Statement and communication in regards to FM104 show

By on August 21, 2012

The IAA has been made aware of some comments made last night on FM104 which mentioned the use of Airsoft devices, though it is our understanding that what was actually being referred to was air rifles. The IAA has contacted the producer of the show with a statement and also asked that an IAA spokesperson be invited to respond on air the next time the topic comes up. Please see the email sent to FM104 copied below:

Hi Killian,

It has come to my attention that the subject of the illegal use of Airsoft devices was among the topics brought up on your show last night (19 August 2012). Unfortunately I was not made aware of this until this morning so I have been unable to confirm the details of what was said and so am unable to comment on the show’s contents.
However, I would like to make you aware that Airsoft in Ireland is represented by an official body (the Irish Airsoft Association) which has worked with the Gardai and the Department of Justice on a number of occasions in the past to put in place a number of regulations on the safe and legal use of Airsoft devices (properly referred to as RIFs or AEGs).

We have been informed that callers referred to using “Airsoft” equipment to kill animals and break windows, I would like to bring some information to your attention in relation to this.

Airsoft is a small growing sport in Ireland recognised by the federation of Irish Sport. It has a unique appeal to young and old alike and is proving successful in getting hardcore computer game players that would never engage in physical exercise out and active.

Airsoft equipment in Ireland is by its nature unable to cause physical harm due to the power limitations, reports of Airsoft projectiles penetrating even the most sensitive part of the body are physically impossible. All Airsoft devices in Ireland are limited to 1 Joule of energy and below; anything above this is a firearm and not an Airsoft device. The 1 joule limit comes from extensive research to insure such projectiles cannot cause harm or injury, the actual stated power requirement to puncture the body is in the range of 3 to 4 Joules.

What appears to have been reported on your show was either exaggerated claims or someone in possession of illegal firearms, in either situation you and your team having accurate information to challenge such claims is important to our membership. Since 2007 the Airsoft community has gone to great lengths to demonstrate that our equipment is safe and not to be confused with real firearms. We have successfully engaged with the government to have the Criminal Justice Act 2009 developed and brought into law. The CJA specifically made it an offence to brandish any replica imitation firearm in a public place, a section requested and worded by the IAA. The IAA wants to see people that misuse this equipment prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

If the topic of Airsoft should be raised on your show again the IAA would be very grateful if you could contact us to allow us to respond to any comments which are being made on air. You can contact us at info@irishairsoft.ie or by calling me directly (mobile number supplied).

I would also like to extend an invitation to yourself to come and meet us at the Salute show at the National Show Centre in Swords this coming weekend. The IAA will be in attendance along with representatives of Airsoft sites and retailers and we will be telling people about the sport and giving people a chance to try out some of the equipment that we use. I think it would be an excellent opportunity for you to get an idea of just what Airsoft is all about.

Kindest Regards
Fabio Venturini
Public Relations Officer
Irish Airsoft Association
fabio.venturini@irishairsoft.ie

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