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Old 01-20-2013, 02:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Pending paintball legislation - Massachusetts

First off...this post admittedly toes the line of politics.
However, it has been given the go-ahead by the boss, as it's important information that needs to be shared, that will directly impact paintballers. That said, do not let this thread devolve into over the top political and/or firearms related rants. It will be watched, and pruned accordingly.

I'm posting this piece of pending Massachusetts legislation specifically as a heads up to all paintballers (and airsofters) who live, work, or attend school in Massachusetts.

The language you'll see below is only a small portion of a larger gun control bill that was submitted by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick a few days ago entitled "An Act To Strengthen and Enhance Firearms Laws in the Commonwealth."

The current law, Massachusetts General Law Ch.269/s.10 (j), deals specifically with prohibiting firearms on school grounds. However, the new language would amend it to read the following:

Whoever, not being a law enforcement officer, knowingly possesses or knowingly has under control in a vehicle a dangerous weapon, or an air gun, so-called BB gun, paintball gun, air rifle or air pistol or other smoothbore arm capable of discharging a shot or pellet by whatever means or replica of a firearm, large capacity weapon, rifle, shotgun, sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, assault weapon in any building or on the grounds of a public or private elementary or secondary school, college or university without the prior written authorization of the board or officer in charge of such elementary or secondary school, college or university shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 1 year, or both, and may be arrested without a warrant.
(Highlighting added by me for emphasis)

Now, you ask yourself, how would this apply to me?
Well, high school & college students who play paintball on the weekend would not be able to store their markers, even locked in a case in the trunk of their car if it's parked on campus, without risking arrest if it's discovered. Even if it's a parking garage owned by the college, off campus. ANY building or property owned would apply. You would need written authorization from the high school superintendent, or college president or board to do so...good luck getting that. You out of state students that live on campus for the semester might truly be out of luck unless you can find an off-campus storage spot.

But what if I'm not a student you ask? As many already know, Massachusetts has a plethora of colleges and universities, particularly in the eastern half of the state. In areas with large universities (ala UMASS Amherst), or campuses that spread out in an urban setting (UMASS Lowell, etc.), the roadways are frequently travelled by members of the public that are not affiliated with the school in any way. Some of these roadways that run through or along the periphery, may be considered "on campus", in whole or in part. So imagine this scenario, if you live or work in one of these college communities: driving home after a day of paintball with your marker in the car...you happen to get pulled over for a minor moving violation, or your car breaks down and the police respond to have it towed, while on a section of road you drive on a daily basis as a matter of convenience, that also happens to be "on campus". You might discover yourself getting arrested or summonsed to court. There are many other scenarios one could imagine, but I will not go into those in order to keep this short.

If you are interested in reading the FULL contents of the bill (of which we will only be discussing the paintball aspect here!), and I certainly suggest you do, it can be located here: An Act To Strengthen and Enhance Firearms Laws in the Commonwealth


Now, all is not lost. This bill has only recently been proposed. If you feel strongly about the matter, I would urge you to contact your state representatives...if you do not know who they are, you may look them up here: Find a Legislator

In your communications with them, be polite, articulate, and to the point. You must paint (no pun intended) yourself as a respectable hobbyist who enjoys an athletic sport that has a strong following in the state. Urge your legislators to reconsider wording in the bill to exclude airguns, paintball & airsoft type guns, or to allow for a means of storage in a vehicle.

Cheers,

Luke
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Last edited by LUKE; 01-20-2013 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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and that's why i play on saturdays, so i can clean my car on sunday.

as for the road thing, hopefully there's an exception about going to and from the paintball field/ranges. that's only sensible to add (and it's still just a bill so probably up for addendums?). otherwise you'll have to plan that route ahead of time. luckily fields are stationary so you only have to plan once, so hopefully worst case scenario it'll be a small inconvenience in the grand scheme of things for you.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I suspected that this hooplah about weapons bans might have an effect on paintball somehow. At least it is'nt limiting us to 7 paintballs in the hopper.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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While a hair off topic we homeschool our kids.. and just about all of the neighborhood kids go hunting on our school grounds pretty much every day. bows, cross bows, shot guns, rifles, pointy sticks.. u name it. The biggest problem seems to be finding bulk ammo .. every shelf seems picked clean. oh, and in about 3 hours we are hosting a bit of paintball on school grounds... and im planning on allowing the use of bottle rockets and a ton of left over firecrackers to "blow up" the "betty ford rehab center" to help Lindsay Lohan escape once and for all.

er, I would not do well up north. Too much po-po and not nearly enough sweet tea.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm sure you know it and are saying that tongue in cheek... but your house is considered residential/private property. You don't get the same zoning or tax exemptions etc as a school just because you home school.... and in all honestly I don't think you'd even want to suggest to the wrong people that your house should be classified as a school... Gun Free Zone.

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Old 01-20-2013, 07:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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He's not from MA, so the yet-unpassed legislation does'nt apply to his situation. I urge everyone from MA to contact their representatives via the link provided in the OP to state (respectivley) their opinions on the matter.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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..Gun Free Zone.
lol.. good luck with that.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I travel on multiple occasions a year to play paintball in the Commonwealth. Please luke if you could forward me contact info for the pertinent legislators I would be more than happy to write a letter and or call to speak with the representatives about the economic impact that this law would have on tourism and local business they benefit from our out of state dollars.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I can't imagine this law doing ANYTHING to stop anything, but that goes without saying I guess. This sets a bad precedent for legislation across the nation. I hope we can beat this now, once it passes it will be much harder to change.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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that legislation is insane. Not only are they pinching real firearms but replicas,bb guns pb guns airsoft frig it's like they want to kill off all the markets. I wonder though if this law would still pinch you if saw for example the gun/marker in question was in a locked gun case. that required a separate set of keys to open?
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