Legalize airsoft in New Jersey

Legalize airsoft in New Jersey

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Ethan Xiao started this petition to State Senator Dawn Marie Addiego and

Anybody caught with the item in the picture above could be sentenced with 3 years of mandatory prison time. The item in question is an airsoft gun.

Airsoft is an extremely popular sport/hobby, with millions of players worldwide. It is a gun shaped chassis that is used to fire small, plastic pellets, or bb's at low velocities, to simulate a non lethal imitation firearm, often used to simulate combat or used for target practice.

Airsoft is a common sport across the United States, from California to New York, and has a huge following in Europe, with massive multiple-day airsoft battles, with hundreds to thousands of participants. It is a hugely popular sport, but in New Jersey, possession of an airsoft gun without a firearms license is illegal.

Under the Graves Act, any person in possession of an airsoft gun can face severe penalties, including mandatory 3 years of jail time, but can be anywhere between 5-10 years, and harsh fines. This is because the broad definitions of "firearm" under the graves act cause airsoft guns to be categorized as real firearms, which they clearly aren't.

Many are concerned that airsoft guns could be mistaken by authorities as real firearms, as in the unfortunate case of Tamir Rice. But tragedies such as this can still easily be avoided, while still allowing hobbyists to continue with the sport. There are regulated fields around the state, with strict rules, and security, where participants could use an airsoft gun without fear of confusion.

Current laws regarding airsoft are too strict, and although they were written with good intentions in mind, they are also unnecessarily restricting the livelihoods of many. The laws need to be reworked.

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