The Death Of Airsoft: 20 To Life For Airsoft Guns

Posted | By:  

The Death Of Airsoft: 20 To Life For Airsoft Guns - Austin - airsoft-guns-banned-575.jpg

Another blow to Airsoft as Texas Rep Chris Tucker is looking into increasing the maximum sentences for robberies with harmless airsoft weapons from 20 years to life imprisonment. This will set airsoft guns on the same level real assault rifles. Democratic Texas representative Chris Tucker said:

"If Law enforcement officials believe this is an issue that can be addressed, I will be glad to work with them to craft legislation"

Is this simply a thinly veiled precedent to ban airsoft guns altogether in the future?

Amidst the troubling reports out of Texas, more and more reports have surfaced recently on the issue of airsoft guns and their resemblance to real firearms. Several police departments have voiced and acted on those concerns.

Law enforcement officers around the country have started confiscating these BB guns left and right. Arlington Police calls for drastic changes to airsoft guns, banning their use by minors and requiring them to be clearly identifiable as airsoft guns. This will alienate a huge portion of potential players not yet of age as well as MILSIM enthusiasts.

Earlier this month a man in Abilene, TX was stopped and held at gunpoint. Apparently he was holding a plastic airsoft pistol in his car. His airsoft gun was confiscated, he was arrested and charged for disorderly conduct.

In Fargo, North Dakota a child between the ages of 5 and 10 is facing assault charges and juvenile court because he had shot his neighbor in the back, causing a small welt.
At the beginning of the month, two 18 year old and one 19 year old were arrested and each charged with five counts of assault for hitting people with plastic pellets.

Here at AirsoftSociety, we do not condone behavior that puts anyone at risk and vehemently disagree with the practices of displaying or using airsoft weapons in public. We also believe that the incidents above are prime examples of extremely negligent and irresponsible behavior from both the children and their legal guardians.

However, charging a 5 to 10 year old child and turning him into a criminal is an overreaction in our opinion. Seems like some officers have forgotten their own waterbomb and slingshot childhood escapades.

Expunging five cases of simple assault will bring in upwards of $750 for the court. Not a bad deal. After paying for court and lawyer fees, combined cost of an estimated $4,500, the three teens from Charlotte will be lucky to make it to prom.

Have recent tragedies had a negative impact on an otherwise safe and responsible game?

The Death Of Airsoft: 20 To Life For Airsoft Guns - Austin - liam-2-576.jpg
plastic guns with stickers will land you in jail with felony charges.

To prove a point, In July a man in Aurora was arrested on a felony charge because he was carrying a BB gun near a school. Here's the kicker - it had a sticker and an orange tip on it.
The argument of "safety and wellbeing of the children" does not compute either;
School is out in July.

The man, however, was surrounded by police officers and promptly put under arrest. Victimless crime? Not according to the Aurora Police Department.

It's fine to carry a real semi-auto assault rifle in Aurora, CO - an open carry state, but a harmless BB gun with an orange tip will get put you in jail with felony charges.
Seems like Wheeling Police agrees with such rulings.

"It's a major safety issue" according to Wheeling PD Sgt. Gregg McKenzie.
"We don't want any of our officers to shoot anyone, but they are going to react if you have an airsoft gun". He clarified.

We are pleased to know you keep our community safe, Sergeant. But felony charges for orange tipped plastic guns?

Confusing an airsoft gun for a real firearm is no small issue. In fact, it caused the death of a man in Boone, NC this June. Police were forced to use deadly force after the airsoft gun bearer started advancing towards them in threatening manner.

While the tragic event was justified, airsoft fans can't help but wonder what consequences this will bring to their beloved sport.

As more and more police departments call for a complete overhaul in state and federal legislation towards BB guns, ranging from change in appearance to a complete ban, the future of airsoft remains unclear.
The Death Of Airsoft: 20 To Life For Airsoft Guns - Austin - liam-3-577.jpg

Liam is an airsoft enthusiast and owner of On his site, he regularly helps out beginners who are taking their first steps into the world of Airsoft. Visit his site and check out his numerous gun & gear reviews, airsoft guides and technical how-to's.

Posted in
  Email   Print
August 25, 2016  •  01:45 PM
This article is sensationalist. They want to toughen the punishment for brandishing a any weapon (even a pretend one) to intimidate a victim of the crime you are committing.

If you are an idiot and use your airsoft as a tool of intimidation- then yes you deserve to go meet the bigger idiots that got put in jail for that same crime - but they actually embraced the act.
August 25, 2016  •  02:13 PM
Agreed. An airsoft gun, BB gun, non firing replica, even a bar of soap carved into a gun, if you use it in the commission of a robbery it's still going to net you a Felony Armed Robbery charge.

A lot of bad guys think using a fake gun is going to lessen the charges against them when when caught because there is no intent to cause harm. Wrong, it doesn't matter in the eyes of the law.
August 25, 2016  •  02:54 PM
This article is ridiculous. In CA, I believe, it's explicitly illegal to brandish or otherwise use a replica firearm with the intent/purpose of deceiving others into believing it's real, e.g. to use as a threat in a strong-arm robbery.

Airsoft or not, if you threaten someone and make them fearful for their life and safety, you're an arse and an idiot (and a host of other words I'm not allowed to use on this forum) and deserve punishment.
August 26, 2016  •  10:52 AM
There is nothing wrong with punishing people for committing crimes with an airsoft replica.

If you commit a crime, you deserve to be punished. It doesn't matter if you used an airsoft gun or not. The fact remains, you attempted to or successfully committed a crime and, real or imagined, threatened the life of a law-abiding citizen.

Regulation of firearms and crimes committed with them is acceptable and desirable, particularly with the exponential increase in mass shootings by domestic and foreign terrorists.
September 18, 2016  •  09:37 AM
Wow... that title was extremely misleading... why is this even an article? If you commit a crime with a fake gun and pretend it's a real gun... you obviously wanted the victims to think it's a real gun. And if you want them to treat it like a real gun, law enforcement should too.

This isn't an issue in the slightest.
December 31, 2016  •  11:15 AM
This article was written for the same reason the pro 2nd amendment writers write theres every time something happens,and the rednecks feel threatened.To start panic.I agree with the other posters here.We are all inevitably responsible for the out come of our actions.In the case of minors,there parents are.Keep the punishments high for potentially it up for the responsible rest of us.Maybe doing so will force parents into spending more time with there kids,and adults to take these things alot more seriously.
January 11, 2017  •  02:47 AM
Here's the big issue: belief. If the person being robbed "believes" it is a real gun then the culpable mental state is that of armed robbery. The effectiveness of the weapon or simulated weapon used has no bearing. These laws have been in place for those Knuckle-head that robbed convenience stores with little more than a finger or a comb (or some other object in a sweater pocket). It's still considered armed robbery.

Now I come from a LEO standpoint. I can remember the 4 exact moments when I nearly had to engage a suspect with my side arm. I luckily never had to use my weapon on the job. One of those instances was a full grown man with a spring fire P38 airsoft replica. I asked what was in his pocket, he went for it thinking nothing of it. When I saw a "gun" I responded in kind and the guy was obviously terrified and the slack was out of my trigger (God bless the Sig 226 and double action 1st pull).

So being an avid airsofter and enjoy using airsoft for training and games I have a unique opportunity to have seen both sides of this argument. The key to anything that looks or simulates a real firearm is to treat it as a REAL firearm. Pretty much if a person does something stupid with an airsoft that they wouldn't do with a real gun, then maybe the results that come are deserved.
January 14, 2017  •  12:00 PM
This article was pretty stupid. I was clickbaited. I hope this gets taken down so ignorant people don't read just the title and start a whole thing.
March 4, 2017  •  08:48 PM
What a terrible article.

July 24, 2017  •  11:09 PM
I get upset every time that I read someone proposing that kids should not play with toy plastic spring Airsoft guns in our back yards.

"...and vehemently disagree with the practices of displaying or using airsoft weapons in public"

I'm sorry but things are really going in the wrong direction - yes, kids should, at most, get *in trouble* (as in a spanking, or grounded for a week) if they shoot the neighbor kid, if that neighbor kid did not wish to participate and feared for his safety. But police and the courts should absolutely not be involved in any way for a kid playing with a TOY plastic spring gun and we should STOP putting those dumb ass "this is not a toy" labels on 250FPS or lower plastic spring guns!!! THE ARE TOYS and they are FUN to play with in the back yards/around the neighborhood.
August 16, 2017  •  01:25 PM
Yeah, I agree. Kids should be able to play with airsoft. Kind of a misleading title tho...