CA SB1315 Fails In Committee, Reconsideration Granted
Before everyone starts doing some premature celebrations, California SB 1315 ("An act to amend Section 53071.5 of the Government Code, relating to imitation firearms.") sponsored by State Senator De León, is still very much alive. It has indeed failed at the Assembly Committee On Public Safety, but it was given a reconsideration, which means it may come up for a vote again in the Committee. There is no specific date yet mentioned as to when the Committee will convene to deliberate once again on SB 1315.
Which also means that the Airsoft Community in California will have to be vigilant as the SB 1315 may still squeak through the Committee and may have smooth sailing during Assembly readings before. The Assembly Public Safety Committee has always taken the side of the community giving more weight to the arguments of those who oppose the bill, just like they have done with SB 798 last year.
You can download here the Analysis of Bill during the 26 June hearing of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety.
One of the problems of the SB 1315 is the Federal Preemption Issue which supersedes any state law and any ordinances that will be inconsistent with the provisions of the section expressed by Congress. Since Federal Law requires that BB devices require orange-tip muzzles, any new requirement for alternative markings will be invalidated by the courts.
Another comment in analysis of the bill during the Committee hearing was the exemption of paintball guns wherein there are paintball guns that resemble firearms and why should these not create the same confusion as those BB guns that fire below 16mm. For us, this is the weakest provision in the Bill as it clearly was also designed to exempt Paintball guns even if a good number of paintball gun designs resemble firearms and should therefore be covered by the bill. Just like in SB 798, Paintball has always been exempt to the wonder of those who opposed the previous bill.
While the proposition of those who support the bill, which was made at the request of the Chief of the Los Angeles Police and supported by the Mayor of Los Angeles, is that BB guns and replica firearms create confusion to law enforcers who must make decisions to protect those in the communities, especially in the application of deadly force.
Those who oppose SB 1315 resurrect the old argument against SB 798, since individuals transporting BB devices from one jurisdiction to another might be entering areas where one might not be in compliant with existing ordinances covering BB guns and replica firearms. Thus, there is a need for state-wide law to make things uniform and avoid confusion. Crosman Corporation, which has both concerns in airguns and airsoft guns also oppose the bill as making these look like toys.
For us, the concern of making such look like toys is that children might mistake them for toys due to the attraction of colors used in toys, endangering them when they might get hold of such without adult supervision.
For those in the pest control business, they have not alternatives to do their business as they also have customers in the Los Angeles area. It will affect their business as well as their customers pest control concerns.
The Bill will affect the livelihoods of a lot of businesses and people, and California, as we have emphasized before has a substantial airsoft business being the drop off area of airsoft guns coming from Asia and delivered to rest of the states.
Those who are in opposition to bill are over 20 organizations and businesses who will be affected by the bill plus almost 600 private individuals who are a sprinkling of airsoft, airgun, and firearms enthusiasts.