Paintballers all let us rejoice for we are young and free to play.
Local players have welcomed news the NSW Government has reclassified paintball guns and removed them from the firearms legislation.
The changes ensure no permits are needed to play. Permits are still required however to own a paintball gun, operate a business or bring a gun from overseas to NSW.
In a boost to numbers, the legal age to play has been dropped from 16 to 12.
Rapid Fire Paintball Mid North Coast owner Vincent Briffa said the legislation change will create a host of opportunities to recruit new players.
"This is a massive industry shakeup," he said.
The law was passed in parliament in 2018 before its implementation on July 1 this year.
The push for a reduction in red tape came from the Australian Paintball Industry Association (APIA).
The association worked with police, child services and the Department of Fair Trading to fairly legislate the sport in NSW.
While the law has eased and evolved over the years, the latest battle took about five years to win.
This is a massive industry shakeup.Vincent Briffa, Rapid Fire Paintball Mid North Coast
"They (paintball guns) were classed as prohibited firearms which I thought was ridiculous," Vincent said.
"It does need to be regulated however, you've still got to have the law."
The use of paintball guns is still restricted to authorised venues.
"We want it to be controlled and for people to be responsible for their actions," Vincent said.
"We don't want people doing the wrong thing like taking it out of a controlled space and doing something like firing at a mate while they're unaware."
Previously, paintball guns were authorised through the firearms registry.
Now for example, if Vincent was to sell a gun, he's in control of the paperwork that would be filed with Fair Trading.
He was thrilled local laws were coming up to speed with the rest of the world.
"Every country in the world plays it, and I think Australia has been held back by the laws," Vincent said.
Vincent has owned Rapid Fire Paintball, near Old Bar, for the last four years.
With an open field setting complete with barrels, walls, cars and hideouts, it wouldn't look out of place in a Call of Duty game.
It's one of the premium paintball fields in the State, with Vincent proud of its 170 plus Facebook and Google five star ratings.
With the added interest and enjoyment since the legislation was changed, he's confident of starting a competition on the Mid North Coast.
With eyes on State and national championships, Vincent hopes Rapid Fire Paintball will become a training hub for players on the Mid North Coast.
Safety is paramount, with beginners or those initially hesitant to have a go encouraged to use the 50 calibre guns and paintballs.
Vincent said his business, or any other, shouldn't 'cut corners' when it comes to the safety of competitors. This included compliant goggles, helmets, gloves and guns.
Taree Christian College has taken the year 12 'muck up' day to the site in previous years. Another school is also on the radar to include paintball in its weekly sports program.
Passion, fun and the excitement on competitors' faces is worth more than money.
"I love this place because of the people," Vincent said.
"Seeing the family connections and people bonding is the best thing."
As a person who has never dealt with any form of gun, Vincent noticed my enthusiasm about learning the technique and skill of the game.
"That's the best part about it for me is seeing people like that," he said.
Vincent has always loved the sport. He started playing at 18 at a time where gun licences were required.
He's represented the area on numerous occasions, taking out the Super Sevens novice championship in Sydney.
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