Airsoft is Safe from CSPC-20230-0021-0001
Fellow Airsoft enthusiasts,
Over the last few days, there has been a mass hysteria over CSPC-20230-0021-0001, a change in federal regulation of Toy and Look-a-like guns. Here is my opinion on why I believe our beloved sport IS SAFE, the industry will not come to a grinding halt, and your airsoft guns will still be legal.
Below are the 3 main points of my argument to summarize why I believe the federal regulation change will not affect us:
1- For a long time, the government had some rules about how toys and toy guns needed to be regulated. Recently, they decided to give this job to a different part of the government called CPSC. So now CPSC is just taking the same rules that were already there and making sure everybody follows them.
2- If a company is selling a toy gun or a gun that looks like a real one, they have to make sure that it meets certain safety rules. They have to test the toy gun. This is called general conformity certification (GCC). If it's a toy for kids, they have to do more testing than if it's a toy for grown-ups. The people who are legally responsible to perform the GCC is the manufacturer and the importer. Not the retailers or the consumers.
3- No person shall manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm (“device”) unless they have either an orange muzzle, an orange barrel plug, or painted in bright color. This is the same law and will not change.
Below are excerpts from CPSC-2023-0021-0001 and the reasons why it does not harm airsoft are in Italics.
Here is the link to the Official Federal Regulation https://www.regulations.gov/document/CPSC-2023-0021-0001
"The Federal Energy Management Improvement Act Update transferred the authority for regulating the marking of toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms from the Department of Commerce to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Commission is issuing this direct final rule to adopt the Department of Commerce rule for the marking of toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms, with non-substantive and conforming changes."
Essentially this is saying the government is changing who is in charge of enforcing the same rules we have always been subject to with no major differences.
- Direct Final Rule Process
“The Commission is issuing this rule as a direct final rule. Although the Administrative Procedure Act (APA; 5 U.S.C. 551–559) generally requires agencies to provide notice of a rule and an opportunity for interested parties to comment on it, section 553 of the APA provides an exception when the agency “for good cause finds” that notice and comment are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Id. 553(b)(B). The Commission concludes that because this rule adopts the substantive requirements of the Commerce regulation found in 15 CFR part 272 with only non-substantive and conforming changes, notice and comment are not necessary. The existing Commerce regulation has been in effect for over 30 years and stakeholders have been subject to the requirements of the regulation. CPSC is merely adopting the existing regulation in response to Congress transferring the authority for regulating markings on toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms under 15 U.S.C. 5001 from the Department of Commerce to CPSC.” Directly from CSPC-20230-0021-0001.
CPSC is a group that makes rules for toys. Recently, they got in charge of a rule about toy guns. They just copied the old rule from the Department of Commerce.
Look-alike and imitation firearms are subject to the new 16 CFR part 1272. Section 14(a)(1) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) requires manufacturers of non-children's products subject to a consumer product safety rule under the CPSA, or to a similar rule, ban, standard, or regulation under any other act enforced by the Commission, to certify that the products comply with all applicable CPSC requirements based on a test of each product, or on a reasonable testing program. 15 U.S.C. 2063(a)(1). Such certification is known as general conformity certification (GCC). Look-alike and imitation firearms that are not children's products are subject to the requirement to issue a GCC.” Directly from CSPC-20230-0021-0001.
If somebody makes a toy gun but it looks like a real gun, we need to check and make sure it's safe like a toy before we can sell it. From all the postings and warnings on the internet, none of them ever explain what a GCC is and how it applies to airsoft. I read the CPSC website and here is what I found:
General Certificate of Conformity (GCC) - https://www.cpsc.gov/Business--Manufacturing/Testing-Certification/General-Certificate-of-Conformity-GCC
“Manufacturers and importers of certain general use products (i.e., non-children’s products) for which consumer product safety rules apply, must certify, in a written General Certificate of Conformity (GCC) based on testing or a reasonable testing program, that their products comply with those applicable rules. Below on this page, CPSC provides two samples of GCCs for fictitious products, showing example layouts of the GCC's required elements; one for adult clothing and one for mattresses. These samples are illustrative and do not capture every possible consumer product safety rule that may apply to a consumer product. The GCC and supporting test reports must be in English.” This is directly from the link above to the CSPC website.
If someone makes a product that people use, and there are rules about how safe the product needs to be, then the person who made it needs to check that it follows all the rules that keep people safe. They have to write down that they checked it, and what they did to make sure it was safe. It is the responsibly of the manufacturer and importer to complete the GCC.
Below was taken directly from the CSPC website defining what a GCC requires:
Elements Required in a GCC
- “Identification of the product covered by this certificate:
- Describe the product(s) covered by this certification in enough detail to match the certificate to each product it covers and no others.
- Citation to each consumer product safety regulation to which this product is being certified:
- The certificate must identify separately each consumer product safety rule administered by the Commission that is applicable to the product.
- Identification of the importer or domestic manufacturer certifying compliance of the product:
- Provide the name, full mailing address, and telephone number of the importer or U.S. domestic manufacturer certifying the product.
- Contact information for the individual maintaining records of test results:
- Provide the name, full mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number of the person maintaining test records in support of the certification.
- Date and place where this product was manufactured:
- For the date(s) when the product was manufactured, provide at least the month and year. For the place of manufacture provide at least the city (or administrative region) and country where the product was manufactured or finally assembled. If the same manufacturer operates more than one location in the same city, provide the street address of the factory.
- Provide the date(s) and place when the product was tested for compliance with the consumer product safety rule(s) cited above:
- Provide the location(s) of the testing and the date(s) of the test(s) or test report(s) on which certification is being based.
- Identification of any third party laboratory on whose testing the certificate depends:
- Generally, this section should be labeled “N/A” for a GCC because third party laboratory testing is not a requirement for non-children’s products. (It is only a requirement for children’s products and must be included in a CPC.) “
Items 1-5 are standard questions that any manufacturer would know.
Item 6 is saying the airsoft guns need to be tested to see if they have orange tips, orange barrel plugs, or bright exterior colors.
Item 7 is saying Third-party lab testing isn't necessary for most products (except those meant for kids). But if it is going to be used by children, then testing is required and needs to be put on the packaging.
No person shall manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm (“device”) covered by this part as set forth in § 1272.1 unless such device contains, or has affixed to it, one of the markings set forth in § 1272.3, or unless this prohibition has been waived by § 1272.4." This is directly from CSPC-20230-0021-0001.
This is not new. All airsoft guns need to be sold with a federally mandated orange tip and safety manuals. Airsoft guns or other toy guns may be brightly colored or have an orange barrel plug. As long as the airsoft gun as ONE of the following approved markings then it is considered compliant with the ruling.
The following markings are approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
(a) A blaze orange (AMS STD 595A–17 color 12199) or orange color brighter than that specified by the AMS standard color number, solid plug permanently affixed to the muzzle end of the barrel as an integral part of the entire device and recessed no more than 6 millimeters from the muzzle end of the barrel.
(b) A blaze orange (AMS STD 595A–17 color 12199) or orange color brighter than that specified by the AMS standard color number, marking permanently affixed to the exterior surface of the barrel, covering the circumference of the barrel from the muzzle end for a depth of at least 6 millimeters.
(c) Construction of the device entirely of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device's complete contents.
(d) Coloration of the entire exterior surface of the device in white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern."
This is directly from CSPC-20230-0021-0001.
In summary, I firmly believe AIRSOFT IS SAFE. and there are no new rules or regulations that will outlaw our sport.
For a considerable time, the government enforced regulations for toy labeling, including toy guns. Yet, in recent times, this responsibility has passed to another government agency called CPSC. Essentially, the same rules remain, yet CPSC ensures adherence across the board.
To ensure that toy guns or imitation firearms are safe, sellers must comply with certain safety regulations, known as general conformity certification (GCC). The manufacturer and importer are the parties responsible for GCC. For toys meant for kids, the safety testing is more extensive than for toys meant for adults.
It is illegal for anyone to manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive any device that resembles or imitates a firearm, unless it has an orange muzzle, barrel plug, or is painted in a bright color - which is the current law in place.
All that being said, Airsoft is all about community and connections. I love how the community is coming together to fight a common enemy. Everyone is coming together to make sure that the playing field is level for all players. We strive to make sure that our products are up to code, and compliant with all applicable laws so everyone can enjoy a safe and fun airsoft game. Thank you for taking the time to read this information and stay safe out there!
-Jefe and the whole Jefe's Airsoft Solutions Team