KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27: Individual players of both airsoft and paintball sports protested against giving up their gadgets and argued that their hobby should be regulated instead of them having to give up their toys.
Earlier, the police are sticking to their guns that such sporting equipment are licensed only to registered operators and clubs.
Police gave a month from yesterday for owners to surrender their unlicensed airsoft guns and paintball markers.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin acknowledged the paintball community’s concern over the surrender of markers and promised to speak to authorities about the issue.
“We are concerned with the outcry that this has caused to the paintball community although we understand that no new additional regulation is being introduced,” he said yesterday.
A paintball player, who also declined to be named, said confiscating paintball markers was counterproductive, especially with paintball growing in popularity in the country, said a paintball player.
However, he agreed that the realistic design of airsoft guns made it easy for them to be used for intimidation purposes.
A paintball player, who also declined to be named, said the paintball community had always been self-regulating.
“The community takes extra measures to regulate players and whenever somebody behaves irresponsibly, we will reprimand the person.
“Criminals are not part of this community,” he said.
He said one solution could be to store markers at a paintball field, pointing out that it would be better than giving them up. “I’ve spent a five figure sum on my markers,” said the 32-year-old.
Another paintball player said the registration of paintballers and their markers would be an easy solution.
He disagreed with the suggestion of storing markers at a single location as this would hinder the growth of the sport, noting: “Paintball is a very social sport where we travel from venue to venue.”
An airsoft player also welcomed regulation for his sport of choice.
“Banning it will only create a black market, and bribery will flourish among those who are importing the guns,” said the player, who wanted to be identified as Steven Ranger, 23.
On the gadgets, Bukit Aman logistics director Comm Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said no action will be taken against those who surrender their guns to the nearest district police headquarters within the grace period, said
Those found to be still in possession of the arms after the deadline can be jailed for up to a year, and fined up to RM5,000, or both.
Comm Zulkifli said applications to own and use imitation arms would be considered for registered companies with solid finances and paid-up capital of no less than RM400,000 or sports clubs that are registered and recognised by the Sports Commissioner’s office.
“Applications for individual owners will not be entertained,” he told a press conference here yesterday.