake guns (airsoft) a year reach Britain

Up to half a million replica guns (airsoft) are flooding into Britain each year just through one port alone, police revealed today.

The airsoft guns, which can be converted into real guns in a matter of hours, are bringing terror onto the UK's streets. (this is completely false! Airsoft guns can not be converted into real guns!) (Ignorant Brits!)

Uzis, Berettas and AK47 airsoft rifles are among the huge stash of airsoft guns being shipped in from across the globe by importers at Felixstowe in Suffolk.

Surrender your guns: Met Chief Sir Ian Blair poses with a real uzi, right, and an imitation weapon at today's launch of the Met's four-week campaign

Though some are sold on legally police fear that most are falling into the hands of criminals who convert them into live firearms or use them to intimidate petrified victims.

Half of all gun-enabled crime, including street robberies, involves imitation weapons that have either been converted to fire deadly live ammunition or look so realistic even police can't tell they're fakes.

Scotland Yard yesterday launched a month-long "surrender" scheme, urging young men and boys or their relatives to hand in airsoft guns at police stations anonymously, in a bid to stem escalating gun crime.

The surrender scheme was launched by the Met to tackle the easy availability of airsoft guns on London streets and enforce new legislation introduced in October which makes it an offence to manufacture, import or sell realistic imitation guns.

The maximum sentence for carrying a replica airsoft gun in public has also been increased from six months to a year.

BB guns, cap guns, blank-firing pistols, airguns and airsoft guns - which fire plastic ball bearings and are used at accredited game centres - are all included in the new laws.

One mother has already walked into a station in South East London and handed in 19 airsoft guns that she had found in her son's bedroom.

Detective Chief Superintendent Barry Norman, of the Violent Crime Directorate, said that there were 30 or 40 importers at Felixstowe each bringing in about 1,000 guns on a monthly basis.

He said: "We don't know yet exactly how many are coming in. But if you're looking at a thousand a time then the numbers quickly become vast.

"Some of these will be destined for legal means but my assumption is that a great many are destined for illegal outlets. We are doing are very best with Customs to detect this.

"We have a consignment of airsoft weapons sitting in the dock at Felixstowe now. This is about tackling the supply chain internationally, nationally and locally.

Mr Norman revealed he once found an airsoft gun in his own teenage son's bedroom a couple of years ago as he cleared out the room when his son left to go to university.

He said: "It horrified me. I was terrified it was real. I was relieved that it wasn't but that relief was followed by the realisation that he must have walked the streets with it to get it here."

The Met is launching a crackdown on market stalls and shops where airsoft guns are mainly sold. Officers will carry out test purchases on companies selling them on the internet and prosecute suppliers.

Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said: "Imitation weapons cause fear and distress on our streets and I would urge our communities to take this chance to get rid of them.

"Every airsoft gun handed in is one less that can be used for violence and intimidation. Whilst overall crime in London has significantly decreased this campaign is aimed at young people whose lives are being blighted by gun culture and imitation firearms are an intrinsic part of that."

The Met is also distributing 600,000 leaflets in "priority" boroughs urging people to hand in the weapons.

Commander Shaun Sawyer said: "Whether it belongs to you, your son or daughter, brother or sister, friend or partner, by handing it in you will be taking one more weapon out of circulation."

Guest rose to fame the Nineties, appearing as a Page three girl in The Sun and men's magazines like Loaded and FHM

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Two arrested in airsoft gun shooting incident

Two people were arrested Sunday night after a man reported that he was following a reckless driver near Payson when someone in the car fired a gun at him, according to the Utah County Sheriff's Office. Two arrested in airsoft gun shooting incident

Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon said that the airsoft gun fired from the car was an Airsoft pellet gun, and the victim was originally following the shooter's green Cadillac Escalade because its occupants owed him money. When the victim pulled closer to the Cadillac to write down its license number so he could report the driver for reckless driving, the driver stopped and began shooting, the victim told police.
"The complainant actually knew the three suspects and there had been some type of argument over a debt," a press release from the sheriff's office stated.

The victim called 911 to report that he was being chased by a reckless driver. A Santaquin police officer pulled the alleged shooter over near the Payson landfill, around 11300 South and 6000 West, Cannon said. When the Cadillac pulled over, one of the passengers jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot.

The Utah County Metro SWAT team was called to the scene, and a sheriff's office aircraft helped search the area with infrared cameras. Police found the suspect after about an hour and a half, Cannon said.

The victim believed he was being fired at with an actual handgun, but police found an airsoft pellet gun instead. Cannon said officers also found a substance that tested positive for cocaine.

The driver of the Cadillac, 22-year-old Jorge Sinderos, of Provo, was booked into the Utah County Jail on charges of aggravated assault, possession of cocaine, intoxication, reckless driving and no driver's license.

"By statute, if he'd have been firing with a real gun he would've been charged with attempted homicide," Cannon said of Sinderos. "The victim believed it to be a real gun. That makes it aggravated assault, a third-degree felony."

Alberto Vasquez-Javier, 28, of Payson, was charged with failure to stop for police, and was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for contempt of court from the Utah County Justice Court. A third occupant of the vehicle was not arrested or charged with any crimes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Marines, sailors play airsoft hard

MARINE CORPS BASE, CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii (Jan. 23, 2008) -- “I need cover fire on that tower now,” a Marine yells out to his team members. “Watch out for the sniper! Get down, get down.” Too late, the Marine takes a hit right in the neck. In real combat, this would most likely be his end, but in airsoft it’s a walk of shame off the field.

Airsoft is a sport enjoyed by military, law enforcement and everyday Joes who like the rush of simulated war games, and the chance to pit tactics against other enthusiasts.

Unlike paintball, this rapidly-growing sport uses realistic weapons from M4’s with M203 grenade launchers, to the M249 squad automatic airsoft weapon.

Marines and Sailors from U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific have taken to this sport like ducks to water, forming an “elite” unit called Double Tap.

Three corpsmen stationed here started the unit. These three, who go by their call signs, Los Gatos, El Jefé and Smooth Operator, have spread airsoft fever throughout the command.

“The corpsmen got me hooked when they first showed me their airsoft guns. They were so realistic I had to try it out,” said a Marine who goes by the call sign El Diablo. “I went out and got my own airsoft gun and now my Marines and buddies from my former unit are getting involved as well.”

The unit’s founders have been involved in the sport for more than six months. In a short amount of time, they built up their arsenal and became highly competitive in the Hawaii airsoft community.

“We were playing so much, we decided to form a unit,” said Los Gatos. “A few of us have been in real combat so it goes hand-in-hand with our jobs and previous experiences.”

For these service members, airsoft is not just a fun thing to do on the weekends.

“You can apply military training in a highly-competitive and exciting sport,” said Smooth Operator. “The challenge of having a target, an objective and using basic skills to achieve them makes this sport very appealing.”

“It’s good times for us because a lot of us came from grunt units and we don’t get to do much of that training anymore,” Los Gatos added.

According to the members of Double Tap, their combined military experience gives them an edge over their competition.

“Some of the guys we play against have been playing these kind of sports for 20 years. They try to use paintball tactics that don’t work in this game,” Los Gatos said. “We take the advantage by using basic war-fighting tactics to bring the fight to them. We dominate a lot of the other teams.”

The sport is fairly popular in Hawaii, with ranges all across the island. Some of the more popular ones are in Barbers Point, Kuoloa Ranch and Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

Japan dominates the airsoft market. Hawaii’s close proximity to Japan makes it easier to get more and better equipment here than on the mainland, according to Los Gatos.

Airsoft guns are powered by batteries and compressed air, and shoot small plastic pellets. Some of the more powerful weapons, like sniper rifles, can have a muzzle velocity of 700 feet per second. An M16A2 assault has a muzzle velocity of 3,050 fps.

“Even though the rounds are small they are fired at an fps that is hundreds faster than paint ball,” said Los Gatos. “They hurt and leave welts, but cause no serious damage.”

The sport has several advantages over paintball, according to Los Gatos and Smooth Operator. But there is one aspect of paintball they wish could be implemented into airsoft.

“The only downfall the sport has is, unlike paintball, you have to use the honor system,” El Diablo said. “If your opponent won’t go down, you just keep shooting him until he does.”

The sport has a lot to offer military members, according to Double Tap. Besides combat training, physical conditioning and good, old-fashion fun, it can help keep Marines out of trouble.

“A lot of Marines waste a lot of money and time on dumb stuff, like getting wasted on the weekends,” El Diablo said. “This sport is a much healthier and better way to spend your time and money.”