A battle wages over the seizure of 30 airsoft game rifles from an Oregon store by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The ATF made the seizure contending that the guns can be easily transformed to shoot real ammunition.
According to various online sources, the owner of the store, Benjamin Martin, of Airsoft Outlet Northwest, counters that the guns are not sturdy enough to fire real bullets and says the seizure will cost him $12,000 in lost merchandise.
The guns are designed to shoot plastic BBs for recreational purposes, comparable to paintball, to simulate real battles. Airsoft guns are more realistic in feel and function to an M4 assault rifle, adding to the sport's appeal. The particular gaming gun seized is a replica made in a Taiwan factory.
Following news of the seizure, Martin began posting updates on his web site, airsoftoutletnw.com stating his case. He believes there are too many inconsistencies in the government's rules for the replica guns, and a lack of clear understanding by agents over who actually governs their import: the ATF or Customs and Border Protection.
In the meantime, the ATF was planning to destroy the confiscated guns.