CA Bill Gets Industry Types to Hire a Lobbyist

CA Bill SB 798 – which would make it illegal to have any look-a-like guns has gotten a bunch of paintball companies to put up a Facebook page, issue an email call to arms (below) and hire a lobbying firm to help prevent the bill from becoming law.

(We’ve been telling the industry for three solid years that this is the kind of thing that we’re going to be facing. Just go back to the early 70s and substitute today’s dates. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out. And guess what – in our opinion over here, legislation is going to go the same route now that it did back then – anti-gun, anti-war, anti-pointing-sticks-and-saying-bang-bang-you’re-dead.

Here’s the appeal from Baller’s Cafe – the West Coasts’ Paintball Forum:
PAINTBALL NEEDS YOU!

Dear Paintball Manufactures, operators, and enthusiasts:

As you may or may not know California State government is looking to pass a new law that will affect paintball in California. Bill SB798 is intended to eliminate an exemption to the current “imitation firearms” law. Currently this exemption allows the Airsoft, BB, and Paintball industry to manufacture black markers/guns that could be considered “look-a-like” firearms; and depending who you talk to, anything that is black with a barrel is a “look-a-like” firearm. A small group of manufactures and operators have become aware of the law and have pulled together to begin fighting the passage of the law or having it amended to exclude paintball from Bill SB798.

Despite all of the furor, what it all boils down to is this: if the bill passes and you own a colorful paintball gun – it won’t affect you in the least.

If, on the other hand, you have a look-a-like or are playing airsoft – you’re going to be looking for a new marker.

Current Working Group:

The current industry group has formed into the California Paintball Safety Coalition (CPSC), which includes following companies: KEE Action Sports, Tippmann, DYE, Kingman, Giant Paintball/Hollywood Sports, and Mercury Public Affairs. Mercury is an outside lobbying firm that the group has retained to help us navigate our complex political system. The owners, CEO’s, and senior executives of the group are all dedicated to making sure paintball is protected and continues to be played in the exciting manner we have all come to love. Add your own business name to the bottom of this letter to show your support and then please forward this letter on.

We need your help

In order for our voice to be heard we need to take the following actions together: first we have developed two generic letters that you as a paintball operator or player can fill out and send into your local representative and state senator. We also have an active Facebook page “Save Paintball in California” please become a friend and pass the link to other players and operators. Also on this page is information on how to find your local representative to mail the letter to as well as a link to the actual bill. The links and info will also be available on the websites of each of the paintball companies listed above. We are also creating posters and handouts that will be available to all California paintball businesses for display.

Is this a real threat?

The answer is yes. The bill has been fast tracked through multiple levels of state legislature and is preparing to go up for a vote on June 14th. Once it passes there will be no going back and a new era of recession will hit both industries, which is why we must issue a call to action to players and industry members alike.

What not to do

It is important that we conduct ourselves in a professional manner as we deal with this issue. This is why we have gone to great lengths to create a form letter for all parties which everyone can use. Our message must be clear and concise if it is to be effective. We are portraying paintball as a recreational game and sport in order to make sure we have a strong position that the political system can stand behind.

Resources:

Facebook Link: http://www.facebook.com/SavePaintballinCalifornia

Letter Template(Player) Link http://bit.ly/BillSB798FormLetter

Sincerely,

Arthur Chang (Kingman Corp.), Billy Ceranski (KEE Action Sports), Dave DeHaan (DYE Precision), Dennis Bukowski & Giovanni D’Egidio (SC Village, Hollywood Sports Park, California Paintball Park, Giant Paintball Alpine and Giant Paintball Lakeside), Howard Kosick (Tippmann Sports, LLC.), John Robinson (KEE Action Sports)

Here’s the text of the Bill:

BILL NUMBER: SB 798 AMENDED
BILL TEXT

AMENDED IN SENATE APRIL 13, 2011
AMENDED IN SENATE MARCH 24, 2011

INTRODUCED BY Senator De León

FEBRUARY 18, 2011

An act to add Sections 19920 and 20153 to the Penal Code,
relating to firearms.
A n act to amend
Section 16700 of the Penal Code, relating to firearms.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 798, as amended, De León. Firearms: BB devices: imitation
firearms.
Existing law defines “BB device” to mean any instrument that
expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, through the force of
air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun.
Existing law defines “imitation firearm” to mean any BB device, toy
gun, replica of a firearm, or other device that is so substantially
similar in coloration and overall appearance to an existing firearm
as to lead a reasonable person to perceive that the device is a
firearm but provides that a BB device is not an imitation
firearm in regard
to a provision imposing a civil fine on
the sale, manufacture, transportation, receipt, or distribution of
imitation firearms for commercial purposes
. Existing
law regulates the sale of BB devices and imitation firearms and makes
it a misdemeanor for any person to change, alter, remove, or
obliterate any coloration or marking that is required by any
applicable state or federal law or regulation for any imitation
firearm. Existing law further defines a handgun to be a pistol,
revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the
person.

This bill would require, except as specified, every BB device and
imitation firearm that appears to be a handgun that has a barrel less
than 16 inches in length to have the entire exterior surface of the
device white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green,
bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the
predominate color in combination with other colors in any pattern, or
be constructed of transparent or translucent materials that permit
unmistakable observation of the device’s complete contents.


This bill would make the provision imposing a civil fine on the
sale, manufacture, transportation, receipt, or distribution of
imitation firearms for commercial purposes applicable to BB devices.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no.
State-mandated local program: no.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 16700 of the Penal
Code
is amended to read:
16700. (a) As used in this part, “imitation firearm” means any BB
device, toy gun, replica of a firearm, or other device that is so
substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance to an
existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to perceive that the
device is a firearm.
(b) 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 BB device.

(3)

(2) 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.
SECTION 1.
Section 19920 is added to the Penal
Code, to read:
19920. Except as authorized in this part, every BB device that
appears to be a handgun that has a barrel less than 16 inches in
length shall have the entire exterior surface of the device be white,
bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue,
bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominate
color in combination with other colors in any pattern, or be
constructed of transparent or translucent materials that permit
unmistakable observation of the device’s complete contents.


SEC. 2.
Section 20153 is added to the Penal
Code, to read:
20153. Except as authorized in this part, every imitation firearm
that appears to be a handgun that has a barrel less than 16 inches
in length shall have the entire exterior surface of the device be
white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright
blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the
predominate color in combination with other colors in any pattern, or
be constructed of transparent or translucent materials that permit
unmistakable observation of the device’s complete contents

It’s already been passed out of committee for final vote and that means that it has ‘won’ its committee votes.

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