California Senate Bill 199 passed the California Senate, 22 to 8, today in Sacramento. This bill will now move on the the California State Assembly where it will most likely first appear in the Assembly Public Safety Committee. The strong airsoft showing in this committee for SB 798 in the Summer of 2011 made a huge impact on legislators, and it was probably partly responsible for its eventual defeat.
That committee also taught us that action taken by out-of-state airsofters did not help our cause. We appreciate your enthusiasm, but please DO NOT contact California legislators if you are not a citizen of California. Encourage anyone you know in California to contact THEIR legislator. Right now the priority is for all California citizens to contact members of the California Assembly Public Safety Committee. Use the preceding link to find contact information for the committee members. The linked contact forms only work if you live in that particular Assemblymember’s district (Assembly Districts 15 ,17, 20, 54, 59, 67, and 75). You can then call on the phone, write snail mail, or email something like this.
Dear Assemblymember “name,”
Airsoft Medicine has been working for over three years to keep airsoft fun by keeping airsoft safe. We do not find that SB 199 will make airsoft guns safer. The situation Senator De Leon is attempting to address with SB 199 was caused by a real gun bullet fired by a police officer as the victim was violating current law. The passing of SB 199 would not prevent such a situation from occurring again, but it would severely effect the sport of MilSim Airsoft played every weekend by thousands of Californians on insured fields and facilities across the state. Please also note the coloration proposed by the bill is already used in real guns as shown in this picture I took this month at the Shot Show in Las Vegas. Senate Bill 199 will not make anyone safer. In fact, making airsoft guns look like toys increases the risk of parents and children not taking their potential for injury seriously.
Many airsoft enthusiasts share a concern for the ready availability of replica airsoft guns to minors. The ability to purchase these guns from “Big Box” retailers instead of dedicated specialty stores increases the number of units distributed to individuals who do not have education in the safe handling and use of these replicas. The specialty stores are much more aware of how misuse of these products will hurt their business, and they have policies in place to educate consumers at the time of sale. A 2013 study published in the March edition of theFrench Journal of Ophthalmology on airsoft injuries found that, “In one out of every two cases, the gun had been won at a booth in a fair or had been purchased in a big-box store.” The conclusion of the paper proposed, “to forbid selling these guns outside of specialized stores.”
Please oppose SB 199 in its current form to protect our children, the MilSim Airsoft Sport, and the California Airsoft Industry.
Mark Vaughan, M.D.
UPDATE for 09/09/2014
At this time the bill has been passed by both the Assembly and the Senate. It currently sits on the Governor’s desk.