While the vast majority of airsoft players take pride in preserving the integrity of airsoft, a handful of others act irresponsibly with airsoft guns and give the sport a bad rap. It is in the news regularly – airsoft guns being used to intimidate, to take out aggression, and even to commit robberies. The realistic look of airsoft guns contributes to the fun of the game, but also causes the average person to perceive airsoft guns as real guns. For good reason, carrying an unconcealed airsoft gun is illegal in many areas.
When transporting or handling airsoft guns away from the field, you should always keep them packed away and out of public view. Aside from the legal repercussions, brandishing an airsoft gun in public can have extreme, even deadly consequences. Just imagine the horror you (or your mother, or grandmother) would feel if someone was walking through the neighborhood with a sniper rifle in hand. It is not uncommon for concerned citizens to call the police upon encountering someone carrying or shooting an airsoft gun, unaware that it is a replica. Police officers will also assume that an airsoft gun is a real gun, and will treat the situation as such. If you do not want officers pointing real guns at you, or worse, shooting you, keep your airsoft gun out of sight at all times when in public.
A related issue that tarnishes the reputation of the sport is taking part in what is widely known as ‘backyard airsoft.’ Most players agree that backyard airsoft, or playing in close proximity to homes or other buildings, should be avoided. The possibility of injuring someone or causing damage to a home is only the beginning. Playing with airsoft guns in view of neighbors or passersby can cause public fear, and law enforcement officers are likely to get involved. Airsoft should always be played in areas that are out of sight of others and distant from buildings and other structures. Communicating with law enforcement about what you are doing is also a good idea.
Though many airsofters do not heed this advice, keep the orange tip intact on your airsoft guns. This could possibly prevent the above situations, and may also be required by law. The orange tip is in many cases the only visible indicator that an airsoft gun is not a real weapon.
Although airsoft has been growing in popularity, a majority of people are unfamiliar with the sport and the realistic replica guns used to play. If you are carrying an airsoft gun, most people will assume it is a real gun. There are already people who are determined to make replicas of real guns illegal, and causing problems with an airsoft gun is not going to help the case for responsible players who love to play airsoft. Being responsible with airsoft guns not only protects your safety and that of people around you, it protects the integrity of the sport.