Airsoft Guns – The Basics
Airsoft guns are best compared to BB or pellet guns that are often manufactured to look just like real machine guns, rifles, and hand guns. Airsoft guns usually fire pellets via gas, spring, or electrical systems, and are used for paintball-style gaming, target practice, firearms training, and as movie props. Most of the time, these guns are usually used to simulate combats. However, the popularity of both children and grownups having these guns is already growing.
However, there could also be disastrous consequences among airsoft guns because of the fact that there is a high resemblance with real guns that could be dangerous.
Airsoft Guns – Safety Concerns
In spite of the fact that airsoft guns may be seen as mere toys, there is also a possibility that they could be very dangerous because of the fact that they are capable of harming individuals. According to one study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2005 approximately 19,675 non-powder gun injuries were treated in United States emergency rooms. Of these injuries, 71 percent involved individuals aged 20 or under.
Although that study was not limited to Airsoft guns, Airsoft guns fire their BBs at speeds of hundreds of feet per second, creating a real risk of serious eye injury. There have been significant number of eye injuries that was caused by Airsoft guns.
Of greater concern, Airsoft gun ownership and use sometimes has deadly consequences. There have been numerous instances in which individuals (often youths) holding realistic-looking Airsoft guns were shot by police who thought the weapons were real. By the mere fact of holding airguns, there are already possible consequences that may bring danger to the person holding them or to nearby people.
A 2003 Government Accountability Office report concluded “that scant data exist on the incidence of crimes, injuries, or deaths involving toy guns and on the long-term effects that childhood play with toy guns may have.” Further, whatever incidents of toy gun injuries or fatalities were reported “probably do not represent an accurate or comprehensive reporting.” There have been several instances when airsoft guns have been mistaken to be real guns where the police officers subjected them to inspection.
Airsoft Guns – Laws and Regulations
The legislators have probably overlooked at the possible negative consequences of the airsoft guns. Airsoft is considered illegal in various countries such as Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, and some countries like Canada prohibit the importation of “replica” Airsoft guns. However, federal importation laws in the United States simply require that all Airsoft guns transported within or imported into the country have barrels with a minimum 6mm wide blaze orange tip, so as to avoid confusion with real firearms. There are retailers of airsoft guns that would insist on the illegality of the removal of the orange tips of the airsoft guns.
It is also essential that the individuals should at least be 18 years old or less to be able to make sure that the airsoft guns and the possible harsh consequences would be prevented. On the other hand, Airsoft guns are not classified as firearms and are legal for use by all ages under federal law. However, some municipalities and states place restrictions on Airsoft guns. New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and parts of Michigan outlaw Airsoft guns entirely.
Some countries have specific restrictions on Airsoft guns, such as maximum muzzle velocity standards, restrictions on use of trademarks of real firearms, and required use of ‘unrealistic’ coloring to distinguish Airsoft guns from actual firearms.
Finally, states such as California have laws that make it a crime to brandish a look-alike gun in public. Furthermore, individuals using an Airsoft or replica gun to commit crimes will invariably be treated as though they had used an actual firearm.
Airsoft Guns – the Bottom Line
When handling airsoft guns, it will always be best to treat them as real guns so as to avoid being in danger. As noted above, reckless handling of these guns can lead to various ranges of criminal consequences, and worse, physical injury or death. If minors are to be involved with Airsoft gun use, adult supervision and protective gear are an absolute necessity. When dealing with unenclosed areas, it should be noted that the airsoft guns should not be used.
The local state laws might have varying rules pertaining to airsoft guns. Knowledgeable and reputable local dealers of the guns will provide this information, but it will always be of paramount importance for the consumer to always double-check with their local law enforcement agencies and/or a local consumer products attorney.