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PPMA Wisconsin Update
From the Paintball Product
We received the press release that follows
from Wisconsin State Representative Lorraine Seratti, who has become instrumental
in ensuring that the proposed rule we've been alerting you about gets a
better and fairer review. We also want to thank the folks at Nelson
Paintballs, the paintball manufacturer mentioned in the release, whose
legislators helped achieve the results-to-date.
The matter has not yet been fully resolved, but at least it's getting
a fair hearing. Thank you to the paintball media and everyone who
participated in this fine example of "paintball standing united," including
those who respectfully disagreed with our position. Anyone who wants to
stay informed on breaking issues can add their name to the PPMA mailing
list at www.paintballassociation.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2001
CONTACT REPRESENTATIVE SERATTI
Lawmakers Seek Re-write of DNR Paintball
Department agrees to extend review
MADISON. At the request of lawmakers,
the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has agreed to extend the review
period on a new rule that would ban paintball games on DNR lands.
The ban was one part of rule change proposal that addressed numerous unrelated
issues, and as a result went largely unnoticed until recently.
"It is unfortunate that the people
most affected by this rule were not aware of it earlier on, but I'm glad
DNR is willing to work with us to allow further public input," said Representative
Lorraine Seratti (R-Spread Eagle), who pressed hard for the extension.
"You try not to let anything
slip through the cracks, but when something
like this happens it's best to take a step back and listen to people."
The proposed rule received a public
hearing before the Assembly Natural Resources Committee in November. The
committee requested some minor changes at that time, but the public, particularly
paintball enthusiasts, had apparently been unaware that the rule restricted
access to DNR lands.
Mark Pettis (R-La Follette) who serves
on the committee said, "I hadn't heard a peep from anyone on this
before last Monday, but I've had around 300 emails since then."
Though it was a little known sport
just a decade ago, paintball has grown rapidly over the last ten years.
It is now nearly a billion dollar per year industry. It is
estimated that 7.1 million people play paintball nationwide.
"One of the oldest manufacturers of
paintball equipment in the country is located right across the Menominee
River from my home town," said Seratti. "They employ over fifty people
from Michigan and Wisconsin, and buy most of their raw materials from Wisconsin
The Natural Resources Committee will
hold a second public hearing on the proposed rule some time shortly after
New Years, and is expected to request additional changes. While there
are a number of businesses in Wisconsin that offer organized paintball
games, industry experts estimate nearly 80% of paintball play takes place
on public lands.
"I don't think anyone is suggesting
we should have people playing paintball in city parks, but it seems a bit
unreasonable to ban these games on property where we currently allow hunting,"
WARPIG.com remains in contact with the PPMA which is continuing to deal
with this issue. We have reviewed one of the drafts of changes proposed
for the DNR regulations which would allow paintball games on DNR land only
with written permission of the DNR, and allow paintball target shooting
under the same restrictions as firearm target shooting.]