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  1. #1
    TheOrteganator is offline Cadet- San Mateo PD TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of
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    Question Airsoft Law in California

    Hello, I'm a cadet with a PD in California, and a huge hobby of mine is airsoft. I play on a team with full size replica rifles and military style BDUs. Camoflauge is a must, and the blaze orange tip on the gun is of no help to me in hiding. I know that most people just paint over them, but I just am wondering what the law actually states about painting the orange tip black. I read the law, but I can't find a solid definition of whether it only needs the orange tip for purchase/shipping, or all the time. If I painted over it it would have the black tip, but I would have the tip wrapped in orange tape anytime I wasn't at the airsoft field. I would only have the orange tape off after I took it out of the car and was on the private property of the airsoft field. I asked some of the officers that I know, but they all have no idea.

    Oops, typed the title wrong, "Law" instead of "Lawn", I'll try to figure out how to edit the title.
    Last edited by TheOrteganator; 05-08-06 at 01:42 PM. Reason: Typo in the title.

  2. #2
    valycop's Avatar
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    Title 15 Chapter 76 Section 5001 United States Code


    -CITE-

    15 USC Sec. 5001 01/19/04

    -EXPCITE-

    TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

    CHAPTER 76 - IMITATION FIREARMS

    -HEAD-

    Sec. 5001. Penalties for entering into commerce of imitation

    firearms

    -STATUTE-

    (a) Acts prohibited

    It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, enter into

    commerce, ship, transport, or receive any toy, look-alike, or

    imitation firearm unless such firearm contains, or has affixed to

    it, a marking approved by the Secretary of Commerce, as provided in

    subsection (b) of this section.

    (b) Distinctive marking or device; exception; waiver; adjustments

    and changes

    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), each toy,

    look-alike, or imitation firearm shall have as an integral part,

    permanently affixed, a blaze orange plug inserted in the barrel of

    such toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm. Such plug shall be

    recessed no more than 6 millimeters from the muzzle end of the

    barrel of such firearm.


    (2) The Secretary of Commerce may provide for an alternate

    marking or device for any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm not

    capable of being marked as provided in paragraph (1) and may waive

    the requirement of any such marking or device for any toy,

    look-alike, or imitation firearm that will only be used in the

    theatrical, movie or television industry.

    (3) The Secretary is authorized to make adjustments and changes

    in the marking system provided for by this section, after

    consulting with interested persons.

    (c) "Look-alike firearm" defined

    For purposes of this section, the term "look-alike firearm" means

    any imitation of any original firearm which was manufactured,

    designed, and produced since 1898, including and limited to toy

    guns, water guns, replica nonguns, and air-soft guns firing

    nonmetallic projectiles. Such term does not include any look-alike,

    nonfiring, collector replica of an antique firearm developed prior

    to 1898
    , or traditional B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns

    that expel a projectile through the force of air pressure.

    (d) Study and report

    The Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics is authorized

    and directed to conduct a study of the criminal misuse of toy,

    look-alike and imitation firearms, including studying police

    reports of such incidences and shall report on such incidences

    relative to marked and unmarked firearms.

    (c) (!1) Technical evaluation of marking systems

    The Director of (!2) National Institute of Justice is authorized

    and directed to conduct a technical evaluation of the marking

    systems provided for in subsection (b) of this section to determine

    their effectiveness in police combat situations. The Director shall

    begin the study within 3 months after November 5, 1988, and such

    study shall be completed within 9 months after November 5, 1988.

    (f) Effective date

    This section shall become effective on the date 6 months after

    November 5, 1988, and shall apply to toy, look-alike, and imitation

    firearms manufactured or entered into commerce after November 5,

    1988.

    (g) Preemption of State or local laws or ordinances; exceptions

    The provisions of this section shall supersede any provision of

    State or local laws or ordinances which provide for markings or

    identification inconsistent with provisions of this section

    provided that no State shall -

    (i) prohibit the sale or manufacture of any look-alike,

    nonfiring, collector replica of an antique firearm developed

    prior to 1898, or

    (ii) prohibit the sale (other than prohibiting the sale to

    minors) of traditional B-B, paint ball, or pellet-firing air guns

    that expel a projectile through the force of air pressure.

    -SOURCE-

    (Pub. L. 100-615, Sec. 4, Nov. 5, 1988, 102 Stat. 3190.)


    California Penal Code

    12553. (a) (1) Any person who changes, alters, removes, or
    obliterates any coloration or markings that are required for by any
    applicable state or federal law or regulation,
    for any imitation
    firearm, or device described in subdivision (c) of Section 12555, in
    any way that makes the imitation firearm or device look more like a
    firearm is guilty of a misdemeanor.

    (2) This subdivision shall not apply to a manufacturer, importer,
    or distributor of imitation firearms or to the lawful use in
    theatrical productions, including motion pictures, television, and
    stage productions.
    (b) Any manufacturer, importer, or distributor of imitation
    firearms that fails to comply with any applicable federal law or
    regulation governing the marking of a toy, look-alike or imitation
    firearm as defined by federal law or regulation is guilty of a
    misdemeanor.


    12555. (a) Any person who, for commercial purposes, purchases,
    sells, manufactures, ships, transports, distributes, or receives, by
    mail order or in any other manner, an imitation firearm except as
    authorized by this section shall be liable for a civil fine in an
    action brought by the city attorney or the district attorney of not
    more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation.
    (b) The manufacture, purchase, sale, shipping, transport,
    distribution, or receipt, by mail or in any other manner, of
    imitation firearms is authorized if the device is manufactured,
    purchased, sold, shipped, transported, distributed, or received for
    any of the following purposes:
    (1) Solely for export in interstate or foreign commerce.
    (2) Solely for lawful use in theatrical productions, including
    motion picture, television, and stage productions.
    (3) For use in a certified or regulated sporting event or
    competition.
    (4) For use in military or civil defense activities, or ceremonial
    activities.
    (5) For public displays authorized by public or private schools.
    (c) As used in this section, "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, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 12001.
    (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.

  3. #3
    TheOrteganator is offline Cadet- San Mateo PD TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of
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    Ok, thanks, I'll just have the blaze orange tip on, and put black tape over it only when at the field, then I stay legal, and don't stand out.

  4. #4
    Legoate's Avatar
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    I've arrested several people for alteration of an imitation firearm. It's becoming all the rage in CA robberies it seems.
    Quote Originally Posted by Straightshooter
    Your selective outrage is hypocritical. Don't you have an anti-war rally to attend where you can go burn some American flags with your hippie buddies?

  5. #5
    TheOrteganator is offline Cadet- San Mateo PD TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of
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    Yeah, especially with my job, I don't want to be convicted of a misdemeanor. I think I'll stick with the orange and just use black tape when at the field.
    "Get down or I'll put you down!!!"

  6. #6
    TheOrteganator is offline Cadet- San Mateo PD TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of
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    Ok, sorry for ressurecting this thread but:

    I was reading over this entire thing more carefully, and found something I didn't catch before.

    "(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), each toy,

    look-alike, or imitation firearm shall have as an integral part,

    permanently affixed, a blaze orange plug inserted in the barrel of

    such toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm. Such plug shall be

    recessed no more than 6 millimeters from the muzzle end of the

    barrel of such firearm."

    So here we learn that "look a like firearms" must have orange markings.



    "12553. (a) (1) Any person who changes, alters, removes, or
    obliterates any coloration or markings that are required for by any
    applicable state or federal law or regulation, for any imitation
    firearm, or device described in subdivision (c) of Section 12555, in
    any way that makes the imitation firearm or device look more like a
    firearm is guilty of a misdemeanor."

    Here that it is illegal to remove the orange marking from any described in 12555 (c).


    "12555 (c) As used in this section, "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, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 12001."

    So here it contradicts itself by claiming that a "BB device" as described in 12001 (g) is not included.


    "12001 (g) For purposes of Sections 12551 and 12552, the term “BB device” means any instrument that expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, not exceeding 6mm caliber, through the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun."

    12001 (g) now confirms that airsoft guns are "BB Devices" and are therefor excluded.



    So what do you guys take this as? I still think it must be illegal, but the law seems to hugely contradict itself by including, then excluding airsoft guns. I'd like to know what this all really means so I'll know whether it really is against the law when most people owning airsoft guns paint over the orane tip in California.

    *Sorry if that was a bit confusing. I couldn't find any better way to condense it*
    "Get down or I'll put you down!!!"

  7. #7
    Legoate's Avatar
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    Do you really want to expose yourself to arrest and then rest your fate in the hands of a couple of lawyers arguing about what an imitation firearm is?

    Besides, I don't think that Airsoft qualifies as a BB gun personally. Then law says that it expels a projectile such as a bb or pellet. To me a bb is a metallic spherical projectile, a pellet is a lead projectile. I think the whole purpose of airsoft is to expel a plastic projectile in order to avoid injury.

    Just use some common sense with the thing and you should be fine. However, if you walk into the local stop and rob with a 1911 airsoft sticking out of your waistband, you may have some problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by Straightshooter
    Your selective outrage is hypocritical. Don't you have an anti-war rally to attend where you can go burn some American flags with your hippie buddies?

  8. #8
    chiefhuntr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOrteganator View Post
    Yeah, especially with my job, I don't want to be convicted of a misdemeanor. I think I'll stick with the orange and just use black tape when at the field.
    This was a good idea. I would recomend that you follow your own advice.

  9. #9
    TheOrteganator is offline Cadet- San Mateo PD TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of TheOrteganator has much to be proud of
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefhuntr View Post
    This was a good idea. I would recomend that you follow your own advice.
    Which I do, and it works fine. I am just wondering about the way in which this is unclear because I may have mislead some people by telling them that they couldn't do it on an airsoft forum.
    "Get down or I'll put you down!!!"

  10. #10
    Legoate's Avatar
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    Well, you still are altering the orange markings- so by letter of the law, you still shouldn't do it. But I don't think you'll find cops hiding in the bushes at your local airsoft field checking the end of your barrel to see what color it is.

    Like I implied before, airsoft is now the gun of choice for robberies in my area. Of course it still sucks if someone shoots you because they think your airsoft gun is real.
    Quote Originally Posted by Straightshooter
    Your selective outrage is hypocritical. Don't you have an anti-war rally to attend where you can go burn some American flags with your hippie buddies?

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