Paintball guns are an important part of the sport, but a recent lawsuit from the Paintball Guild of America (PGA) threatens to derail a growing industry.
The suit, filed on Monday in San Francisco Superior Court, claims that a paintball gun manufacturer in Florida has oversold paintball-specific accessories to the paintball market.
Paintball guns use a high-pressure liquid paint to paint targets to a hard surface that’s then fired at them.
The paint bounces off the target and bounces back at the shooter.
The technology has become a popular form of target practice, but it has also caused some manufacturers to oversell them.
The paintball community is already seeing some major declines in sales of paintball weapons.
According to a report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the number of new paintball shooters dropped by 16% from 2013 to 2014.
Thats a huge decline from the 16% decline in 2016.
But Paintball America, a nonprofit organization that helps promote and market the sport in the U.S., says the paintballs industry is in a much better position to handle its supply problems than the paintgun industry.
“This lawsuit is an attempt to stifle competition,” said Matt Gage, CEO of PaintballAmerica.
“If the industry were to lose its competitive edge, it could hurt our industry.”
Gage said that the paint ball gun industry is currently losing about $1.8 billion per year in sales to companies such as Remington Arms and Green River Arms.
Gage also said that companies like Green River are being overcharged by companies like Remington that can use cheaper, less-complicated equipment.
“It’s time for our industry to stop being used as a dumping ground for inferior paintball products,” he said.
The lawsuit accuses Paintball Arms of misleading consumers by falsely claiming that its paintballs are more durable than competitors’ paintballs.
It also accuses the company of charging higher prices for paintball accessories than other paintball manufacturers.
Gates has a history of suing companies he disagrees with.
In 2014, he sued Remington, alleging that it had not complied with federal paintball regulations and had failed to follow federal rules on safety.
Gages lawsuit was the first in a class action suit filed in California against PaintballGun.
The suit is being brought by Paintball Alliance of California, a group of paint ball companies.
Gate said that while his lawsuit was filed as a class-action suit, the company will be filing its own lawsuit in the coming months to get PaintballAway from the government.
He said that Paintball Away will take the paint balls off the market and focus on its own business.