Monday, June 29, 2009

Game Face And National Guard To Host Airsoft Skirmish At Watkins Glen International

ROCHESTER, New York - Game Face Airsoft has partnered with the United States National Guard to sponsor an airsoft skirmish event for National Guardsmen and women and interested members of the public at the Camping World Grand Prix at the Watkins Glen IndyCar Series over the July Fourth weekend. During the weekend, a variety of National Guard and open-to-the-public airsoft skirmishes will be held.

Game Face Airsoft will supply airsoft guns, ammunition and advisors for the skirmishes at the National Guard booth site at the Glen. According to Mark DeBoard, Director of Shooting Services at Crosman, “If you want to experience the excitement of an airsoft skirmish, come watch the National Guard soldiers in action, and then gear up with safety gear and try it yourself. This is the first skirmish to feature our Game Face AEG’s made by Classic Army using the new, Game Face Verdict Marking BB’s.” Verdict Marking BB’s leave a colored mark when they hit at velocities greater than 60 feet per second “verifying that players have actually hit their target,” said DeBoard. “We’ll be playing an ‘objective’ type game requiring teams to engage a mission focused on capturing each others’ team flags. For this airsoft skirmish event, five member teams must complete their mission and reach their objective, while preventing the other team from capturing their flag,” said DeBoard.

Major John Sandefur of the National Guard is handling the skirmish obstacle details at the Glen and will supply the site with military vehicles and battlefield props to lend authenticity to the event. “You’ll be able to watch Guard soldiers actually skirmishing and then test your own skill,” said Sandefur.

“This is not Crosman’s first experience at the Glen,” said DeBoard. “For the last three summers we’ve been at the Glen with our airguns and archery products during NASCAR race events, and found the race spectators really excited to have hands-on experience with our products. The chance to partner with the National Guard offers us a great opportunity to show race fans our new Game Face Airsoft line of high end Classic Army airsoft guns, and state-of- the-art Game Face Verdict Marking BB’s, while helping the National Guard with their recruiting efforts,” states DeBoard.

For members of the public to participate in the skirmish, they must be at least 18 years of age, and wear the eye protection provided by Game Face Airsoft. The National Guard site can be found along the East Midway between Richardson and Seagraves Roads at the Glen.

UPDATE! - Airsoft Gun Park Approved

The Collinsville City Council has approved zoning changes for The Break, a paintball and Airsoft gun facility on the western edge of the city.

The approval on Monday gives developers the go-ahead to set up and begin operating at 4604 Fairmont Ave.

The game area is planned for 48 acres between Fairmount Park Race Track, the Collinsville Waste Water Plant and Interstate 255. Developers were given a temporary placeholder permit lasting five years, allowing them to put up portable toilets, a hand washing station, concession building and large props along the game field.

The site is for airsoft guns practice and games.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

HK Hates Airsofters

Apparently Heckler and Koch is now suing every manufacturer of Airsoft guns for copyright infringement…

Oh, you have no idea the delicious irony of this moment. See, when I wrote my “HK, because you suck, and we hate you” rant a couple of years ago, I did it as somebody in the gun business who didn’t like the way they did business. As a store owner and NFA guy, HK was a pain in the rear to deal with. Since that time, that one rant has gotten more hits than anything that I’ve ever written, and I get constant hate mail from people who tell me I’m a big-stupid-mean-jerk-face for not worshipping at the altar of Teutonic superiority.

Ironically, most of that hate mail has come from Airsofters. My rant has shown up on every airsoft gun forum you can think of, including ones in German, French, and Slovokian (I think). I can always tell when those links get posted because then I then get fifty e-mails telling me how stupid and poor I am, and that I need to go play with my Rugers because I must be too poor to appreciate real guns.

Oh, wait, Ruger makes a piston AR now too… So how are you guys enjoying those HK 416s that you all swore to me would be available TWO YEARS ago? Oh, yes, I know, Delta Force uses the 416… It really is that awesome. I’m sure it is the finest killing machine ever forged by the hand of man or god, but you just can’t have one, because you still suck, and they still hate you.

One day I’m sure that HK will make 416s available for civilians for twice as much money as their competitors, and then I’ll get a couple thousand e-mails telling me how stupid and wrong I was several years after I posted the rant… The internet is timeless in its own way. So you guys just keep your fingers crossed, and I’m sure your 416 will be delivered by a magic leprechaun riding a pegasus, and it will only be years after every other gun company in the world has already been selling thousands of copies of whatever their assault rifle is in the US for less money.

Heck, I’m waiting for the Marlin Advanced Combat Rifle to come out the same time as the Perazzi forward-ejecting Battle Bullpup.

Oh, man, I’m laughing out loud as I type this. Because all those Airsofters who’ve given me crap are now getting sued by HK! Not only do they not want you to have their real guns, they don’t want you to own airsoft guns that look like their weapons. That’s a whole new level of hate.

Ironically, this is about the stupidest thing they could have done from a business perspective. So either the Airsoft manufacturers will pay them a tiny royalty, or more likely they will just alter the design enough not to be a trademark violation. If HK was a normal company, they would realize that they’re kicking their fan base and their stalwart internet defenders in the crotch, but you’ve got to remember that actually hating the people who purchase their products is standard operating procedure there.

It seems like every other gun company I’ve dealt with actually encourages Airsoft companies to make guns of theirs available to the public, because that just increases brand awareness. It is just like getting their gun put into a movie as a prop. It doesn’t hurt their overall sales. What… you were totally going to buy that USP .45, but went with the one that shot plastic BBs instead because of the cost?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

KSPR Confronts Convicted Killer Posing as ATF Agent with Airsoft Gun

KSPR confronted Mark "Maverick" Sager shortly after he posted bond on Tuesday. His neighbors at the Indian Point Marina say they were glad to see him go, but he surprised them by reappearing one day after he was arrested for impersonating an officer.

In the early months of 2009 an individual known as “Maverick” befriended several law enforcement officials in Stone County. “Maverick” lives on a boat at the Indian Point Marina and openly spoke about his past as a retired A.T.F. agent throughout the community.

“Maverick” had a retired police vehicle that he outfitted with lights, sirens and two way radio communications. He explained that although retired, he kept his car ready to assist where needed, and carried a firearm as protection from people he had dealt with in the past. He would also walk around the marina with an exposed airsoft gun, handcuffs, pager, phone and a spare airsoft gun magazine on his belt.

“Maverick” would “back up” law enforcement officers on different occasions by arriving on scene of a traffic stop or a call for service. As Stone County Deputies interacted with “Maverick” more frequently, they became suspicious and ran a criminal background check.

“Maverick” was identified as Mark Sager from the Platte County Area in Northern Kansas City. A criminal records check revealed that Mark Sager was arrested for Capital Murder in 1977 and was convicted of Manslaughter for the murder of a 14 year old girl when he was 17 years of age.

Mark Sager, white male 48 years of age, was arrested on June 22, 2009 at the Indian Point Marina. At the time of arrest he was wearing a makeshift duty belt as described earlier. It was determined that the weapon was an airsoft Glock Pistol.

Mark Sager has been charged with False Impersonation of a Law Enforcement Officer, a Class A Misdemeanor, and his bond has been set at $5,000 cash or surety. The investigation continues.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Airsoft gun fights coming to Collinsville?

A group of entrepreneurs wants to turn an empty Collinsville field into a major destination for airsoft gun games.

The City Council is scheduled to vote Monday on a permit for The Break, a 48-acre course near Fairmount Park Race Track.

The park is planned on an empty parcel at 4604 Fairmont Ave. just west of the Collinsville Waste Water Plant and southeast of Interstate 255. Players on the course will use compressed air-powered guns for paintball and airsoft, which uses pellets.

The developer is Crossroads Development Group, the same company marketing a $573 million soccer stadium near interstates 255 and 55/70 in Collinsville.

The Planning Commission approved the plans earlier this month.

"It's a very unique project," said Assistant Community Development Director Mitch Bair. "They are planning to draw in airsoft gun national tournaments, which could be great business for local hotels and restaurants. It has the potential for great secondary impact."

The developers are seeking a temporary placeholder permit. The project will include a double row of nets, a gravel parking lot, portable toilets, a hand-washing station and a temporary storage building where they could sell equipment and concessions, according to plans.

Co-owner Jed Wilson said the fields will also include a 30-acre city scene where gamers can run around replica buildings, helicopters, airplanes, buses and trucks.

"Anything we can to resemble a real war-like setting," he said, adding that he's already received interest from law enforcement groups wanting to use the site to help with training.

The permit allows city officials to review the facility's operations and force changes if any problems pop up - such as needing more toilets, increasing setbacks or adding parking.

Although the semi-rural property is already zoned by the city for commercial use, the Planning Commission had issues with the best use of the land, Bair said. There were also concerns about gunshots scaring horses at nearby Fairmount Park, something the developers plan to address during construction.

"It's a difficult site," Bair said. "What do you put next to a sewer treatment plant?"

The project also received a letter of support from Fairmount Park President Brian Zander saying that he was working with owners on co-promotion ideas and parking arrangements.

Wilson said the group wants to make the facility more permanent in the future, with large airsoft fields and a target shooting range.

If approved Monday, Bair said, the owners are hoping to get the facility running in about 30 days to take advantage of the current recreational season. Once off the ground, it would remain open all year long.

Representatives from Crossroads Development did not return calls about the project.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Hard Times for the Mil-Sim Market?

Heckler and Koch, manufacturers of military and civilian firearms has filed suit with several paintball and airsoft manufacturers citing trademark infringment. It’s impossible to say if these lawsuits will ultimately be successful, but it’s a troubling precendent during an economic downturn.

Heckler & Koch, Inc. v. BT Paintball Designs, Inc.
Lawsuit Details

RFC Case Number: T-H09-689B
Court Case Number: 1:09-cv-00689-DFH-TAB
File Date: Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Plaintiff: Heckler & Koch, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Brian J. McGinnis, Darlene R. Seymour of Continental Enterprises
Defendant: BT Paintball Designs, Inc.
Cause: 15:1125 Trademark Infringement (Lanham Act)
Court: Indiana Southern District Court
Judge: Judge David Frank Hamilton
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker

__________________________________________________ _______________

Heckler & Koch, Inc. v. Tippman Sports LLC et al

RFC Case Number: T-H09-560T
Court Case Number: 1:09-cv-00560-WTL-TAB
File Date: Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Plaintiff: Heckler & Koch, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Brian J. McGinnis, Darlene R. Seymour of Continental Enterprises
Defendant: Tippman Sports LLC
Tigerstripe Paintball LLC
Cause: 15:1114 Trademark Infringement
Court: Indiana Southern District Court
Judge: Judge William T. Lawrence
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker
__________________________________________________ _____________

Heckler & Koch, Inc. v. Precision Airsoft, LLC

RFC Case Number: T-H09-485P
Court Case Number: 1:09-cv-00485-SEB-JMS
File Date: Monday, April 20, 2009
Plaintiff: Heckler & Koch, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Darlene R. Seymour - Attorney at Law
Defendant: Precision Airsoft, LLC
Cause: 28:1331 Fed. Question: Trademark
Court: Indiana Southern District Court
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
__________________________________________________ ___________

Heckler & Koch, Inc. v. Professional Arms, LLC

RFC Case Number: T-H09-387P
Court Case Number: 3:09-cv-00387-AC
File Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Plaintiff: Heckler & Koch, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul G. Dodds of Brownstein Rask Sweeney Kerr Grim
Defendant: Professional Arms, LLC
Cause: 15:1114 Trademark Infringement
Court: Oregon District Court
Judge: Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta
__________________________________________________ ____________

Heckler & Koch, Inc. v. Coharie Arms, Inc.

RFC Case Number: T-H09-184C
Court Case Number: 1:09-cv-00184-RLY-JMS
File Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Plaintiff: Heckler & Koch, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Darlene R. Seymour - Attorney at Law
Defendant: Coharie Arms, Inc.
Special Weapons, Inc.
Cause: 28:1441 Petition for Removal
Court: Indiana Southern District Court
Judge: Judge Richard L. Young
Referred To: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Notes: NOTICE OF REMOVAL from Hamilton County Superior Court, case number 29D02-0810-PL-1323.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Realistic scenarios prepare officers for the worst

SPRINGFIELD — Four officers, guns drawn, formed a tight circle as they worked their way down the silent hall where an armed suspect had just shot a woman and fled to a classroom.

Though they knew the greatest danger they faced in the halls of the former South High School on Friday, June 5, were the small red welts left by the pellets loaded in the Airsoft guns, officers participating in the “reality-based” training acknowledged accelerated heart rates and other signs of stress.

Thanks to a grant that allowed the Springfield Police Division to purchase Airsoft guns — which look, sound and feel like the real thing, but shoot only small white pellets that leave a mark but don’t break the skin — a “cutting edge” technology that allows officers to simulate an active shooter scenario from start to finish, said Sgt. Joe Tedeschi.

“This makes it more real by way of force on force,” he said.

Springfield officers have done the training, and this week 46 officers from across Clark County participated in daylong sessions of classroom work and scenarios in the halls of South, he said.

Active shooters are commonly thought of as school shooters but in recent years, those shootings have happened in other gathering places within a community, such as churches or government offices, Tedeschi said.

Although the shootings aren’t common, departments have to be prepared, he said.

“We have to take precautions,” he said. “It could happen anywhere.”

In addition to playing out active shooter scenarios, the training sessions help officers develop other skills useful on the job every day, such as communication, assessing situations and searching a building, said Lt. Lee Graf.

“Even though we’re training for an active shooter, training for the worst-case scenario, it plays on all the fundamentals,” he said.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Ruling clears officer in death with airsoft gun

The Allen County prosecutor has determined a Fort Wayne police officer was justified in shooting and killing a suspect from an Avilla bank robbery in January who was using an airsoft gun.

Police believed Anthony Taylor, 37, of Bluffton was armed with a handgun and walking near businesses with people inside when officer Peter Mooney opened fire about 7:20 p.m. Jan. 14, Prosecutor Karen Richards said.

Taylor had gotten out of the taxi he was riding in after police pulled it over in the parking lot of Marathon Stop ‘N’ Go, 4233 N. Clinton St.

He ignored officers’ commands and was walking behind Aspen Dental, 720 Coliseum Blvd. E., and the adjacent Centennial Wireless store.

When Taylor turned toward police with what looked like a pistol in his hand, Mooney fired three shots from his 9 mm service pistol, striking Taylor once. Taylor died from his injuries at Parkview Hospital, police said.

When investigators examined Taylor’s weapon, they realized it was not a firearm but a realistic-looking Airsoft gun of a popular semiautomatic pistol.

But because Mooney believed the replica airsoft gun was a deadly weapon, he was acting to defend himself and his fellow officers, Richards said. The Airsoft pistol shoots small plastic projectiles at low velocities.

“From everyone’s vantage point, it was a real weapon,” she said.

As a result, no charges will be filed against Mooney, the prosecutor’s office said Wednesday.

Taylor served eight years in prison for the 1996 robbery of the Huggy Bear Quick Stop in Warren. During a police pursuit after that robbery, Taylor shot at a Markle deputy marshal.

That information was broadcast to police as they tracked Taylor in Fort Wayne in January.

Authorities believe Taylor robbed a bank in Avilla earlier in the day and carjacked a woman in the bank’s parking lot.

He then dumped the stolen van in LaOtto and forced his sister to drive him to Fort Wayne, where police eventually caught up with him, authorities said.

In March, prosecutors ruled that a police sniper’s fatal shooting of 59-year-old Stephen Thompson on Jan. 7 was justified.

Thompson walked outside of his Kenwood Avenue house with a shotgun and pointed it in the direction of officers after he threatened to harm police, kill himself and blow up the neighborhood, according to authorities.

Last month, an officer shot and wounded 22-year-old Carleon M. Ragsdale, who was armed with a loaded handgun and fleeing police, authorities said.

The prosecutor’s office has not received that case from police investigators, prosecutor’s spokeswoman Robyn Niedzwiecki said.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Madison Police Crack Down On Fake Guns - Airsoft Guns

MADISON, Wis. -- Madison police said that they're seeing more incidents involving realistic-looking guns -- Airsoft or pellet guns -- in recent weeks and are taking steps to avert a potentially dangerous situation.

Officers said that some crooks are brazen enough to paint the black end of a real weapon orange to make it appear like a toy. Now, local police are launching their own assault on toy guns that look like the real thing.

"It's a recipe for disaster," said Officer Mike Hanson of the Madison Police Department.

The problem for law enforcement is that they often can't tell toy guns from the real deal. This puts police and those who bring the toy guns into the streets in a dangerous position -- even if the gun is just for play, WISC-TV reported.

"We have to assume every single gun is real until we prove otherwise," Hanson said. "We're very fortunate that nothing fatal has occurred due to a fake airsoft gun yet. But the way we're seeing them out there -- flashing them, using them, not obeying police commands to drop it -- it's frightening."

Middleton police said they're seeing the same thing.

"Works just like the real thing," said Middleton Police Sgt. Don Mueller, as he demonstrated the bolt-action on a pellet airsoft gun that one of his officers recently confiscated. The gun appears to be virtually identical to a sniper rifle.

"If somebody turned to me with this weapon, I'd shoot them without any compunction," Mueller said. "These are made to look as much as possible like a real weapon."

Officers said that the airsoft guns are often just for play, but sometimes they are a status symbol for children and young adults, both in and out of street gangs. They use the airsoft guns to intimidate peers or show the block who is boss, they said.

As a result, Madison police are starting to tell children as early as first grade that the fake airsoft guns are dangerous and put both the holder and officers in dangerous positions.

Several major retailers on Tuesday said that they don't sell toy guns. Dick's Sporting Goods, one carrier of Airsoft pellet guns, wouldn't comment, citing a policy not to talk about any gun sales. A BB gun at one local big-box retailer cost less than $30. The only requirement is that the purchaser is over the age of 16, and the clerk did ask to see identification.

Even colored guns are now a concern for police because most real weapons can now be purchased in almost any color -- including pink. That eliminates any possibility to distinguish between a fake and an actual firearm, WISC-TV reported.

"What we're trying to do is keep the neighborhood safe, so it's very frustrating this is going on throughout the city of Madison," Hanson said.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Hotel Guest Assaulted With Air soft Gun

Lafayette Police responded to a call at a hotel after a victim is shot with an airsoft pellet gun.

Officers responded to a call in the 100 block of Alcide Domingue and were advised by the victim that he was pepper sprayed and shot with an airsoft pellet gun.

The suspect, who was identified by the victim, was Troy Reed of Lafayette. According to the victim, after he was pepper sprayed he ran toward the hotel lobby. At this point the suspect began shooting him with the pellet gun. He was hit multiple times.

The victim entered the lobby and the manager on-duty began to help him. This was when the suspect began to shoot the manager. He chased the victim throughout the lobby and eating area. Reed fled the scene.

After the investigation, Reed turned himself into authorities. He was placed into custody and is being held at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. He is charged with Aggravated Battery. The case remains under investigation.