I guess my understanding of 'dropping your gear' allowances is more permissive than what most people go by. I've definitely left my gun to run for a flag, grabbed the flag, ran back to my gun, and picked my gun back up for the trip back to my base. Would I have been out if my gun had been hit while I didn't have it? I wouldn't think so. Yes, gear hits count, but if you leave it behind, it's not part of your gear until you pick it back up.
If people who leave a gun are out if it takes a hit and they pick it up again, I should just shoot the flag right away in capture the flag games. We all agree, I think, that if you have the flag, and it gets hit, you're out. By these rules, if I shoot the flag, any opponent that grabs it is out because of that hit, even though it occurred when the flag was not in their possession. That doesn't make sense.
I get that tournaments have a different set of rules. Can't leave things behind except for pods, must be within a certain distance of your marker, etc. But for walk-on ball, I've never really thought of any of that stuff applying.