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California Senator and anti-gun activist Kevin de Leon seems intent on oppression. Rather than choosing to show his willingness to work with the Airsoft industry and foster an environment of safety-conscious consumers, he's chosen to continue his path of trying to wipe out a $170+ million industry in California (How's that budget working out for you, Mr. Brown?) while at the same time, taking away the freedoms of thousands of responsible Airsoft players.  I will give de Leon some credit here.  I'm a little more concerned about the current amendment than I was about the last.  Take a look for yourself and feel free to share your interpretation here on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog.  

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0751-0800/sb_798_bill_20110629_amended_asm_v95.html

BILL NUMBER: SB 798 AMENDED
 BILL TEXT

 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  JUNE 29, 2011
 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  JUNE 13, 2011
 AMENDED IN SENATE  APRIL 13, 2011
 AMENDED IN SENATE  MARCH 24, 2011

INTRODUCED BY   Senator De León

                        FEBRUARY 18, 2011

   An act to  amend Section 16700 of the Penal Code,
   repeal Section 53071.5 of the Government Code, 
relating to  imitation  firearms.



 LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 798, as amended, De León.  Firearms:  BB
devices: imitation firearms. 
   Existing law provides that the Legislature occupies the whole
field of regulation of the manufacture, sale, or possession of
imitation firearms, as defined, and that those provisions shall
preempt and be exclusive of all regulations relating to the
manufacture, sale, or possession of imitation firearms, including
regulations governing the manufacture, sale, or possession of BB
devices and air rifles, as specified. 
   This bill would repeal those provisions.  
   Existing law defines "BB device" to mean any instrument that
expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, through the force of
air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun.
Existing law defines "imitation firearm" to mean any BB device, toy
gun, replica of a firearm, or other device that is so substantially
similar in coloration and overall appearance to an existing firearm
as to lead a reasonable person to perceive that the device is a
firearm but provides that a BB device is not an imitation firearm in
regard to a provision imposing a civil fine on the sale, manufacture,
transportation, receipt, or distribution of imitation firearms for
commercial purposes.  
   This bill would make the provision imposing a civil fine on the
sale, manufacture, transportation, receipt, or distribution of
imitation firearms for commercial purposes applicable to BB devices.
 
    The bill would also provide that a spot marker gun that expels a
projectile of greater than 10 mm caliber would not be an imitation
firearm in regard to the provision imposing a civil fine on the sale,
manufacture, transportation, receipt, or distribution of imitation
firearms for commercial purposes. 
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

   SECTION 1.    Section 53071.5 of the  
Government Code   , as amended by Section 1 of Chapter 607
of the Statutes of 2004, is repealed.  
   53071.5.  By the enforcement of this section, the Legislature
occupies the whole field of regulation of the manufacture, sale, or
possession of imitation firearms, as defined in Section 12550 of the
Penal Code, and that section shall preempt and be exclusive of all
regulations relating to the manufacture, sale, or possession of
imitation firearms, including regulations governing the manufacture,
sale, or possession of BB devices and air rifles described in
subdivision (g) of Section 12001 of the Penal Code. 
   SEC. 2.    Section 53071.5 of the  
Government Code   , as amended by Section 35 of Chapter 178
of the Statutes of 2010, is repealed.  
   53071.5.  By the enforcement of this section, the Legislature
occupies the whole field of regulation of the manufacture, sale, or
possession of imitation firearms, as defined in subdivision (a) of
Section 16700 of the Penal Code, and that section shall preempt and
be exclusive of all regulations relating to the manufacture, sale, or
possession of imitation firearms, including regulations governing
the manufacture, sale, or possession of BB devices and air rifles
described in Section 16250 of the Penal Code.  
  SECTION 1.    Section 16700 of the Penal Code is
amended to read:
   16700.  (a) As used in this part, "imitation firearm" means any BB
device, toy gun, replica of a firearm, or other device that is so
substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance to an
existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to perceive that the
device is a firearm.
   (b) As used in Section 20165, "imitation firearm" does not include
any of the following:
   (1) A nonfiring collector's replica that is historically
significant, and is offered for sale in conjunction with a wall
plaque or presentation case.
   (2) A spot marker gun which expels a projectile that is greater
than 10 mm caliber.
   (3) A device where the entire exterior surface of the device is
white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright
blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the
predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern, as
provided by federal regulations governing imitation firearms, or
where the entire device is constructed of transparent or translucent
materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device's
complete contents, as provided by federal regulations governing
imitation firearms. 


To me, it looks like Senator de Leon is now trying to get Airsoft guns to be classified as real firearms subject to all the infamous and nonsensical California gun control laws that currently make this state one of the worst to live in for anyone who likes guns.  More on this later.  Just wanted to give you the update.

Speaking of updates, the next Public Safety Committee hearing looks like it's scheduled for next week, on July 5, 2011.

Operation: STOP SB 798
 Fort Ord - Monterey, California

Fort Ord,Stop SB 798 Game,Roundhouse Productions SB 798,Bakholdin Photography,Pyramyd Airsoft Blog,SB 798 Hearing,SB 798 Ruling,Senator Kevin de Leon,

As many of you now know, California Senate Bill 798 (SB 798) was voted down by the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday (June 21, 2011).  This was a significant victory for the shooting sports and hobby industries like Airsoft and Air Guns, considering we were definitely the underdogs in this battle.  I say battle, rather than war, because the war is not over yet.  SB 798 is scheduled for reconsideration in the next couple months, and it would be a safe assumption that Senator de Leon is not going to give up this easily.  Expect de Leon to amend his bill to address some of the many issues with it in its current form.  Now is not the time to sit back and relax, thinking we're safe for the foreseeable future.  There is still much work to be done.

Prior to Tuesday's Assembly hearing on SB 798, there were several events going on over the weekend in different parts of California.  Dave Bakholdin, of Bakholdin Photography, was kind enough to share his photos with the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog from a fundraising event by Roundhouse Productions to help fight Senator Kevin de Leon's SB 798 legislation, which was recently defeated (temporarily) during the June 21, 2011 hearing by the California Assembly's Public Safety Committee.

Fort Ord,Stop SB 798 Game,Roundhouse Productions SB 798,Bakholdin Photography,Pyramyd Airsoft Blog,SB 798 Hearing,SB 798 Ruling,Senator Kevin de Leon,
The event took place last Saturday, June 18, 2011 at Fort Ord, in Monterey, California and attracted over 250 players who came out to show their support for rejecting the bill.  The event raised close to $3,000 that will be donated to the Airsoft Safety Foundation to assist with the costs of fighting CA SB 798 and on top of that, players were able to fill out letters of opposition that would be mailed to the California Assembly members.

The day didn't just consist of Roundhouse hosting a rally against SB 798.  There were BBs to be fired as well.  The gaming began after the morning rally and lasted all day.  There was a massive raffle that had to be broken up into four parts throughout the day because sponsors had donated so many prizes.

For those of you curious about a little background on Roundhouse Productions and some additional details about this particular event, Dave has graciously provided us with some factoids to fill you in. He writes:

Fort Ord,Stop SB 798 Game,Roundhouse Productions SB 798,Bakholdin Photography,Pyramyd Airsoft Blog,SB 798 Hearing,SB 798 Ruling,Senator Kevin de Leon,
"Roundhouse is run by best friends, Sean St. Cin and Alex Eng.

They began hosing games in the year 2000 at Fort Ord. They have had several fields on the old Monterey, California military base and they are as follows:
- The Prison
- Holt's Bay
- Hayes Circle
- Crossroads
- Heartbreak Ridge (current field)

They introduced the CQB Challenge, which for many years pitted the West Coast's best teams against each other in a skills-based shooting competition.

They have been at the current field for three years now.

Over the past decade they have averaged 250 per game. They run one game a month, usually on the 3rd Saturday of the month.

They also put on one large-scale, three-day Op per year on their field, the AI 500 - OP: Red Reign.

They put on the AI 500 - Operation: Blackjack at the MOUT facility on Camp Blanding in Florida a couple years ago that I personally flew across country to attend. To this day, the Camp Blanding MOUT facility remains the best field I have had the pleasure of playing on.

Over the years, Roundhouse has set itself apart from the rest by offering the Airsoft player more than just a place to play. They have established a reputation for themselves for having detailed scenarios that require planning and teamwork in order to meet your objective. These aren't your mother's Airsoft games. They make you use your noggin as much, if not more than, your trigger finger. However, with their average attendance being as high as it is, there are plenty of opportunities to use that particular finger. Many of the games that Roundhouse puts on have intricate back-stories with multiple role-players and progressive objectives designed to get everyone at every skill-level involved. Over the years, the guys at Roundhouse have employed all sorts of cool props as well. There have been parts of a downed UAV, brief cases, Humvees, technicals, troop carriers, mortar tubes, satellite dishes, and even a military command center housed in an air-conditioned semi truck trailer.

Registration for games is done online at their website www.cqbchallenge.com. Upon registration you choose which side you will play based upon assigned BDU patterns. This has been a huge advantage when playing with groups more than 20 or 30 and has set them apart from anybody else whop puts on regular games. No arm bands, no guessing, just distinct BDU patterns that significantly cut down on the amount of friendly fire, that, of course, isn't so friendly, when you think about it.



Fort Ord,Stop SB 798 Game,Roundhouse Productions SB 798,Bakholdin Photography,Pyramyd Airsoft Blog,SB 798 Hearing,SB 798 Ruling,Senator Kevin de Leon,The current field Heartbreak Ridge in set on the northwest portion of the base which was used as troop barracks. There are over 40 buildings in the field with most being two-story dorms. It takes skill and teamwork to take a building, not to mention plenty of Thunder B grenades. All indoor fighting must be done with pistols, there are plenty of reminders painted on every entrance to buildings as a safety measure. On a typical day at the Ridge you will hear a Thunder B go off about every three or four minutes.

During last Saturday's OP: Stop SB 798, the first game had the REDFOR (Multicam and Desert) start on the southwest corner of the field while the BLUEFOR (Woodland and ACU) started at the northeast corner with one exception. ACU was pre-deployed into the Embassy and Onyx Bar (the objective buildings). Fort Ord,Stop SB 798 Game,Roundhouse Productions SB 798,Bakholdin Photography,Pyramyd Airsoft Blog,SB 798 Hearing,SB 798 Ruling,Senator Kevin de Leon,Whoever held the buildings at the end of 90 minutes would be declared the winner. One twist was that no member on the BLUEFOR other than those in ACU could enter the target buildings. In my opinion, it was a nice twist to keep things balanced.

For the second game, Sean split the field into three elements and the goal was to take control on the embassy. Again, the game was set up to keep people moving and guessing.

Overall, it was a successful fundraising event to fight SB 798 and a great day of quality Airsoft gaming."

There you have it.  I can vouch for the things Dave mentioned, having attended several Roundhouse events as well.  Sean and Alex have an impressive ability to effectively managed games of that size without having it turn into a chaotic mess, as I've seen occur at several other large, non-Roundhouse events I've attended in Southern California recently.  



Click Here to View the OP: Stop SB 798 Event Photo Gallery

WE WON!!!!! (Kind of)


5 Votes NO!!!!

2 Votes Yes.

Jet just reported that Assembly member Skinner apparently changed her vote to a No and one of the undecideds voted No.

HOWEVER, the bill will go back on the chopping block in July for reconsideration.   So we're not out of the woods yet.  But this is a significantly victory.

Airsoft has prevailed (for now).

Well done, everyone.  Those of you that made an effort, made a difference.  We still need to get Senator de Leon to drop the bill completely before we're out of the woods.

SB 798 News UPDATE

I got some bad intel, but Jet corrected my earlier post. There are TWO undecided Assembly members.

Call their offices NOW!!!!!!!! But PLEASE be polite, even if their office is rude to you.


Call Jerry Hill and Holly Mitchell's Office!!!!
Jerry Hill: 916 319 2019
Holly Mitchell: 916-319-2047

Here's the line of Airsoft supporters to get into the Assembly Public Safety Committee meeting for CA SB 798. Thanks to Jet Del Castillo, Airsoft Director for the world famous SC Viper Airsoft MOUT Facility I've been raving about lately, for sharing some photos with us.

Photo credit: Jet Del Castillo


Here are Pro-Airsoft/Anti-SB 798 troops waiting on the SB 798 Decision.
Photo credit: Jet Del Castillo

Still waiting on that final vote. The more time passes without a vote, the better our chances. The final committee member either needs to vote "NO" or not vote at all, and we win. I like those odds. Word on the street is that Kevin de Leon had a hard time justifying his bill today. It wouldn't be unreasonable to suggest that you bombard the committee member offices with phone calls right now to polity voice your strong opposition. It's a very quick process.

I'll keep you posted on the decision as quickly as the information becomes available to me.

As of 11:17 am, Pacific Standard Time:

3 votes - NO.

3 votes - Yes.

1 vote - Undecided.

The remaining committee member needs to vote by the end of today, otherwise it's considered a "NO" vote, and Airsoft Prevails.

It's a draw, which is like a tie, and I believe they're going to have to vote on it again.  This is good, not great. We've definitely gained some significant ground.  My informants indicate the vote will occur again today around noon.

I'll report more when I have more to report.


I believe the audio feed, link posted below, is delayed. I'm getting updates on the decision already, yet they haven't reached SB 798 in the audio feed, at least according to the schedule below.


PUBLIC SAFETY
AMMIANO, Chair

9 a.m. - State Capitol, Room 126



TESTIMONY LIMITED TO TWO WITNESSES PER SIDE -

TWO MINUTES PER WITNESS


BILLS HEARD IN SIGN-IN ORDER

Measure: Author: Summary:

S.B. No. 61 Pavley. Wiretapping: authorization.

S.B. No. 139 Alquist. Corrections: Inspector General.

S.B. No. 285 Correa. Massage therapy instruction: fraud: criminal

prosecutions.

S.B. No. 420 Hernandez. Synthetic cannabinoid compounds.

S.B. No. 425 Calderon. Cruelty to animals: fighting.

S.B. No. 427 De León. Ammunition.

S.B. No. 428 Strickland. Lester's Law of 2011.

S.B. No. 430 Kehoe. Strangulation.

S.B. No. 534 Corbett. Victims of sexual assault.

S.B. No. 557 Kehoe. Family justice centers.

S.B. No. 576 Calderon. Sentencing.

S.B. No. 610 Wright. Firearms: license to carry concealed firearm.

S.B. No. 622 Corbett. Sex offenders: registration.

S.B. No. 676 Leno. Industrial hemp.

S.B. No. 796 Blakeslee. State hospitals: prohibited items: misdemeanor
penalty.

S.B. No. 798 De León. Firearms: BB devices: imitation firearms.

S.B. No. 819 Leno. Firearms.

S.B. No. 888 Lieu. Crime: picketing.

S.B. No. 914 Leno. Search warrants: portable electronic devices.

S.B. No. 917 Lieu. Animal abuse.

Introducing (sort of)... 
the KWA ATP (Adaptive Training Pistol)
KWA ATP, Adaptive Training Pistol, SC Viper Airsoft MOUT, KWA USA, KWA Pistol, Gas Blowback Pistol, Airsoft Glock Pistol, KWA Glock, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed,
Long story short: I got to take some pictures of the new KWA ATP.  As if having the privilege of attending the grand opening of the world's hottest new Airsoft MOUT facility, SC Viper (Click for my review & photo gallery), wasn't enough, I was able to sweet talk Michael Hou, hot shot (literally) sales rep for KWA USA, to be my battle buddy during my maiden voyage on the field. I won't lie. I lucked out that he was there, because other than Giant Airsoft's new director, Jet Del Castillo, I didn't expect to know anyone there. I rolled out solo that day, like a one-man wolf pack roaming the desert looking for strip...oh wait, nevermind.

Anywho, after we got done owning it on the field (mostly Mike, not so much me until later in the day), I convinced Mr. Hou to let me snap a few shots of the new and yet-to-be-available-for-resale, Glock-based Adaptive Training Pistol aka the ATP, which he was using as his Airsoft sidearm during the game because you can do that when you're Mike Hou from KWA.  After procuring clearance from HQ (aka THE Allen "Allizard" Lau) that all details of the ATP therein were de-classified, he relinquished control of his not-yet-released Airsoft piece so that I could let my camera have some fun. And let me tell you, my 6mm sidekicks, my camera and I had a blasty blast (10 points if you can guess who says "blasty blast" other than me).

Although I hold him in very high regard, I thought about trying to over-power Mike and taking off with the ATP to keep all for myself, but I'm pretty sure he was ready to deliver a swift strike to my jaw with ninja-like precision and the help of a concealed auto-baton if I tried any shenanigans with the pride of KWA's new GBB pistol releases for 2011.  Aside from that, I've seen a bit of what he can do to manipulate a real firearm and, therefore, the risk-assessment module of my brain issued a warning that I should probably just mind my P's and Q's. 

Long and wordy story short, this is a special feature on the Glock-based KWA ATP.  I hope you don't hate it.

Click Here to Read the Rest and to Peep my KWA ATP Mini Gallery

I'll admit. I've been doing some trolling on the web lately and I came across a heart-warming little gem regarding our friend, Senator Kevin de Leon, not-so-best-selling author of SB 798, the California Senate bill that is set to cause more harm than do any good in our golden state.

It would seem that Senator de Leon doesn't spend all his time blowing our hard-earned tax dollars coming up with senseless legislation. Back in January of this year, he apparently hosted the launch party for The California Fatherhood Initiative, which was created by the National Latino Fatherhood and Family Institute (NLFFI). http://fyrtshare.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/senator-kevin-de-leon-endorses-the-california-fatherhood-initiative/

Per the NLFFI's official website (www.NLFFI.org),

"The goal of the California Fatherhood Initiative (CFI)is to bring together organizations, government entities, professionals, law enforcement, legislators and community advocates that have a vested interest in improving the lives of children, families and communities through positive fatherhood involvement and youth mentorship."

They go on to say that, "The California Fatherhood Initiative will work in collaboration with President Barack Obama’s effort to help men better understand the positive role they play in adding protective factors to their children lives that will help build strength and resilience that will help children achieve their goals and dreams."

Being a new dad myself, I think this initiative is a great thing just by itself. And based on their stated objectives, it would seem like this is PRECISELY the type of organization could facilitate a solution to the issues surrounding the incident that sparked creation of SB 798.

And just so we're clear, there were several major issues with the young teenager who was shot by an LAPD officer back in December 2010, the least of which was the color of the Airsoft gun the 200-pound 13-year-old had in his hand. First of all, if you're 200 pounds at 13, you're a big dude (or chick). So big, you could probably be easily mistaken for an adult at 8pm in the winter time, when it's plenty dark by then. Second of all, you're taking an object that looks like a real gun and playing with it in public. OF COURSE something will go wrong with this recipe. Not to mention, according to current state law, this is a no-no.

"Current law provides that no person may openly display or expose
any imitation firearm in a public place, as defined. (Penal
Code § 20170.) A violation is an infraction punishable by a
fine of $100 for the first offense, and $300 for a second
offense. A third or subsequent violation is punishable as a
misdemeanor. (Penal Code § 20180.)"

THEN, this:

"Police said the boy refused to comply and instead
produced what was later found to be a fake Beretta 92F
handgun. [Officer] Abarca fired his gun, striking the boy."

Failure to comply with law enforcement in situations like that of the above will likely result in the failure to prevent real bullets from entering your body.

One of the many issues with SB 798 is that the Airsoft gun involved in the incident could have been a cellphone or other non-gun-related object and he still could have easily been shot. Outrageous, you say?

"Chicago police responding to a domestic dispute this morning shot and killed a man after he refused to drop an object that turned out to be a cellphone, officials say."

This happened 10 days prior to the composition of this Airsoft blog entry.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-1-dead-in-possible-policeinvolved-shooting-on-south-side-20110607,0,5299682.story

Quick...somebody get Obama's old chronies back in Chi-Town to crank out some legislation ASAP to require that cell phones be lumped in with devices that are "so substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to perceive that the device is a firearm."

That way, the following situation will totally be prevented because the officer will completely disregard his/her training to treat anything that could be a gun as a gun and relax because the object that could be a gun is neon, therefore it couldn't possibly be a gun...
"[Suspect] turned toward an officer, 'pulled an object from his pocket, which the officer believed to be a handgun, and aggressively came at the officer,' police said.


[Suspect] refused to drop the object and the officer, "fearing for his safety," fired at [Suspect], police said." - Taken from that same news story above. A neon phone could have easily prevented this little mix-up which resulted in death.  Are you sensing my sarcasm yet?

So anyway, rather than enforce the laws that are already in place, we're just going to slap more restrictions down on the table to trick the public into believing that the problem is not only being addressed, but that it's being solved. How are you able to sleep at night, Mr. de Leon?! Surely someone with enough drive and intelligence to get themselves elected into State office has to pause at some point in this process and say, "hmmmmmmmmm, you know, my own idea doesn't make sense." You & I both KNOW he's thought about it and knows this plan is wrong but continues to pursue it.

Some of you may know that the 1st hearing by the state's public safety committee was originally scheduled to occur several days ago. However, according to the latest status update on leginfo.ca.gov, SB 798's courageous, safety-conscious author decided June 14, 2011 wasn't such a good day for a hearing apparently.

"LAST HIST. ACTION : Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at the request of author."
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0751-0800/sb_798_bill_20110614_status.html

This next portion of the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog has been brought to you by the word, "Speculation."

It's rumor time.  Word on the Airsoft street is that Senator de Leon caught wind that there was trouble afoot because the California Airsoft industry was mounting an offensive aimed at crashing his little legislation party and rescheduled the date to try and foil our attempts to gather in large numbers. While that rumor remains unsubstantiated, I wouldn't think it an unreasonable scenario. 

So, since Honorable Kevin de Leon, 22nd Senate District of California, won't do the honorable thing by retracting his atrocious notion that Airsoft guns belong in the hands of children, perhaps he should retract his endorsement of the California Fatherhood Initiative.  It just seems a bit contradictory to endorse an organization which promotes the outlandish idea that fathers should take an increased level of responsibility by becoming a more active part of their own children's lives and educating those young minds about things like the extreme dangers with leading police officers to believe you have a weapon and are about to use it to cause them harm.  Clearly, Senator de Leon doesn't feel that human behavior nor lack of a good father figure or mentor was the issue with our 200-pound 13-year-old, who was playing with an Airsoft gun in public and then, while at gun point, failed to comply with the orders of a law enforcement officer.  Nope.  A good mentor wouldn't have prevented that situation from occurring one bit.  Neon colors would have done the trick, same with that cell phone guy who got popped.  *fart noise*

"If you're not mad, then you're not paying attention." - Bumper Stick I Saw on a Car Once

If you are mad, channel that energy in a positive manner, hustle on up to the Capitol building in Sacramento this coming Tuesday, June 21, 2011 for the Public Safety Committee hearing, and politely speak your mind to the Public Safety Committee as to why this issue needs to be addressed in some other fashion.  Perhaps you might consider the idea of dropping the California Fatherhood Initiative's name into the hat to see what Senator de Leon has to say about that.

In an interesting turn of events, it seems that the Paintball industry has more effective lobbyists than the Airsoft industry.  They have not only been able to get Senator Kevin de Leon's SB 798 bill amended to exclude paintball markers from being classified as "imitation firearms," but according to one of the primary Paintball-related SB 798 Facebook pages, they are now SUPPORTING the bill, substantiated by their most recent status update (at the time I wrote this) where they say this:

"Thanks to all the manufacturers, dealers, fields and of course, the fans of this page, Bill SB 798 will be amended to NOT include paintball markers. The amended bill will be heard by the Assembly’s public safety committee at a hearing scheduled for June 21. The amended bill is posted on the left side of this page. Again thanks to all for your support; it was great to see the paintball community make a difference."

But my favorite (*sarcasm*) is this one:

Click to Read More After the Jump

OP: LION CLAWS X - 10th Anniversary 
Airsoft Event Photo Gallery

As two or three of you may know, I was fortunate enough to attend Operation: Lion Claw's X two or three weeks ago and brought along some friends on behalf of Pyramyd Air.  One of those friends happens to be an Airsoft photographer and took a bunch of photos during the event.  Those photos have been posted here on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog for your viewing pleasure.  There are photos of Airsoft guys, Airsoft guns, Airsoft gear and even a few Airsoft girls.  If you happened to have attended the event, or even if you didn't, you'll probably want to check out the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog gallery I have set up for the event because otherwise I'll assume you don't like Airsoft or fun.

Click Here for the Lion Claws X Airsoft Photo Gallery

AAR: The NEW SC Viper Airsoft MOUT Facility
An Airsoft Field Review

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View of the new SC Viper Airsoft MOUT facility using High Dynamic Range (HDR) Imaging

On Saturday, June 4, 2010, I attended the epic grand opening of the SC Viper Airsoft MOUT* Facility, located at  
8900 McCarty Road 
Corona, CA 91710

and took some photos for the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog. Those photos can be found in my Airsoft photography gallery after the "jump."   Click the "Read More" link at the bottom of this post. 

*MOUT is an acronym for Military Operations on Urban Terrain and in terms of Airsoft, it generally refers to a field that features not only buildings or structures to play inside, but also the ability to continue the fight in the open air outside of those structures.  It basically combines indoor Close Quarter Battle (CQB) with outdoor play.  MOUT facilities are my favorite type because of the fact that they are a blend between the two ends of the spectrum.

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View of the (almost) front of the line. It actually wraps around the corner to the right and goes on for another 30 yards or so.
Airsoft Guns, SC Viper Airsoft MOUT Facility, Desert Fox, Jet Del Castillo, SC Viper Photos, SC Viper Grand Opening, Bob the Axeman Hildebrand, Bob Hildebrand,Airsoft Events, Mil-Sim, Airsoft Photos, Airsoft Images, Airsoft Game Photography, Airsoft Game Photos, Airsoft Game Pics,SB 798, Southern California Airsoft Fields, SOCAL Airsoft Fields, Airsoft MOUT,Echo1 M240 Bravo,  Airsoft Machine Guns, heavy machine guns, Classic Army M15A4 Carbine, Magpul CTR Stock, 10.8v nimh Battery, 11.1 Lipo Battery, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,
View of the back half, with all the vendors on the right.  The line, at the time of photograph, reached beyond the last tent you see there on the right.

In case it wasn't immediately clear from the photos, there was a massive line to play. From the hours of 12pm to 4pm, game play was free, and then from 4pm to closing time (around 9/10pm-ish), it was $20 bucks.

The final number count straight from Giant Airsoft director, Jet del Castillo, almost reached 1,000 (ONE THOUSAND) players. The official number was something like 940, IIRC. Now hold on, nay-sayers. Don't freak out on me. There wasn't 940 players on this tiny field all at one time, alright? In order to get everyone at least a small taste of the field during the free play segment, the game staff let in approximately 50 players per side, with each time starting on opposite ends of the field. The game would run for 5 minutes, wherein players would shoot it out until the refs blew the whistles and the guy with the bullhorn would call game over. Then, each team would switch ends of the field to start at and go at it again from the opposite direction. Then, those 100 players would exit the field and another hundred would enter. REMINDER: This was only during the free gameplay segment so that everyone could get an introduction to the new field. Regular games will go for longer, as I experienced during the post-4pm portion of the day, when players had to pay to stay.

I was excited for my buddy, Jet, that so many people showed up to check out the field, but holy catfish, the place was a freakin' zoo. Once we had to pay, a lot of people cleared out, and pretty much left only the higher caliber players and/or those who weren't cheapskates, to battle it out for the rest of the day and into the night. Quality of game-play significantly increased at this time and remained that way for the duration of my time there. I had a mountain of fun throughout the day. I even got some one-on-one time with the new KWA Adaptive Training Pistol, which, if you haven't heard, is one of the most anticipated new Airsoft pistols to be released in 2011. I got to see it while attending the 2011 Shot Show in Vegas this year, but it was great to see it again, in a more up-close and personal setting. I will post those photos soon. This post needs to remain focused on a very cool new field. In fact, reading text is probably not what you're most interested in right now, is it? No. You'd probably rather see some sweet photos of the field and of players running and gunning to their hearts' delight. If so, just click the "Read More" link just below to check out my photo gallery for the SC Viper Airsoft MOUT Facility.

Click Here to See the SC Viper Airsoft MOUT Gallery


California SB 798 - The "Kill" Bill
CA SB 798, Senator Kevin de Leon, kill Airsoft, Say no to SB 798, Airsoft injuries, embedded BBs, Airsoft Safety, Lion Claws X, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Guns, Airsoft Obsessed
Not to be confused with the Tarantino movie franchise, CA SB 798 is a "Kill" bill in that it will kill Airsoft.  

It will kill law enforcement officers.

It will kill jobs.

It will kill tax revenue for the federal and state government (and a lot of it, as I mapped out in an earlier blog).

It will create the perception among kids that Airsoft Guns, having the ability to propel a BB hard enough to SHATTER a car window (I've done it, unfortunately), are toys. This is all bad.  Airsoft guns are not toys for children, nor should they appear like they're meant for children.  Children's toys don't fire projectiles hard enough to cause blindness, break thick glass and pierce skin.  Airsoft guns are dangerous in the hands of an untrained, uneducated and/or irresponsible individual, regardless of age.  While I have referred to them as "toys" in the past, they're technically toys meant for RESPONSIBLE adults (some adults are not responsible, so I have to clarify that) who know better than to brandish (show) them in public, like the three young boys did back in December.  Why else would there be a federally mandated law requiring the purchaser of an Airsoft gun to be over the age of 18?  
CA SB 798, Senator Kevin de Leon, kill Airsoft, Say no to SB 798, Airsoft injuries, embedded BBs, Airsoft Safety, Lion Claws X, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Guns, Airsoft Obsessed
This guy might have a smile on his face, but this is no joke. He was shot at close range by an Airsoft AEG rifle at Lion Claws X, which is a large Airsoft game event that occurred last weekend. Take a shot like that to the eye without proper eye protection and you're done. Pick out your favorite eye patch because you're down to one eye and deficient depth perception for the rest of your life, assuming no other complications arise from having your eye removed.

Imagine if a child were to get a hold of a neon-colored Airsoft rifle that shoots 480 fps with a .20g, just like the power behind my current Airsoft M14. That rifle is still just as dangerous as it would be if it were colored like the real thing. To adapt a common phrase, it might not "look like a duck" anymore, but it still acts just like one and, therefore, it's probably STILL a duck.  It's pretty clear that the politicians behind this bill, with Senator Kevin de Leon leading the charge, do NOT have a proper understanding of the environment they're trying to alter.  It is essential that ALL of us make an effort to politely attempt to educate the government officials tasked with making the decision on SB 798.  If each one of us were to make a relatively small amount of effort to contact the California Assembly members, specifically the seven members currently sitting on the Committee for Public Safety, and provide them with accurate information about the guns they are trying to classify as toys, our chances of defeating this bill would be greatly increased.  While Airsoft guns are extremely fun and exciting to use, their dangers and level of responsibility associated with ownership should NOT be overlooked or simply swept under a brightly neon-colored rug. 

I'm sure you're fed up with hearing this same sort of argument from the hundreds of websites that are now discussing it, but apparently you're not fed up enough to voice your opposition to the bill because word on the street is that Sacramento hasn't heard much more than a peep from voters. Apparently they haven't been contacted by very many of you out there. This makes me sad.

June 14, 2011 is the new hearing date set for CA 798 to be read.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0751-0800/sb_798_bill_20110602_status.html

Don't just sit there. Do something. In fact, just click here and fill out your name and email. Pyramyd will do the rest on your behalf. I'm not sure they could have made it any easier.

If you're in Southern California, come to the grand opening of the new SC Viper Airsoft field tomorrow in Corona, CA and sign the petition that's been circulating around. I will be there. I'll probably be the tallest guy there. Come say hi.

.
OPERATION: LION CLAWS X

Good day, sirs, madames and anyone in that transitional phase between the two.
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Airsoft Guns, Operation Lion Claws 10, Lion Claws 2011 Pictures, Lion Claws 2011 Photos, Lion Claws Mil Sim Series, Col Mcknight, Mad Max Mullen, Igor Dobroff, Blackhawk Down, U.S. Army Rangers, Special Operations, Spec Ops,George Air Force Base, John Lu, Airsoft War Games,Large Mil Sim Event, Airsoft MOUT Facility, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,

Last weekend marked the 10th Anniversary of a huge Airsoft gaming event known as Operation: Lion Claws, which has inspired the Operation: Lion Claws Military Simulation Series that includes large Airsoft events at exclusive locations across the United States. Spearheaded by John Lu, of Best of USA Marketing, the Lion Claws event alone, has consistently drawn crowds in the hundreds and featured not only high-profile retired military figures like Col. Danny McKnight (<---Tan) and SSG Matt Eversmann, of Blackhawk Down fame, U.S. Army Ranger Msg. Howard "Mad Max" Mullen (<---Woodland), Soviet Airborne Division Sgt. Igor Dobroff, but also a flock of attractive female models, known as the Angel Team.

In addition to the appeal of the VIPs, the exclusive access to unique Areas of Operation (AO) that John Lu is somehow able to procure for Airsoft events is a contributor to the success of these events. For Operation: Red Storm II, we battled it out on the grounds of a former California Youth Authority compound, which was like a small town or neighborhood within high walls topped with razor wire. See my AAR on OP: Red Storm II in the column of links to the right. As if I didn't get my fill of razor wire there, Lion Claws 10 (hence the Roman numeral "X" I've been using) took place at the old George Air Force Base in fabulous & non-crappy Victorville, CA. There were about 400 of us that battled it out in and out of the run-down and structurally unsound residential apartment buildings that are sprawled across a huge area on base. While I brought literally a truckload of stuff with me for the weekend, there were three gear items I was most thankful for. They are as follows:

King Arms IBH Helmet
Being really tall and equally oblivious when I'm running through a building, being shot at and trying to keep up with my hard-charging squad, it becomes difficult to track every hazard in my way.  I clocked myself on the head on numerous occasions last weekend and on one particular incident, literally knocked a piece of the ceiling to the floor because I struck it with my head so hard.  Luckily, I had that helmet take all the blunt force trauma, otherwise, I'd probably be missing a part of my skull right now.  No joke.  I hit that piece with a lot of momentum behind me.

ESS Profile Turbofan Goggles
They not only protect my eyes from being pierced with plastic BBs headed inbound on my grid, but because I'm like a big engine in that I operate at high temperatures whenever I'm not at a complete rest, I need the electric fan that comes on the goggles to help circulate air through them to help prevent fogging.

Wire Mesh Lower Face Mask
These are becoming all the rage these days because they allow versatility in the number of eye pro that you can use with them.  For me, using a complete mask/goggle setup is a no go for the reasons I just described.  I've gotta have that turbofan running to prevent fogging.  Having the lower face mask allows me to run the type of goggles that I want, while protecting the bottom half of my face like cheeks, nose, and especially my teeth, but because it's mesh, it ventilates a whole heck of a lot easier, which reduces the amount of fogging in your goggles from breathing your hot stank breath into your mask, which sends that hot and foul air up into your goggles.  Also, especially at events like these where they allow players to engage each other indoors at ranges of less than 10ft at an insane energy level of 420 fps.  Per their rules, the event allows assault rifles to run at 376 fps maximum with a .25g BB.  I did the math.  That's just under 420 fps with a .20g BB.  When you shoot at someone using a gun that hot, one can only expect the following results.
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Notice the three items I just mentioned above all have something in common: They protect my gorgeous moneymakers (face and brain) from detriment. There were so many mind-boggling hazards at this place it made a used needle dumpster look like the ball pit at a McDonald's playground. I'm surprised we didn't have a motorcade of ambulances running in and out of the AO all weekend. What was concerning was the indifference conveyed by several game staff whom I overheard discussing how it wasn't their responsibility to mark some of the hazards in and around the campground that posed a pretty significant risk to the campers. Maybe. Maybe not. Having run a number of events of different types over the last decade or so, including writing my senior capstone thesis in college on the business of event management, generally, there is SOME responsibility and liability placed on the event production company to provide a safe environment for guests. Obviously, baby-proofing the entire AO would be impossible and unreasonable to expect because of its sheer size, but they could have done a little better around certain areas.  Technically, I was aware ahead of time that this place would be pretty hazardous and by showing up and playing, the attendees did "assume the risk," but still.  

Anyway. Looking back on the weekend, I can say in all honesty that the fun meter was very high. Let's not get too caught up in safety talk. How about some photos? Alright. You talked me into it. Here ya go...

Here's a few killers
Airsoft Guns, Operation Lion Claws 10, Lion Claws 2011 Pictures, Lion Claws 2011 Photos, Lion Claws Mil Sim Series, Col Mcknight, Mad Max Mullen, Igor Dobroff, Right Hook Fabrication Mantis, Echo1 M240 Bravo, Elcan 4x32 Scope, VFC M4, PWS Diablo Front End Kit, Magpul Airsoft M4 Kit, Blackhawk Down, U.S. Army Rangers, Special Operations, Spec Ops,George Air Force Base, John Lu, Airsoft War Games,Large Mil Sim Event, Airsoft MOUT Facility, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,
I spy a Right Hook Fabrication Mantis, which is an extremely upgraded KJW M700-based Airsoft sniper rifle, Echo1 M240 Bravo Airsoft Machine Gun with 4x32 Elcan-style scope, VFC M4 with Madbull PWS Diablo front end kit plus PWS Compensator and a very nice M4 (appearance and performance) tricked out with a bunch of Chris Costa's Magpul goodies. Not only do I know about those guns, but I know the players holding them. Let me tell you this: If you were TANFOR, you probably got shot by at least one of these guys. Don't get upset. They're just good players. It's what they do. But enough about me & my squad (minus Dave because somebody had to document us looking good).  Thanks, Dave. 

Running...
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And gunning...

Airsoft Guns, Operation Lion Claws 10, Lion Claws 2011 Pictures, Lion Claws 2011 Photos, Lion Claws Mil Sim Series, Col Mcknight, Mad Max Mullen, Igor Dobroff, Right Hook Fabrication Mantis, Echo1 M240 Bravo, Elcan 4x32 Scope, VFC M4, PWS Diablo Front End Kit, Magpul Airsoft M4 Kit, Blackhawk Down, U.S. Army Rangers, Special Operations, Spec Ops,George Air Force Base, John Lu, Airsoft War Games,Large Mil Sim Event, Airsoft MOUT Facility, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,


Hmmmm...
Airsoft Guns, Operation Lion Claws 10, Lion Claws 2011 Pictures, Lion Claws 2011 Photos, Lion Claws Mil Sim Series, Col Mcknight, Mad Max Mullen, Igor Dobroff, Right Hook Fabrication Mantis, Echo1 M240 Bravo, Elcan 4x32 Scope, VFC M4, PWS Diablo Front End Kit, Magpul Airsoft M4 Kit, Blackhawk Down, U.S. Army Rangers, Special Operations, Spec Ops,George Air Force Base, John Lu, Airsoft War Games,Large Mil Sim Event, Airsoft MOUT Facility, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,


Being a self-declared expert on being ridiculous, unnecessary, and over-the-top, why is this guy running two assault rifles? 
Airsoft Guns, Operation Lion Claws 10, Lion Claws 2011 Pictures, Lion Claws 2011 Photos, Lion Claws Mil Sim Series, Col Mcknight, Mad Max Mullen, Igor Dobroff, Right Hook Fabrication Mantis, Echo1 M240 Bravo, Elcan 4x32 Scope, VFC M4, PWS Diablo Front End Kit, Magpul Airsoft M4 Kit, Blackhawk Down, U.S. Army Rangers, Special Operations, Spec Ops,George Air Force Base, John Lu, Airsoft War Games,Large Mil Sim Event, Airsoft MOUT Facility, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,
I can understand if one is a sniper rifle and one is assault, or if he carries a rocket launcher and an assault rifle, but I'm not quite sure I follow the two assault rifle thing.  Maybe it's something super high speed that I don't even know about, which is totally possible because high-speed and I don't get along very well.  Just ask the CHP officer who pulled me over a few months ago doing 90+mph in a 65 zone.  Whoops.  Anyway, regardless of the practicality, I think ol' Mr. Two Guns there looks pretty cool, so I give him points for that. 


Here comes trouble...
Airsoft Guns, Operation Lion Claws 10, Lion Claws 2011 Pictures, Lion Claws 2011 Photos, Lion Claws Mil Sim Series, Col Mcknight, Mad Max Mullen, Igor Dobroff, Right Hook Fabrication Mantis, Echo1 M240 Bravo, Elcan 4x32 Scope, VFC M4, PWS Diablo Front End Kit, Magpul Airsoft M4 Kit, Blackhawk Down, U.S. Army Rangers, Special Operations, Spec Ops,George Air Force Base, John Lu, Airsoft War Games,Large Mil Sim Event, Airsoft MOUT Facility, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,

This vehicle was not only owned by the Roughnecks Airsoft Detachment (RAD), but it allowed them to own a number of GREENFOR, including myself once or twice.  Ok, maybe more than that, but don't tell anyone.  I'm trying to look cool here on the blog. 

Airsoft Guns, Operation Lion Claws 10, Lion Claws 2011 Pictures, Lion Claws 2011 Photos, Lion Claws Mil Sim Series, Col Mcknight, Mad Max Mullen, Igor Dobroff, Right Hook Fabrication Mantis, Echo1 M240 Bravo, Elcan 4x32 Scope, VFC M4, PWS Diablo Front End Kit, Magpul Airsoft M4 Kit, Blackhawk Down, U.S. Army Rangers, Special Operations, Spec Ops,George Air Force Base, John Lu, Airsoft War Games,Large Mil Sim Event, Airsoft MOUT Facility, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,

I've never, ever believed in guys operating in and out of vehicles because normally they're just fish in a barrel, waiting to get blown up by some 6mm dynamite. However, I have to hand it to these RAD guys. While they did catch their fair share of BBs riding in this thing all weekend long (especially the squad gunner up in the turret), they were flirting with force-multiplier status in my book.  That suburban was everywhere!

Airsoft Guns, Operation Lion Claws 10, Lion Claws 2011 Pictures, Lion Claws 2011 Photos, Lion Claws Mil Sim Series, Col Mcknight, Mad Max Mullen, Igor Dobroff, Right Hook Fabrication Mantis, Echo1 M240 Bravo, Elcan 4x32 Scope, VFC M4, PWS Diablo Front End Kit, Magpul Airsoft M4 Kit, Roughnecks Airsoft Detachment,Blackhawk Down, U.S. Army Rangers, Special Operations, Spec Ops,George Air Force Base, John Lu, Airsoft War Games,Large Mil Sim Event, Airsoft MOUT Facility, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,

I knew they'd done their job well that weekend when there were a group of GREENFOR bunched up along the side of a building near one of the roads who all start yelling/screaming "TECHNICAL!!! TECHNICAL!!! EVERYBODY RUN FOR COVER!!!" at the rumbling sound of the Roughneck suburban (AKA The Burb) approaching in the distance. Props to RAD, but major FAIL points to those green guys who were scattering like cockroaches under a bright light.  I was ashamed to be on their team at that point in time, but not the whole weekend.  
Airsoft Guns, Operation Lion Claws 10, Lion Claws 2011 Pictures, Lion Claws 2011 Photos, Lion Claws Mil Sim Series, Col Mcknight, Mad Max Mullen, Igor Dobroff, Right Hook Fabrication Mantis, Echo1 M240 Bravo, Elcan 4x32 Scope, VFC M4, PWS Diablo Front End Kit, Magpul Airsoft M4 Kit, Roughnecks Airsoft Detachment,Blackhawk Down, U.S. Army Rangers, Special Operations, Spec Ops,George Air Force Base, John Lu, Airsoft War Games,Large Mil Sim Event, Airsoft MOUT Facility, Airsoft Guns, Pyramyd Air, Pyramyd Airsoft Blog, Airsoft Obsessed, Airsoft Blog,
That's pretty majestic, right there with the flag waving.  Not going to lie, I like those assault packs.  I want to be friends with them.  I love tactical backpacks and other handy bags.  Just sayin'.

Knowledge time for the uninformed:
"Technical" is the term used to described a vehicle modified to handle offensive tactics through the use of a mounted weapon, usually a machine gun of some sort, and has the ability to carry multiple armed personnel from A to B.

Did I know what a "technical" was, as it relates to military operations before ten minutes ago when I Googled the keywords, "'technical' vehicle"? Absolutely...not. Neither here nor there at this point. Now, I know. And everyone knows that knowing is at least half the battle, per GI JOE.  It's science. 

So that pretty much wraps it up for me at the moment. This blog was not without incident, in that I fell slight asleep/unconscious while writing the final sentence or two at around 2 A.M. this morning, leaving at least one hand on the keyboard and I somehow reverted the freakin' thing back to a previously saved version which was pretty much completely different from how I wanted it to be. I was so mad that I might have actually slapped myself in the face once or twice and then smashed a few items of personal value that I'll regret later, namely an unopened box of Red Rageous Mike & Ike chewy fruit candies (my favorites). I'll not admit it one way or the other, but it could have happened.

Anyway, there are plenty more photos of Lion Claws X and stories to go with them, so I'll post those as soon as I can. In the mean time, while you're waiting for me to get my act together, hop on over to Pyramyd Air and check out their sweet Father's Day Sale items right now. They have several deals going right now, specifically for their Airsoft stuff, so check that out here: Pyramyd Air Father's Day Airsoft Sale

Oh by the way, Airsoft is still under attack. Just because it's been all quiet on the western front, doesn't mean that this SB 798 mess is just going to clean itself up and go away. The bill will be going up for vote in the Assembly soon and word on the street is that California politicians have heard little opposition from their constituents about this bill thus far, so that means we've had little to no effect on target to date. Get on it, guys! Pyramyd Air has a petition and a pre-written letter that you can use to just sign your name and send in to the Assemblymen offices. Get on it or start thinking about how you're going to sell all your gear to out of state players and then take up another hobby, like eating Ben & Jerry's ice cream in the darkest corner of your closest, with all the lights off.

Airsoft won't prevail if you're lazy.

A very special thanks goes out to Dave Bakholdin of Bakholdin Photography for not only helping me run the Pyramyd Air booth in the vendor area, but for also taking photos of the event so that I could plaster them here on the Pyramyd Airsoft Blog. If it weren't for Dave, you'd all be writing a photoless blog consisting of even MORE words because I would no doubt feel the need to fill the space where a photo would normally go with alphabetic permutations. Even I think that would be pretty freakin' boring.

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