Date: 13/7/2024 15:21

CSPC regulation changes to airsoft & airguns

Change in the agency overseeing regulations related to airguns from the Department of Commerce to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. This was one of those small paragraphs a few in Congress injected into much larger "must pass" legislation late last year. Following up on that change, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has now posted what they consider as minor changes in the regulations related to identification and marking of certain products that are nested in our industry. Attached is the regulation change lifted from the Federal Register.

A key point to note is the "process" being used to make this regulation change. Normally, regulation changes move through a fairly drawn out review process dictated by the Administrative Procedure Act. However, when an agency determines that the proposed rule change is non-substantive, they can avoid the lengthy public review by using the Direct Final Rule Process. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has made such a determination with their proposed action. Therefore, this regulation change was not noticed ahead of time and the opportunity to comment ends on June 12 and the changes are effective on June 26.

  • While the Consumer Products Safety Commission has regulatory authority over all airgun products, this regulatory change does not impact the statutory exemptions for traditional B-B, paint-ball and pellet firing airguns.
  • The change does impact the airsoft industry and may impact other new and emerging industry sectors such as foam-blasters and gel pellets - since these industry sectors do not enjoy the exemption previously mentioned.
  • Since the airsoft industry has not been subject to the requirement that their product be "certified" by an independent certification entity; and since those that might certify these products have to be approved by the agency, it is an error in thinking to suggest that this rule change is non-substantive and impractical to think that the rule can be fully implemented by June 26.
  • This is justification to request that this proposed rule change be removed from this fast track process and provided the full public notice and comment process afforded through the Administrative Procedure Act.
  • Per the CPSC, the certification requirements under the the regulations under the Imitation Firearms Act now apply to airsoft guns.

To read more about this change click here

To comment on it, click here

Here is how you can oppose this change in the rules. Simply copy&paste the text below into the comment link above.

My name is __________________________ . The undersigned opposes the Consumer Product Safety Commission's proposed Direct Final Rule in Docket No. CPSC-2023-0021. As written, the effect of the Commission's proposed rule would have significant and unnecessary economic impact on all in the air-soft industry. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (AFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612 does apply and requires the Commission to prepare an analysis under 5 U.S.C. 603, 604. Without comment from the industry, the proposed Direct Final Rule would be inappropriate and unacceptable without changes.

The Commission's stated basis for the Direct Final Rule Process is that the new 16 CFR Part 1272 contains no substantive changes from regulations in effect now for more than 30 years. The reason for the new 16 CFR Part 1272 is that recent federal legislation has transferred oversight and enforcement of the regulation from the Department of Commerce to the Commission. Because the Consumer Product Safety Act requires certain certifications for products subject to regulations enforced by the Commission (see Supplementary Information, Paragraph G in the docket entry), the new, proposed 16 CFR Part 1272 would unnecessarily impact the air-soft industry negatively, substantively and financially.

The subject regulation was enabled by 15 U.S.C. 5001 which imposes certain marking requirements on "look-alike firearms." Look-alike firearms include "air-soft guns firing nonmetallic projectiles." 15 U.S.C. 5001 (c). While the industry has long complied with this statute and 16 CRR Part 1272, there has been no requirement for any general conformity certifications (GCC). Now, apparently, there would be such a requirement. See Supplementary Information, Paragraph G in the docket entry. Because the Commission states in the subject docket entry that the Commission would be requiring GCCs for air-soft guns, the industry should have an opportunity to comment under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). See generally, 5 U.S.C. 551-559.

I request that opportunity to address whether GCCs for air-soft guns under 16 CFR Part 1272 is necessary. It is readily apparent upon visual examination whether an air-soft gun complies with 16 CRR Part 1272 marking requirements. GCCs are not necessary.

I appreciate and understand the Commission's approach and request the Commission considers excepting air-soft guns from any requirement for GCCs.

Thank you for your consideration.

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