(Updated 6/13/23) June 7th, 2023
This New Law Might be the End of Airsoft: Act Now to Save the Industry
Update 6/13/23: We appreciate everyones collaborative efforts in commenting their opposition of Docket No. CPSC–2023–0021. The CPSC has taken our comments into consideration and are working with Industry leaders regarding next steps.
Heres what that could mean:
- If new data or arguments come up during the rulemaking process, CPSC can decide to stop the process OR make changes to the rule to address these issues.
- If the changes are significant, a new proposed rule may be issued by CPSC.
- If the changes are minor or expected, a final rule may be issued.
It also means that this isnt over yet but we will contine to monitor and provide any updates as we receive them.
If you're an airsofter, dealer, or business owner, listen up - a new law could potentially put an end to airsoft as we know it. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is trying to pass a law on June 12th that could be detrimental to the airsoft industry. In this post, we'll explain the situation, its potential impacts, and how you can help to preserve the future of airsoft.
The Issue at Hand
The Federal Energy Management Improvement Act Update has transferred the authority for regulating the marking of toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms from the Department of Commerce to the CPSC. As a result, the CPSC is now responsible for ensuring that toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms are appropriately marked for safety reasons.
The new law, which would be effective from June 26, 2023, requires every airsoft gun, paintball gun, and possibly even GelBlasters to have a third-party conformity certification documentation from the manufacturer. This essentially makes every incoming shipment seizable and possibly illegal, and any future shipments without certification illegal.
"This new law could change everything. The logistics are not in place for such a large change to happen overnight. This could end airsoft as we know it and many of the airsoft stores will take a large hit and more than likely close. This essentially will destroy our ability for players to get their hands on airsoft related items."
- Kurtis Hardy, Owner of Amped Airsoft
The Potential Impact on the Airsoft Community
The immediate requirements associated with this law may pose challenges for airsoft retailers and potentially result in a halt in imports, leading to potential business closures. Additionally, dealers would be burdened with the responsibility of maintaining extensive documentation on file to comply with the new regulations.
Given the urgency of the situation, the airsoft community must respond overwhelmingly to these proposed requirements. Without a strong and unified response, these requirements could potentially become law as early as this month. It is equally important for businesses in the airsoft industry to actively engage in the process, voice their concerns, and stay updated.
How You Can Help Save Airsoft
We need you to take action right now. Follow the simple steps below to make your voice heard:
- Click on the following link to access the CPSC proposed law publication: https://www.regulations.gov/document/CPSC-2023-0021-0001
- Write your own comment or copy and paste the following message provided by PewDieRy Airsoft (feel free to customize it to make it more personal)
> I, the undersigned, oppose the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s proposed Direct Final Rule in Docket No. CPSC-2023-0021. As written, the effect of the Commission’s proposed rule would have a significant and unnecessary economic impact on the undersigned and all in the air-soft industry. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (AFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612 does apply and requires the Commission to prepare an analysis under 5 U.S.C. 603, 604. Without comment from the industry, the proposed Direct Final Rule would be inappropriate and unacceptable without changes.
The Commission’s stated basis for the Direct Final Rule Process is that the new 16 CFR Part 1272 contains no substantive changes from regulations in effect now for more than 30 years. The reason for the new 16 CFR Part 1272 is that recent federal legislation has transferred oversight and enforcement of the regulation from the Department of Commerce to the Commission. Because the Consumer Product Safety Act requires certain certifications for products subject to regulations enforced by the Commission (see Supplementary Information, Paragraph G in the docket entry), the new, proposed 16 CFR Part 1272 would unnecessarily impact the air-soft industry negatively, substantively, and financially.
The subject regulation was enabled by 15 U.S.C. § 5001 which imposes certain marking requirements on “look-alike firearms.” Look-alike firearms include “air-soft guns firing nonmetallic projectiles.” 15 U.S.C. § 5001 (c). While the undersigned have long complied with this statute and 16 CRR Part 1272, there has been no requirement for any general product certifications (GCC). Now, there would be such a requirement. See Supplementary Information, Paragraph G in the docket entry.
Because the Commission states in the subject docket entry that the Commission would be requiring GCCs for air-soft guns, the undersigned and the industry request an opportunity to comment under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). See generally, 5 U.S.C. 551-559. The undersigned and the industry request that opportunity to address whether GCCs for air-soft guns under 16 CFR Part 1272 is necessary. It is readily apparent upon visual examination whether an air-soft gun complies with 16 CRR Part 1272 marking requirements. GCCs are not necessary.
The undersigned believes the Commission is also required to conduct a flexibility analysis under 5 U.S.C. 603, 504.
Many in the industry are small businesses. The undersigned also states that they and others in the industry are not equipped to provide GCCs for their air-soft products, in the near future, particularly those that would comply with the legal requirements. See, e.g., 15 U.S.C. 2063 (g). Many of their air-soft products are in transit, in inventory, with distributors, and in retail stores.
Accordingly, the undersigned request the Commission withdraw the proposed direct final rule. The undersigned appreciates and understands the Commission’s approach and requests the Commission consider excepting air-soft guns from any requirement for GCCs.
Thank you for your consideration.
- Share this blog post with your friends, family members, and fellow airsoft players. The more people who comment on the regulation, the higher the chance we have of making a difference
- If you're a content creator, we urge you to use your platform to spread awareness!
Time is Running Out: Act Today
We have until June 12th to speak up and save the airsoft industry from potentially devastating restrictions. Let's take a few minutes to make a positive impact on a sport that we all value. Together, we can fight back against this law and protect our airsoft community.
Written by The Amped Blog Squad