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April 30, 2007

Paintball illegal but getting popular in TT

Source: Newsday April 29th 2007

ALTHOUGH paintball markers are illegal in Trinidad and Tobago, the sport is becoming very popular here drawing a wide range of players from all over the country.

The game is a combination of childhood favourites “catch” and “hide and seek,” only much more challenging and sophisticated. A paintball marker, also known as a paintball gun, is one of the focal necessities to the game.

In a notice published in the daily newspapers recently, authorities warned that the markers fall into the category of “prohibited weapons” under Section 2(1) of the Firearms Act. Only police officers, members of the Defence Force or customs cfficers acting in an official capacity are allowed to be in possession of these “weapons.”

Paintball players try to eliminate opponents by hitting them with paintballs, containing non-toxic and water-soluble substances and dye, shot from a compressed-gas-powered markers. The markers harness the power of an expanding gas carbon dioxide, compressed air or nitrogen) to propel paintballs through the barrel. The use of the term “marker” instead of “gun” is to lessen the public view of paintball as a dangerous sport and paintball markers as weapons.

Speeds may exceed 300 feet per second (91 metres per second), although any speed above 300 feet per second is unsafe. At this speed, most paintballs will break upon impact whilst not leaving significant damage (mild bruising may occur).

Due to the extreme speed of flying paintballs, players and referees must wear masks to protect their eyes, mouth and ears when barrel blocking devices are not in place.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Winston Cooper told Sunday Newsday the decision to make paintball markers illegal followed intense discussions. “The Act was reviewed and after great discussion the decision was made. Now persons who are in possession of these markers are expected to deposit them at the nearest police station,” he said. Local paintball enthusiasts say they are perplexed by the “spur of the moment” decision to ban the equipment. One avid player, who did not want to be identified, said dialogue is underway with the police.

“We do not want to go down the route of severe legal action, so with these discussions we hope to have a positive outcome,” he said.

The sport, which is very popular around the world, was introduced to TT two years ago. “Whenever we play, which is mostly on weekends, there is always a huge turnout. Its a high energy sport made for team building and many people have found it to be very helpful as a good form of exercise,” he said., adding that paintball has become a business for him and his colleagues.

“Big businesses have called on us to host events where their employees are expected to learn how to work as a team. It’s a business, it’s not like an individual is smuggling in the markers, we were given permission before so the question is what made them change their minds?”

When asked what would he say to people who claim the sport is very violent, the enthusiast replied: “That us an archaic argument. The marker is not a gun, it is a tool. Too often we run from something we do not understand. The sport is not dangerous, from as long as we have been here we have not endangered any lives.”

He described the actions of the police as backward.

“This is a sport that needs to be embraced. What they are basically doing is banning a sport which encourages youths to come out of their homes and play on a weekend,” he said.

“Do not ban it, regulate it, have discussions with us before taking severe actions like this. If the end result is that it is banned I hope there would be discussions about compensation.”

Filed under: Misc — +shivan @ 1:27 am

15 Comments »

  1. Paintball illegal but getting popular in TT

    ALTHOUGH paintball markers are illegal in Trinidad and Tobago, the sport is becoming very popular here drawing a wide range of players from all over the country.

    The game is a combination of childhood favourites “catch” and “hide and seek,” on…

    Trackback by Anonymous — April 30, 2007 @ 9:22 am

  2. Where can you go to paintball in Trinidad?

    Comment by Nwadike — September 8, 2008 @ 1:59 pm

  3. Where can I go to paintball in Trinidad?

    Comment by Nwadike — September 8, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

  4. It’s illegal in Trinidad now….so I dunno…

    Comment by +shivan — September 10, 2008 @ 9:01 am

  5. I WANT TO PLAY APINTBALL SO BAD. I THINK WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING. THIS IS A REALLY NICE SPORT.

    Comment by chioke — February 26, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

  6. Section 2(1) of the Firearms Act states : “firearm” means any lethal barrelled weapon from which ammunition can be discharged or any prohibited weapon, and includes any component part of any such weapon and any accessory to any such weapon designed or adapted to diminish the noise or flash caused by firing the weapon, but does not include any air rifle, air gun, or air pistol, of a type prescribed by Order made by the President and of a calibre so prescribed.
    So i was wondering if painball guns don’t fall into the category of air gun. And if it is indeed not classified as a firearm then it cannot fall into the category of prohibited weapon, since: “prohibited weapon” means— (a) any artillery or automatic firearm;(b) any grenade, bomb or other like missile; or(c) any weapon of whatever description or design which is adapted for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other thing;

    Anon

    Comment by Anon Amos — June 19, 2009 @ 9:29 pm

  7. At this point in time what is the status of paintball in Trinidad now. What are the concerns of those who are involved ie:the government, police, players etc.? Has there been any discussions held between any of these parties to change the mind set of those who don’t understand it? Please feel free to email my personal email addy as I am very interested in this. I was planning a vacation to Trinidad and would have loved playing there.

    Comment by Melissa — August 19, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

  8. hey thnks for the info, I was interested in organizing a paintball game for my club in uwi. Can refer me to some one?

    Comment by nik — March 25, 2010 @ 3:18 pm

  9. hey, i wanted to organize a paintball game for my uwi club, can you reffer me to some one? thnks.

    Comment by nik — March 25, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

  10. hey where can i purchase a paintball marker in trinidad and tobago? and how much is it?

    Comment by stabby — June 30, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

  11. hey my name is troy and i was really disappointed to hear that they have banned paint ball in Trinidad . can u tell me if they will reconsider? is the paint ball assoc. doing anything to have the ban lifted? or is there anyway to get special permission to bring in gear for playing

    regards,
    Troy S

    Comment by troy simmons — January 2, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

  12. Hey Troy….I’m not sure if the Government plans to lift the ban. But I wrote the Prime Minister asking to have the ban lifted and I got a response saying they will consider….

    The more people that write, the better so by all means write away!

    Comment by +shivan — January 4, 2011 @ 10:30 am

  13. I would like to buy c02 canisters from anyone who has one to sell. Also, where do you refill them?

    Drop me an email at discojanji@hotmail.com

    Comment by Amit — February 25, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

  14. if buying a paint ball gun online what do i need???
    any specific permits?? papers etc??

    Comment by damian7926 — April 15, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

  15. hi nick, or anyone else who knows, did u guys get referred to anyone to organize a game? i want to organize a game for my friends here in trinidad too. is it still illegal?I think banning a sport like this is total rubbish seeing that its so popular locally and that in other countries, the sport is played by all

    Comment by Alana — August 25, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

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