California airsoft guns need to be painted or clear


June 9, 2011, 03:16 PM

California State Senator Kevin de Leon thinks your black airguns are dangerous and has proposed CA Senate Bill 798 to stop you from having them. SB 798 states that all airguns MUST be painted brightly. No more black guns!

This is an article from

Some background
In December 2010, three boys were shooting their airsoft guns in a public park. It was dark, but their pistols had orange muzzles. The police confronted them and ordered them to put down their guns. Two boys complied but the third did not. He was shot and suffered severe injuries.

I do not own an airsoft nor live in California.

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June 9, 2011, 03:57 PM
I think we just need better police.

Shawn Dodson
June 9, 2011, 04:19 PM
If it's signed into law it'll be interesting to see how long will it be before bad guys simply paint their guns a bright color in attempt to create an ambiguous situation so an officer will hesitate to shoot?

Beware the law of unintended consequences.

June 9, 2011, 07:32 PM
Indifferent - better police has nothing to do with it, better parenting and firearm education does though. As a player of airsoft and a firearm owner it pains me to see laws that are horribly unenforcable and damaging to the entire industry because of the lack of common sense and intelligence of a few people.

I do find it ironic that california is bent on destroying a source of income. The vast majority of us based airsoft retaillers are based in california.

June 9, 2011, 07:59 PM
When I was a kid I had some toy guns, and some that looked quite real (though the most realistic ones would go missing when my mother noticed them.)
While playing with toy guns, especially the all black ones or metallic ones I knew you didn't act like they were real, point them at people not playing with you, or play with them next to a busy street or highly public spot.
You played with the toy guns out of sight of people that would pass by, and only visible to maybe some residences. Sometimes you might carry them openly to get to such places though, but you kept them pointed down and made nobody feel threatened or that they were real.

I knew all this as a six year old boy and didn't need it explained to me.

I also knew if I acted like it was real I would likely have the cops respond.
As well as that if the cops came around or drove by while I had a toy gun to put it out of sight. It got tossed in some plants, on the grass, or set down, and retrieved after the cop was gone.
You didn't want it in your hands, and you certainly didn't actually point it at a cop.

I knew that at six, and cops don't shoot young kids very readily. If someone can't learn how to play with toy guns by the time they are a teenager and an age where cops actually will shoot you if you handle them wrong, then maybe we are better off without them.
I mean we need some ways for the dumb to cull themselves from society, especially before they start driving and hurt other people.
If you legislate away all possible risk to keep the stupid people safe until they are adults then they do more damage with their stupidity when they have big boy toys, several thousand pound vehicles, etc.

Two boys complied but the third did not. He was shot and suffered severe injuries.

Two reacted properly, one did not. That is what happens when you play with toy guns at night and then don't drop them when the cops tell you to.
Nothing wrong with the cop's actions based on that brief description.

June 9, 2011, 08:02 PM
+1 on not acting as though you are shooting someone with a realistic looking gun in a public place.

June 9, 2011, 08:25 PM
When I was younger, these black airsoft guns got me into a little bit of trouble. That's as far as I will go, but this is probably a good thing.

As far as badguys making guns that are clear to get police to hestitate to shoot, I don't know of any manufacturers that make clear firearms. But who knows...

June 9, 2011, 08:41 PM
As far as badguys making guns that are clear to get police to hestitate to shoot, I don't know of any manufacturers that make clear firearms. But who knows...

No, but they can paint the muzzle of a real gun orange to fool people.

June 10, 2011, 01:22 AM
When I was younger, these black airsoft guns got me into a little bit of trouble. That's as far as I will go, but this is probably a good thing.

Then why bring it up to begin with if you're going to leave us sitting here with a cliff hanger like that?

As someone who grew up playing, and working on top tier airsoft guns back in the day I can't say that I'll miss them if they go get banned, or mandated to be some funky color like the UK guns were way back when.

The junk that they pass off today as an airsoft gun is a far cry in terms of fit and finish to the older ones, that to be honest.. almost ruined real guns for me.

I'd walk into a real gun store and simply be shocked at the lack of deep black blued AKs, and piss poor anodizing on ARs. Not to mention the dinged up ratty stocks on M1s, Broom handles that looked like they had been dragged behind a bus for twenty miles, electro penciled import marks which put me off entirely, etc etc.

It really turned me off real guns for a while.

Then I found an old Keng's Polytech AKS and I bought it for $1200, which was at the time less than what my Guarder blowback replica cost me.

Lucky me, I sold off everything to go after pre-89 guns right as the first UTG AEGs were hitting the market. I funded my entire gun collection by selling off all my rare replicas on Arnies, then the Chicom guns flooded the market and values took a real hit across the board.

If only airsoft was now what it was then, it would be worth saving. But it seems people just don't care about the quality of the product they're tossing out the door now a days, the guns that would put real guns to shame 99% of the time are long gone. I don't see much point to keeping them black, they're so far gone from being a real replica now you might as well paint it a funny color and be done with it.

Everything seems to be trending that way if you ask me, and it's depressing.

June 10, 2011, 06:47 AM
Your story reminds me of something. I play airsoft as well and one of my buddies has a VFC AKS-74U, all steel and laminated wood. VERY nice build quality and comparing it side-by-side with my WASR-10 the fit and finish of the airsoft gun was impeccable and perfect compared to the real thing. But then this was VFC and not some Chinese junk like you see on the shelves of Big 5 alongside the pellet guns. I have two G&G guns that are my main skirmishing guns. I like quality and things that last a long time. That's also why my real ARs consist of a BCM and a Noveske.

Airsoft was created by the Japanese because they couldn't own firearms. The airsoft guns had to be as realistic as possible. Attention to detail was important. Fit and finish was important. Those qualities just don't exist anymore in modern airsoft guns unless you are buying top tier brand-name guns (which are still quite affordable). And the idiots that act irresponsibly with these replicas in public are using those cheap pieces of crap from Big 5. They are not buying a 3-400-dollar G&G, VFC, or G&P to play with in the street in front of their house.

June 10, 2011, 07:54 AM
Airsoft technology is generally not on-topic for THR. The thread can stay open if y'all are willing to discuss the ramifications of this law to the RKBA or to FoF exercises, but only if.

June 10, 2011, 12:21 PM
As Yeager noted, these sorts of laws already exist in the UK, along with various knife regulations. These are what you try to pass next after restrictions on actual firearms when those restrictions inevitably fail to solve the problem.

There is very much a continuum of cargo-cult thinking between restricting firearms, restricting items that look like firearms, restricting depictions of firearms, etc in a doomed effort to reduce crime that happens to be committed with firearms.

June 10, 2011, 12:59 PM
Bad law. Just another way to over regulate firearms laws, fun and learning processes.

We can't regulate all the danger out of living. Can't prevent unfortunate situations.

Heck, If I'm a LEO, just because I see a brightly colored weapon of some sort doesn't mean it's not dangerous. Have you seen those pink framed Sigs? And as someone else said, what's to keep someone from painting a "real" firearm a nice fluorescent orange?

I'll stop short of saying the kids needed better parenting (lots of details like age, etc missing), but all three should have known if they are out in a park without supervision that they should respect and listen to police officers.

June 10, 2011, 01:09 PM
its funny we already have brightly colored real firearms in the way of Pink guns and a the nice anodized aluminum revolvers, so tell me how will those real fire arms look different from a neon airsoft gun?

June 10, 2011, 09:46 PM
The problem here is lack of gun safety and common sense. When not on the field we treat our airsoft guns as if they were real. Point in a safe direction, don't point at someone, etc. There are people that will rob a 7-11 with an airsoft gun and the cashier would be none the wiser. Hence why crimes committed with a look-alike gun carry the ramifications of a real firearm.

The UK used to allow firearms ownership. Now it's very strict and most people don't have guns, they essentially banned all semi-automatics. Now that they regulated the heck out of firearms they went after airsoft guns. You have to be nationally registered as a legitimate airsoft player with a local club to be able to own and buy airsoft guns.

Now I know this discussion needs to stay on the topic of real firearms but this is ridiculous regulation and in California it seems they want to go after the airsoft guns first. In the OPs link the boys were playing in a public area after dark and to any passer-by they looked like they had real guns. I don't think the LEOs were out of line. Those kid's parents failed them by not teaching them the basics of gun safety, which applies to airsoft 95% of the time, and supervising them. They allowed their children to act irresponsibly in a public area and they are lucky the consequences were not worse.

I'm not one of those people that says "California sucks, everyone move to the free states" because I would like for the people living there to believe in and fight for their rights rather than pack up and leave. Try to change the laws there instead of just leaving. Get your gun laws back, the gangs are going to have their guns regardless of anything so might as well arm the good people. Going after airsoft will do more harm than good. I know most on this board that don't play airsoft aren't going to care but what if this was an equally outrageous law being pushed onto your firearms?

June 11, 2011, 12:45 AM
Yes three kids playing in a public park. Cops show up and one kid is hurt; probably maimed for life. There are so many different angles to the story take your pick; none of us were there so speculation on who did what is outside our purview of knowledge. Think many of us wonder sometimes what's next; I know I do?

June 11, 2011, 04:51 AM
Two boys complied but the third did not. He was shot and suffered severe injuries.

some people pay a high price for their stupidity. cops tell you to drop what's in you hand--you drop it.

it's a shame that every nonsense incident incites a Cali liberal to impose stricter regulations. you couldn't pay me to live in that state.

June 12, 2011, 09:20 PM
How about painting all the real guns Duracoat orange?:evil:

Erik M
June 13, 2011, 12:40 AM
a few years back a trio of students were kicked out of my college for running through the main campus in full mall ninja get-up mock battling with airsoft pistols. This was well before the Virginia Tech incident. I was amazed that the small town city police didn't open fire on them.

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