Legislature targets BB guns

Legislature targets BB guns

SACRAMENTO — Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed 11 gun control bills into law and vetoed seven. More gun bills are on the firing line this year — even banning some BB guns.


On Jan. 28, the California Senate passed Senate Bill 199, by state Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles. The vote was 23 to 8. The bill would require BB and airsoft guns to be painted bright colors to make them “readily identifiable” so law enforcement officers could distinguish them from real firearms.

Police shooting of 13-year-old

In the Senate debate on Jan. 23, de Leon addressed the recent shooting death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa, who was carrying an airsoft BB replica of an AK-47 automatic rifle.

“Law enforcement officers have extreme difficulty distinguishing between the real thing and what is fake,” de Leon said. “This is about saving lives.”

Sen. Steve Knight, R-Lancaster, disagreed. The former Los Angeles police officer said, “Today a brand new 9 millimeter gun can look like a toy. A brightly colored gun isn’t necessarily a toy. Are we going to write a bill when a police officer gets shot by a real gun painted bright orange?”

“The tragedy has rocked Santa Rosa and Sonoma County to its very core,” said Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, a co-author of the bill. “A toy should look like a toy. A toy should not get a child killed.”

Santa Rosa police said that Lopez’ airsoft gun did not have the required orange marker.

Similar incidents have occurred elsewhere in America. In 2012, police fatally shot a Texas eighth-grader who was carrying a pellet gun resembling a black Glock. In 2011, Miami police shot and killed a man carrying a realistic-looking replica gun.

However, bright colored firearms — real guns — already exist. There are bright pink Glocks, white AR15s, pretty pearl-handled revolvers, Burberry print rifles and even a 9 millimeter with a leopard print grip — all designed to appeal to women.

For many years gang members, and some suspected narcotics dealers near the border with Mexico, have painting their weapons to resemble airsoft weapons.

The bad guys

“The problem is, we can’t control the bad guys from painting their weapons,” said Sen. Joel Anderson, R-San Diego. “If this bill was about educating our youth how to react to law enforcement, I’d support it.”

Anderson told a story about a man in San Diego apprehended by police. He came at officers with a trowel — and they shot and killed him.

“The bill puts false hope out there,” Anderson said.

Airsoft is a sport

Redding resident T.J. Armstrong is an airsoft enthusiast. “It’s a community sport,” Armstrong said. “It is a father-son sport.”

Armstrong plays on an all father-son team in Redding and told CalWatchdog.com what SB199 will do to the sport. “This bill just kills another sport and successful industry,” he said.

Armstrong said the area property he uses was a local eyesore. So his team asked the property owner if they could use the land for airsoft sporting in exchange for a huge cleanup and ongoing maintenance of the land.

Now, not only do all of the airsoft players in Redding use the field, local police and sheriffs participate for training and ongoing exercises.

Armstrong said that if SB199 becomes law, it will shutter many businesses and thousands of people will lose their jobs. “This bill will not improve public safety at all,” he said.


Specifically, SB199 would require that all toy guns, replica guns and BB guns be painted bright orange, purple, red, blue, green and yellow colors.

And in would make it illegal to own all weapons that shoot a 6 mm BB. “No more Red Ryder Daisy BB Guns, no more Pellet Guns, no more Airsoft guns,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong provided a partial list of of groups and businesses located throughout the state of California that would be affected:


Airsoft Megastore



U.S. Airsoft

Fort Ord

CQB City

Shorty Airsoft

Lion Claws

Airsoft Extreme

DogTag Airsoft

And the communities which have active Airsoft facilities:

Redding Area Airsoft

The Shadow Legion Airsoft Team

The Jefferson State Regulators Airsoft Team

U.S. Airsoft Team

The Misfits Airsoft Team

The SMS Airsoft Team

Sacramento Airsoft

Butte County Regional Airsoft

Easy Company Airsoft

Airsoft Craigslist

Sutter Yuba Airsoft

Airsoft World Wide

Magpul Masada PTS

Phantom Force Airsoft

Susanville Airsoft Squad S.A.S.

Polarstar Airsoft Owners’ Group

I Play Airsoft

PTW Sales & Forum

BoE Airsoft

The Airsoft Exchange


Write a comment
  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 30 January, 2014, 10:31

    Well, the anti-gun fanatics will use the same legal maneuvers as the anti-cigarettes fanatics have used. They won’t come right out and call for a removal of the 2nd amendment from the US Constitution and ban ownership of private guns. They’ll just make it so costly and so inconvenient to own a gun that law-abiding citizens will surrender them. Naturally, the criminals will keep theirs.

    It’s worked with cigarettes. 30 years ago about half of Americans smoked. Today? Only 18%. That’s a result of government pressure that cascaded into public pressure. Today smokers are scorned. During WW2 if you didn’t smoke you weren’t a man. Once the government gets that number down to about 10% I believe tobacco will become a controlled substance used build a bigger police state. And they will tell you that it’s for your own good and to keep you safer. And most of you will believe it.

    Reply this comment
  2. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 30 January, 2014, 12:22

    “Anderson told a story about a man in San Diego apprehended by police. He came at officers with a trowel — and they shot and killed him.”

    Same thing happened recently in Highland with a teenage boy who had a hammer.

    Why aren’t police trained to use the force they need to subdue a perp…and no more than that? Aren’t there ways to subdue someone with a trowel or a hammer…or someone walking toward them with his hand in his pocket…without killing him?

    Of course the Vengeance Lobby, which believes that anything less than the death penalty or life without parole is being “soft on crime”, will oppose that sort of training.

    Reply this comment
    • Katy Grimes
      Katy Grimes Author 30 January, 2014, 13:17

      you and I agree on this issue. Your question is valid and one I will research.

      Rather than questioning why police are “accidentally” killing so many citizens, lawmakers want to ban BB guns and weapons.


      Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 30 January, 2014, 14:11

      What’s the use? They caught 6 cops on audio and video savagely breaking the facial bones of an unarmed 135 pound schizophrenic with the butt of a taser gun while he was forcibly held down. The guy was screaming that he was sorry and that he was having a hard time breathing. They killed him. He died of a lack of oxygen to the brain. The legal system exonnerated all 6 of those cops. It’s not just the cops. It’s your justice system that sucks.

      Reply this comment
      • Matt
        Matt 31 January, 2014, 10:04

        The “Warrior Cop” culture is in full swing. Its how a 13 year old who doesn’t comply gets shot 7 times. Not once to disable, not once accidentally that lead to death, SEVEN times. Militarizing our police and teaching them EVERYONE is a threat that must be dealt with using maximum force to protect the officer is directly opposed to “protect and serve” which includes protecting suspects from themselves or overzealous police. I blame the training and policies not the officers.

        Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 31 January, 2014, 13:34

          Of course the cops are to blame. They voluntarily pull the trigger and carry out the act itself. No one forced them to do it.

          We prosecuted thousands at the Nuremberg trials and through other judicial channels who were ‘just following orders’ from the command level. Using your logic, they were not to blame.

          In fact, the allied nations are still prosecuting 90 year old men who worked at the gulags and Nazi concentration camps for ‘following orders’ over 70 year later!

          When you make an excuse one link in the chain we start down that slippery slope again.

          Reply this comment
        • Bill Gore
          Bill Gore 31 January, 2014, 20:51

          For me in the final analysis the operative phrase is: “better to be tried by 9 than carried by 6”.

          This means that if I have the means and ability to defend my life against some fat loser cop who is living out his fantasies of being a navy SEAL, then I will do so. Unto death. I will not curl into a fetal position and take it, ’cause I’m gonna get killed anyway.

          If there is any intelligent life left on copworld, they must realize that increasingly their extremism is leading to conditions that will endanger their cherished ‘officer safety’ (oxymoron). Everyone loses….

          Reply this comment
        • SonOfNC
          SonOfNC 4 February, 2014, 13:57

          There is never enough training for anyone who carries a firearm, whether it is a soldier, law enforcement officer, or a private citizen. Unfortunately, with municipal budgets being what they are, and state funds to supplement those being stretched to cover too many programs, LEO training suffers. Couple that with the increased cost of ammunition caused by excessive federal purchases drying up the available supply, and the recipe for accidents by LEO’s is created.

          HOWEVER -no soldier or law enforcement officer is ever trained to shoot “once to disable”. All defenders are taught, ad nauseum, to only draw a weapon when prepared to shoot to kill in defense of their life or someone else who is imminent mortal danger . Not only would that level of accuracy (shoot-to-disable-or-wound) be an issue for most when discharging their weapon in the heat of passion, but due to the risk of civil liabilities (both by the intended target, his/her family, or the person not adequately defended because the LEO did not eliminate the threat). Firearm carriers are trained to shoot to kill and to do so by pulling the trigger unless or until the threat is eliminated.

          With that being said, if a law enforcement officer tells someone to drop or otherwise relieve themselves of a weapon, and that person chooses not only not to do so, but to advance on the officer or others in a threatening manner, it is incumbent on the officer to eliminate the threat.

          Although there are many instances where use of deadly force has gone too far, perhaps instead of berating the police in this particular instance, one should realize that the officer reacted as he was trained, but the unfortunate victim did not obey the officers commands – or use the common sense to drop a weapon when ordered to by someone with the authority to do so and in possession of a superior weapon himself.

          Reply this comment
    • eck
      eck 3 February, 2014, 19:00

      Well Steve, yes why? More training and sanctions. Prosecute those officers who abuse their power and responsibility or, at least, fire those who make (or often make) bad judgements. What, you say. That will reduce the number of both duty officers and recruits. Well so be it. We need a high standard of intellect and judgement for that job. Hey they’re paid enough! What, you say, we can’t fire anybody. Yeah, I know, the union thing. But long term we can improve things.

      Reply this comment
  3. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 30 January, 2014, 13:37

    I actually agree with this one, toy guns must be readily identifiable by LE.

    Reply this comment
    • DMAirsoft
      DMAirsoft 30 January, 2014, 19:29

      Airsoft Guns are required by law to have a Bright “Blaze Orange” Flash Hider/Marker.

      Now, for The driving force for the creation of this bill: A 13 year old happened to be walking through his neighborhood in Santa Rosa, CA…With a full metal AK-47 Replica Airsoft Gun, with a handgun (also a BB gun) in his waist.

      Cops on patrol noticed this kid walking around with this gun, stopped, told him to put the gun down, and lay down/put his hand up.

      Now, usually, you listen to what they say. Without question. The kid in question, Andy Lopez found turning around to face the officers to be the better Solution. An officer open fired on Andy. He died the same night.

      But Airsoft Guns are already readily Identifiable, as I stated with the tip/flash hider/marker being “Blaze Orange”. Andy Lopez modified his AK-47 with a BLACK steel Flash Hider, making it hard on the cops to Identify whether or not this gun had been real or fake.

      Furthermore, when you modify a gun in a way that hides, changes or alters the flash hider in any way, it’s even MORE imperative that you keep it in a gun bag, CONCEALED for safety reasons like this.

      This incident (Which is tragic, I’m not going to deny this.) took place in a manner that was provoked by not following laws and common sense: Modifying the Flash Hider and walking around with it out in the open.

      If these guns get painted, It’ll be extremely difficult to identify for the simple fact that there’s a possibility criminals on the street will do the same to real firearms.

      It will destroy many jobs and businesses that actually brings in a good amount of profit. There are a huge number of distributors in this State, many of which will cripple the Airsoft Industry and Community if the bill were to be signed by Gov.Jerry Brown.

      Not to mention a lot of the same businesses will strive to promote safety and awareness as much as possible to help prevent this kind of thing for future encounters as such as Andy’s.

      I hope you are willing to change your views on this matter, since It’s alot more of safer sport than most people think. I’ve been stopped for this sort of thing before, and lived to tell the tale due to proper concealment and cooperation with Law Enforcement.

      Reply this comment
    • ricky65
      ricky65 31 January, 2014, 08:34

      Rex- Makes me wonder if you were the smartest pup in the litter. You missed the main point of the opposition on this. Violent gun carrying criminals will no doubt paint their weapons to get an edge on the cops.
      Should we also require painting trowels, hammers, or brain addled schizophrenics orange too?
      What really neeeds to happen is get a handle on our trigger happy cops who are trained these days to shoot first and ask questions later.
      Who knows on of these days one of your family members could be a victim of making “a furtive move”..”reaching into their coat pocket”…”simulating a gun”..refusing to obey commands”…”tried to run over the officer” and all the other excuses used by the police to commit street executions. And Lord help the individual being held as a human hostage by a gunman. You’ll be a human sieve in no time.
      Apparently the attitude is don’t take a chance on getting shot or you’ll never live to collect your million dollar pension. Criminals, citizens, no difference. When in doubt, wipe ’em out!

      Reply this comment
  4. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 30 January, 2014, 14:29

    Joel Anderson made a very logical and reasonable point:

    “The problem is, we can’t control the bad guys from painting their weapons…”.

    I don’t want cops to be sitting ducks for real criminals who paint the barrels of their guns orange for an added advantage either. If some idiot points a gun with a painted barrel at a cop what’s the cop supposed to do? Hold his fire and hope it’s really a fake one?

    OTOH, if the cops shoot some guy with a ‘trowel’ in his hand at the very minimum they should be fired and never allowed in LE again.

    I don’t think they thought this law all the way through. We have enough laws. They passed 800 new ones last year. We certainly don’t need one with unintended consequences built in.

    Reply this comment
    • jayden
      jayden 4 March, 2021, 09:00

      yes they are support to hold fire they are not aloud to fire unless being fired at unless someone comes at then with a knife putting this new bill C-21 out isn’t gonna change anything but take jobs from thousands of people and take away a great hobby and sport

      Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 31 January, 2014, 08:13

    Poodle agrees with GED overpaid cops…..who would have believed it?

    A true Renaissance man….

    Reply this comment
  6. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 31 January, 2014, 10:01

    How about that BART cop who allegedly by accident shot and killed his partner/supervisor while on a probation search? Of course there won’t be any prosecution there. He’ll keep his badge and gun and pension. Naturally, the other cops are protecting him. Not even calling for the negligent discharge of a firearm resulting in death. lol. Circling the wagon for a cop who killed one of his own through incompetence. No one should EVER place his or her finger over the trigger of a firearm unless they have every intention to pull it and crank off a round. Of all people, cops should know this. All this cop had to do was sing the blues and they all protected him.

    Imagine if a couple civilians were hunting out in the woods and one guy “accidently” shot his buddy in the back and killed him. You think he’d walk away with a wink and a nod from the so-called ‘justice system’?

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 31 January, 2014, 11:12

    Oh Collapso….your our sunshine and TGIF prelude infinite joy!

    Reply this comment
  8. eck
    eck 3 February, 2014, 18:49

    Just another “feel good” bill that will do absolutely nothing but harass the law-abiding public and make felons of just plain citizens. When are we CA citizens(we’re responsible for ALL of these Sacramento bozos)going to wake up? When most of us are charged with violating some one of the infinite obscure laws? (which all of us probably are, by the way)

    Reply this comment
  9. Mike L.
    Mike L. 4 February, 2014, 15:17

    Piece by piece, California will totally outlaw guns and anything that looks like a gun. The crooks will then have freedom to rob and burglarize any and all. This state will be just like Chicago. As the crooks will know, they have nothing to fear. The chance of getting caught will be nill. And if in the rare event one is caught, nothing again to fear from a criminal justice system run by liberal left-wingers whose sympathy lies with the criminal and certainly not the victim of said crime.

    Reply this comment

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