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PostSubject: What is Airsoft?   Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:30 pm

What is Airsoft?
Airsoft is a modern combat sport or recreational hobby in which participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with spherical airsoft pellets, launched from airsoft guns. Participants typically employ the use of varying types of weapons designed as replicas of real firearms, tactical gear, and accessories used by modern military and police organizations.

Origin
Airsoft was developed in Japan in the late 1970s to provide an alternative for gun hobbyists because local laws prevented individuals from privately owning firearms. A heavy emphasis was therefore placed on making accurate replicas of real firearms.

Airsoft Here in the Philippines
Organized airsoft started in 1985, and interest in the hobby had gone up and down, several times over the past 20 years. The airsoft gaming community is highly secretive and underground, but has seen a tremendous surge of newbies in the last 2 years, owing to the advent of cheap China-made airsoft guns. Airsoft teams are often very clannish, with a number of groups claiming representation, to a certain extent, of the local airsoft community, organizing and coordinating between local teams, especially during big events where hundreds of players from teams all over the country converge on selected venues for friendly tournaments. Letter of Instruction 1264, signed in 1982, bans the importation, sale and public display of gun replicas, but purchase of airsoft guns and the movement of airsoft players are largely untouched by the government, with only a few confiscated shipments marring that record. No direct regulations have been placed on the airsoft community, and players of all ages are welcomed to play. In the Philippines, a firearm is considered lethal and illegal if it fires a projectile larger than 5.5mm in diameter, however, local media has suggested that airsofting will soon be considered officially legal provided there are a few exceptions like the proposed ordinance of repainting the replica gun to make it look less realistic and more distinguishable from an authentic firearm (similar to laws in the United States). However given the structure of the Philippine government and their method of operation, such a ratification may take several years to be processed. Until then, most airsoft shops in the Philippines are discreet and well hidden from the public, often located in unmarked buildings and difficult to find shops where their whereabouts are only spread via "word of mouth" or by the internet.

As of 24 July 2006 the Chief PNP Gen. Oscar Calderon has signed the Memo approving a petition for classification of airsoft guns as air guns under current PNP Rules and Regulations dated 29 January 1992. Despite the Memo on Implementation of Rules and Regulations governing Airsoft rifles and pistols, this memo does not repeal/amend an LOI issued by a previous President, which states "if the samples are found to be gun replicas, all the toy guns shall be turned over to FED for safekeeping/ proper disposition since gun replicas are prohibited articles in the country pursuant to LOI 1264 dated 31 July 1982". A Memo from the Chief PNP amending the PNP rules and Regulations cannot overrule/repeal or amend the Presidential directive. Only the Legislative body, the Supreme Court or the present President can do so. The only consolation the airsoft community will get from this Memo is that airsofters cannot be charged for illegal possession of firearms.
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