The Paintball Industry in California were able to lobby and have CA SB798 amended to exempt paintball markers before it goes into a vote later this month. With this accomplished, they are now in support of Bill, to the disbelief of the US airsoft community. The California Airsoft industry has lost an ally in the campaign against SB798, but they still have the National Rifle Association to count on.
The latest amendments are as follows, courtesy of Jag Precision:
As used in Section 20165, “imitation firearm” does not include any of the following:
(1) A nonfiring collector’s replica that is historically significant, and is offered for sale in conjunction with a wall plaque or presentation case.
(2) A spot marker gun which expels a projectile that is greater than 10 mm caliber.
(3) A device where the entire exterior surface of the device is white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern, as provided by federal regulations governing imitation firearms, or where the entire device is constructed of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device’s complete contents, as provided by federal regulations governing imitation firearms.
Obviously, airsoft is left to hung in this bill, as it is below 6mm caliber. There are paintball markers that are made to look like replica firearms, such as those made by RAP4, which we can all agree that at first glance looks like a real firearm like the example photo below. Would a police officer distinguish the replica from the real deal? Would he care if it shoots out 10mm projectiles or 6mm if it's carried in public places? I think we all know the answer.
A collective disbelief has set unto the airsoft community and the California airsoft industry. People would accuse that the Paintball industry has sold out to the politicians to exempt paintball from the Bill in exchange for their support. Is it a good move? In a business sense, perhaps, since paintball is in direct competition against airsoft to cater to the recreational shooting and milsim market. Taking out airsoft would leave the big California recreational shooting and milsim market to themselves, which would be akin to selling out for 30 pieces of silver. This made a paintball player react strongly to the turn around by the Paintball industry (with unverified information) as shown by this post at the Facebook page of Save Paintball in California (Update: deleted by the admin of the FB page):
If you know what KINGMAN is, it is a paintball marker company that makes the popular Kingman Spyder Stormer .50. And what do you know? It looks like a real firearm at first glance as shown below:
The good thing is that the Paintball industry's actual customers would have none of it. They are as shocked as the airsoft community for their industry in making such a deal when they believe that both communities are in this together. In contrast with the Paintball companies, the paintball players are taking a stand together with the airsoft community in opposing SB798 since they believe that even if it exempts paintball now, will they be assured that it won't be affected in the future? With the airsoft industry and community gone, who will help the paintball community campaign against bills similar to SB798 that will affect their sport in the future.?