BATTLEGROUND

Airsoft in the YubaCity / Marysville area.

As I'm sure all of you have heard, Gov. Moonbeam signed SB199 into law. Like past attempts, the law had a noble, but dangerously flawed rationale behind it. Though, unlike past attempts, SB199 is fairly mild as enacted.

Last night, I opened the discussion on Butte County's Facebook page about the text of the law and how it will effect us. The entire text can be found here: leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB199

Here's a couple things I've come to realize doing some research on how laws effect us. I'm not a lawyer, so if anyone has real legal information together support or correct these things, please share. Also, I recognize that the letter of the law and reality are two different things so assumptions based on what "might" happen should be kept out; let's keep this legal and not political until 2016.

1. This law, by using the word Repeal creates what is called an ex post facto effect. What that means is that the law effectively makes things we did "yesterday" a crime. It's an attempt to eliminate grandfathering.

2. Ex post facto laws are Constitutionally illegal per the US Constitution, Article 1, Section 9, clause 3. This means that if we play a game 31DEC15, we cannot be arrested 1JAN16, when the law takes effect, for it. This also means that we can't be punished for our guns not complying with the new law because they were legal when purchased.

3. While that's all well and good, there are two word that could be taken as a de facto requirement for us to make ours guns comply with the new law: transportation and sale. Realistically speaking, transportation is to stop illegal sale, not stop us from moving our guns from our home to a game, but since transportation isn't defined like that, you could be in trouble if you're discovered having an unmodified gun in your car. Best defense: don't get pulled over. You could try pleading the 5th, but that's not a great idea. With sale, that's pretty clear: if you sell your gun, mark it. It's a pain, it may make selling your gun harder, but it's black and white in the law: it must be marked prior to being sold otherwise you both could face up to $10,000 in fines.

4. Last, this law is so limited in scope for us players that we may never find ourselves tried under this law. Sen. DeLeon is looking out for LA only. He couldn't care less about California as a whole. It's hole ridden and there should be no grey areas or no tools for entrapment (possess all you want, just if we catch you moving it, we'll arrest you). My guess this is for DeLeon and the LAPD to clamp down further on "gang violence" not to punish players.

I recommend you CYOA in all instances of owning and possessing an airsoft gun after 1JAN16. I will probably mark my guns just because I have a truck where my cases will be visible in any visual inspection of my vehicle if I'm pulled over. Other will choose not to. Do what's best for you, but consider the sport as a whole. For right now we have our M4's, AK's and whatever other gun we use with minimal identification as a "fake" "toy" gun, and in 2016, it only gets marginally worse. If there's active resistance, we could find ourselves further restricted. Remember, it's virtually impossible to apply the 2nd amendment to our sport, so we have very little push back to these regulations.

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