House bill seeks to regulate airsoft rifles

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Saturday, April 19, 2014


A MEASURE was recently filed which aims to regulate the importation, production, sale, use and transport of airsoft rifles and pistols for public security and safety.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez said that House Bill 3805 seeks to ban the import, sale and public display of gun replicas since airsoft guns and the movements of airsoft players are largely untouched by the government, with only a few confiscated shipments marring that record.

“No direct regulations have been placed on the airsoft community and players of all ages and background are welcomed to play,” Rodriguez said.

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Rodriguez said his proposal provides it is the declared State policy to protect the public from harm due to the unregulated manufacture, sale, use and transport of any toy look-alike or imitation firearm.

He cited a report last March by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Alan Purisima that toy guns and replica firearms are subject for confiscation by authorities under Republic Act 10591, but amid complaints, toy guns and replica firearms are sometimes still being used by criminals, especially holduppers on their victims.

Rodriguez said organized airsoft started in the country in 1985, and interest in the hobby had gone up and down several times over the past 20 years.

“The airsoft gaming community initially conducted their games in secrecy, but in recent years has reached the mainstream due to the tremendous surge of newbies, owing to the advent of cheap China-made airsoft guns,” said Rodriguez.

Under the measure, an airsoft rifle or pistol includes battery operated, spring and gas type powered rifle or pistol which discharge plastic pellets only as bullets or ammunition. It differs from replica as the latter does not fire plastic pellet with very low projectile velocity.

The bill is currently pending at the House committee on public order and safety.

It also stated in the bill that an airsoft rifle or pistol, a special type of air gun, shall be used in sporting activities such as war games stimulation only. All airsoft rifles or pistols shall not exceed 550 feet per second velocity using .20-gram pellets. An airsoft rifle or pistol exceeding the said limit shall not be eligible for registration.

“Furthermore, it provides that all natural and juridical persons who intend to manufacture, import or sell airsoft rifles or pistols shall apply for permit from the Department of Trade and Industry and shall be registered with the PNP,” the bill stated. (John Carlo M. Cahinhinan/Sunnex)

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