June 9th, 2011

California Legislature Seeks to Regulate BB Guns and Air Rifles

Shooters beware — another piece of misguided legislation is in the works in California. State Senator Kevin de León (Dem., Los Angeles) has introduced SB 798. This bill, if it becomes law, would ban Airsoft products, BB guns and pneumatic pellet rifles unless they are configured in solid orange, red, or green colors or fitted with transparent “furniture” such as found on toy guns. This law could apply to Olympic-grade, pellet-shooting air rifles as well. SB 798 could effectively embargo high-quality competition air rifles because the manufacturers would not create special colored versions just for California, and it is impractical to make barrels, sights, and adjustable stocks out of transparent plastics.

This is yet another example of poorly thought-out, foolish legislation being sponsored by gun-phobic California legislators. The bill passed from the California State Senate Rules Committee and has been sent to the California Assembly Public Safety Committee for consideration. Hopefully SB 798 opponents can convince Assembly members to kill this bill in Committee. CLICK HERE for SB 798 Current Status.

California State Senator Bob Huff has explained many of the flaws in SB 798: “I have some concerns about this bill and do not plan to support it. BB guns are potentially dangerous devices. Coloring them in bright colors will do little except give parents and children the impression that these devices are, in fact, toys. This creates confusion and hides the fact that they can cause serious injury or even potentially death if misused or improperly handled. This bill is another example of an idea with unintended consequences.”

If you want to help fight SB 798, you can add your name to a Petition created by Pyramyd Air. This Petition will be sent to all California Assembly members. The Petition states, in part: “Traditional BB and pellet guns are not brightly colored or clear and should not be — they can cause serious injury if misused. Airsoft guns have blaze orange muzzles, readily distinguishing them from firearms. The unintended consequence of SB 798 is that, because these products will be confused with toys, inappropriate use of these products, particularly in public, could result in injury death to the user, bystanders and police officers. I understand a similar proposal as SB 798 was rejected six (6) years ago by California’s State Attorney General because of these safety concerns.”

Senator De Leon SB 798

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