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2013 September

Archive for September, 2013

[Spiders opinion]
OK, maybe setting myself for some flack here, but I thought this needed wider audience.

The National Airsoft Event took place as usual over the August bank holiday weekend, with near 1500 players descending onto the Zero One site “Ground Zero” near Verwood. Now we didn’t make it this year for one reason or another but it seemed that a good time was had on the whole by most with the usual grumbles we’ve had over the years.

A good write up was in Popular Airsoft which if you read between the lines says good game, lots of people who don’t know each other so hit calling an issue.

What I find really worrying if accurate was the article by by Maree on Yossers Airsoft Odyssey. usually a good blog to read it describes seeing signs up at the Zero One shop stating “No UKARA needed this weekend with festival wristband”, and even stuck a photo in as evidence.

Image from Yossers Airsoft Odyssey

Image from Yossers Airsoft Odyssey


Now I have a similar view on UKARA to Yosser in that it is a purely voluntary industry association. There is nothing in law that says you must be a member. BUT it is an easy way of confirming membership of a skirmish site with public liability insurance. retailers and sites put a lot of effort (ie; time and money) into complying with it to allow their players to easily purchase RIFs and remain within the specific defence in the VCRA that was so hard fought for.

Even on the government website it advises that the first of the key elements of these arrangements for the airsoft specific defence under sec 36-38 of the VCRA 2006 are:

“new players must play at least three times in a period of not less than two months the two months before being offered membership”

This proves not only that you can turn up at an Airsoft “Festival” but that you are a bona fide member of a site with liability insurance.

For a founding member of UKARA to blatantly ignore the rules set up to protect the hobby to gain a commercial advantage on its competitors frankly takes the piss.

It takes the piss out of retailers who would all love to just sell you goods but choose to accept a regime that has commercial implications for them for the good of the sport.

It takes the piss out of players who abide by the rules by risking our sport for a few extra quid.

So what now?

Zero One are alleged to have a letter from the home office giving them an exemption to sell at their own events. Therefore it should be easy for them to publish this advice and we can all sleep easier.

If not then UKARA have suspended retailers before. It must maintain its credibility by doing so again and removing Zero One registered players from the database. Will this inconvenience players? Certainly. It will also hurt Zero One when players moan that membership there does not grant them the same ability to purchase from other retailers as other site memberships. Of course the cynical amongst you may ask if that is Zero Ones ulterior motive – to make so that their members can only purchase from them?

I have had multiple airsofters remark that comments regarding this on the Zero forums are shut down (no surprise really) but this is serious. This sort of behaviour risks everything that was fought for. I trust you will amend your airsoft purchasing habits accordingly.

BZ to Yossers for the report

+++UPDATE+++
Thought I’d check out the ZeroOne website for their rules. It appears that they know what they should do!

Do as I say...Not as I do

Do as I say…Not as I do

[/Spiders Opinion]

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