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Thread: Paintball and Baltimore...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Agawam Ma

    Paintball and Baltimore...

    as most of you know paintball is faceing a challenge in baltimore... anyone who lives in this area should head down to the public hearing on the 12th... i dont live in baltimore but i find this to be a cause worth mentioning here is the info from the APG news letter...

    BALTIMORE UPDATE - Proposed Ban on Possession and Sales of Markers

    Next week, Thursday Sept. 12, paintball will face another challenge.
    The Baltimore City Council will have a public hearing. On the agenda:
    whether to ban possession and sales of markers in the City.

    Anyone who wants to make a statement to the City Council can call,
    email, fax, or mail a letter to the council members. And go to the

    APG has received copies of several letters sent to the councilpersons.
    You are welcome to cc: on your letters.

    With permission, here is the letter Mark Willmann wrote:

    Honorable members of the Baltimore City Council,

    On September 12th, there is a hearing on a proposal sponsored by Ms.
    Holton (District Five) that will essentially ban paintball from your
    city. This proposal intends to prohibit the possession, sale or transfer,
    or discharge of a paintball marker within the city of Baltimore.
    Violation of this would be a misdemeanor and, on conviction, the sentence
    could be a fine up to $500, and/or imprisonment for up to 60 days, for
    each offense.

    I can sympathize with the plight of some areas of your city where
    irresponsible individuals obtain a paintball marker and use it to vandalize
    property or assault innocent people. Unfortunately, this behavior only
    affirms preconceived beliefs surrounding paintball. Usually, these
    beliefs are the products of ignorance about what paintball really is, and
    type of people who participate in it.

    To many of the seven million men, women, and children who play
    paintball in the United States, paintball is a sport. There are
    nationally-known teams and regional leagues. Rulebooks. Velocity limits for
    paintballs (measured by a "radarchron" device). Paintball "fields", owned
    by professionals who ensure rules are followed. There are annual events,
    such as the International Amateurs Open, recently held near Pittsburgh.
    Or the World Cup games held each winter down in Florida.

    The type of players are representative of our diverse society -
    doctors, lawyers, plumbers, bricklayers, farmers, military. There are younger
    participants who play in youth-oriented leagues, and older men and
    women who play professionally or recreationally (I am 44 years old, and my
    two sons - ages 12 and 15 - also play). I have never witnessed
    prejudice or hate in this sport - all ethnic backgrounds and nationalities are
    welcome to play. These players practice this sport safely, and
    professionally. In fact, when compared to other sports activities within the
    United States, the number of paintball safety incidents is lower than
    football, baseball, and even - golf.

    So when you consider a proposal which essentially bans all paintball
    equipment within the limits of your city, I urge you to also consider
    what you “don’t see” – the thousands of paintball players in Baltimore
    who own and operate paintball markers safely on professional fields.
    The thousands of paintball players who are not necessarily from your
    city, but who travel through it enroute to events in Maryland or other
    states. This proposal also affects them.

    I am not from Baltimore, but I travel through it. And I play paintball
    as a sport. If this proposal is approved, and I'm driving through
    Baltimore via I-95 while carrying my paintball marker in the trunk of my
    car enroute to an event, then I could be charged with a misdemeanor and
    imprisoned for up to 60 days - for simply possessing a paintball marker
    within the city limits.

    I'm sorry, but I fail to see the logic behind this. I'm sure there are
    occasional incidents in your fine city where criminals use baseball
    bats or other sports equipment during a crime. Using the logic being
    applied to paintball markers, are baseball bats next? What about owning
    firearms where the individual obtains a permit? I can own a gun if I
    have a permit,
    but I can't own a paintball marker?

    When hearing this proposal to ban paintball from Baltimore, I hope
    you'll consider those of us who own paintball equipment, and who don’t
    break the law. And if you feel compelled to support this proposal, then
    folks like me will have to avoid your city when traveling to paintball
    events. I recognize this is a small number of people when compared to
    the population of Baltimore, but I hope you'll consider it, and the
    slight erosion of freedom that comes with it. A freedom that I also spent
    twenty years serving in our nation's Marine Corps to protect.

    If you've taken the time to read this email, I thank you for your
    patience. And if you any have questions about the side of paintball that
    you “don’t see,” see, I'll be more than happy to try and answer them.
    Thanks again for your time.


    Mark L. Willmann
    Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps (retired)
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    Paintball player, team BLU-82

    More info at
    "You have not converted a man because you have silenced him." -John Morley

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Brooklyn, NY

    Legal note

    Regarding the letter attached to the messege, there is a legal point that Mr. Willman made. He stated that one could be charged with a crime if the marker was in his trunk while he was travelling through Baltimore.

    The US Supreme Court has stated on many occassions that states cannot make laws that disturb/impede interstate commerce. This is known as the commerce clause.

    It sounds like this proposed law would not pass constitutional muster if it were to be tested in federal court. Now Baltimore could tax paintball markers. They could also make licensing laws regarding paintball markers, just as various states have various laws regarding licensing firearms. However they should not be able to ban them outright. At least not in the manner that they plan to.

    Seeg images? Vee don' need no steenkin' seeg images?!?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Baltimore, Md
    sucks for me

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    South Jersey

    Unhappy A sad day in my home town!

    I was born and raised in Baltimore and this proposal just makes me sad. Charm City is becoming more and more closed minded.

    If this does come to pass, it will just re-enforce the stereo type "Baltimoron".

  5. #5
    Meeting was supposed to be yesterday, anyone here go? Care to make a report?
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Brooklyn, NY
    Does any one know what came of the this meeting in Baltimore?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Chippewa Falls, WI
    We got the city council to agree to redraft the motion to something that made more sense. We'll see what, if anything, they come back with.

    - Chris
    National Collegiate Paintball Association, Inc., President - "A Club for Every Campus" - "We Create Newbies"

    American Paintball Players Association, Director

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