HALLOWEEN AIRSOFT SAFETY!
“Even if you have a toy gun that is painted orange, or the tip is orange, it’s very difficult to say, well, ‘Is that really a replica or a toy gun? Or did somebody paint it on purpose?” Officer Jose Garcia in regards to a Halloween shooting incident in 2011.
“Whether it’s a Halloween party, on the street or at a robbery … we can’t take for granted that [a gun] is a replica”.
Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks
Halloween is the ideal time to be something you always wanted to be or someone you aren’t, if only for a single night with the use of a great costume. For some, that means putting on your airsoft rig, grabbing your airsoft gun and heading out as “special forces guy”, “military guy”, “such and such video game character”, etc. We get it- you’ve already got the gear and its comfortable, so why buy an actual costume? We aren’t saying you aren’t original nor are we saying you can’t wear your rig; what we ARE saying is leave your airsoft guns at home!! You and your friends may know its airsoft and you may even still have the orange tip attached, but not everyone can recognize airsoft vs live fire. Plus- why would you risk the safety of your gun just so you can wear it as a costume? Going to a party? It could get food or drinks spilled on it or stolen/damaged if you leave it lying around. It just isn’t worth the risk.
Think you can get away with it for one night because “cops are lax on Halloween. They know the guns are part of a costume”. Really? Think again. They have to respond to every single call about a possible subject with a gun regardless! Or an armed citizen nearby may take action if they feel you are a threat to the safety of the public. That’ll ruin your night for sure! And the night of your friends if you’re hanging around outside at a party doing things you may not be of legal age to do and some neighbor or trick or treating parent calls the police. Now your party is busted, all your friends are either arrested or have to be picked up by mom and dad and your gun is confiscated. In AZ- if a police officer confiscates your airsoft gun- you don’t get it back….
Obviously, the cops aren’t going to respond to calls about a 5 year old running around with a pop pistol, but if you’re older, it blurs the lines of age for onlookers and can insight fear or worry.
We, as the airsoft community, are already facing drastic changes to the equipment and the rules are growing stricter each year in regards to airsoft guns. Case in point- California SB199 which requires airsoft guns sold in California to be brightly colored or transparent so they are harder to mistake as a firearm.
“I don’t care what you say VIPAirsoft! I’m gonna carry my gun cus it completes my costume, makes me look cool and gets the ladies!” Okay then, turd. All you’re doing is ruining it for the rest of us. But hey- that’s your prerogative. If you just absolutely refuse to leave your gun at home- then at the very least be smart and play by the rules. Leave it on your sling, make sure you have the orange tip visible and if an officer confronts you- LISTEN AND OBEY TO EVERYTHING THEY SAY!
Have fun! Be safe!
(If you happen to have left over candy, stop it on by cus some of us here have to work)
Still don’t believe the risk? Proof is what you need then. Check out these true stories from around the country. And yes- you can look into their validity yourself. The links are below.
2011 – San Jose, California
A man attended a Halloween party wearing a costume which included a gun replica on his waist. Having had too much to drink at the party, he passed out in the stairwell of a local hotel. A receptionist noticed the weapon and called the police. They woke the man and believing him to be reaching for the weapon, shot him. It wasn’t until after that they realized it wasn’t a live firearm. The suspect lived after sustaining non-fatal injuries.
2000 – Los Angeles, California
A man attended a Los Angeles Halloween party carrying a solid rubber .357-caliber Desert Eagle semi-auto pistol as part of his costume. He decided to brandish it around the crowd causing a nearby officer to react quickly fearing the safety of the party-goers and general public. The officer shot and killed the man as he was unable to quickly distinguish the difference between the rubber gun and the live firearm version. The officer was responding to a noise-complaint at the time.
2013 – Merriam, Missouri
Police officer Corey Heron was responding to a complaint of armed suspects in a neighborhood and nearly shot the group of teenagers who were carrying their airsoft guns. “The only thing that stopped me from pulling the trigger was seeing the orange ring.” The group was very lucky as the officer states “It’s just about impossible to distinguish between the two whether or not they’re real or fake until you put your hands on them and actually look at them”.
2014 – Hueytown, Alabama
A tipster called into police that a group of five teenagers who were wearing masks and carrying weapons were driving around the area. Police responded and found that the young men were in possession of airsoft guns but had the orange tips colored black or removed. While the teenagers were released, their airsoft equipment was taken.