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: email@example.com 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
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)
Paintball player, team BLU-82
More info at www.paintball-players.org/