It’s a pretty Saturday morning and you are watching your child gear up for a local airsoft game. He has all his protective gear, plenty of ammo, and he’s ready to go. He says goodbye and walks out the door. The last thing you would ever expect is to never see him alive again. This is an extreme circumstance, but a very real one if proper procedures are not followed when confronted by a police officer. My team, EastCoastAirsoft Assassins, attended a training day at Outdoor Adventure in Bowie, MD last Saturday. There were a pair of Baltimore City police officers at the event. The purpose of their attendance was to let everyone know police officers’ point of view when they confront airsoft players.
Every airsoft player knows not to take the orange tip off of their gun. This being said, you still see people who remove the tip or paint it black or whatever color to match their gun. Although doing this makes the gun look more realistic, it also removes the only visual clue that the gun is a toy.
Every police officer’s mantra is the same: “Get home alive”. You see it in the news all the time. Some fool aims a gun or any weapon at a police officer and is shot and killed. That’s it, game over. No questions asked. You aim a weapon at a police officer, you die. The point being, never aim your airsoft gun at a police officer. The officers made it very clear on Saturday; aim your gun at them, and they will shoot first and look for the orange tip later.
The officers brought up another situation. This is one that I’m sure a lot of us have encountered before. You are playing airsoft in a new place. Maybe a place where the locals haven’t seen or heard of airsoft before. The police get a call for people brandishing weapons. The police pull up to the scene and see a bunch of people in ACUs holding automatic weapons. Logic tells the officers that these people are probably not holding real weapons. However, remember their mantra, “Get home alive.” So to ensure his safety, the officer gives the command to drop your weapon and raise your hands over your head. It is critical that you do not talk, or try to explain that the gun is not real. When you hear that command, immediately drop your gun!
Another point the officers mentioned was this. The police show up and tell you to drop your weapons. You have your gun slung around your neck and the officer tells you to remove it. Make sure to NEVER turn in such a way as the gun barrel would be facing the officer. If he feels threatened, he will open fire. Also, if the officer says specifically, “Drop your gun”, make sure to drop it. Don’t try to lay it down. Bending over to lay it down may be mistaken for you taking up a threatening posture. Another problem with laying the gun down is that you may mistakenly turn your shoulders in such a way as to point the barrel of the gun toward the officer. The police guaranteed me that this will get you shot.