Originally Posted by acorn_giblet
How complex is it to start the lobbying process? Is it something that could be done part-time by a few committed individuals?
Establishing the legality of Airsoft guns would undoubtedly be immensely beneficial to the sport...
If the game hosts started passing around petitions as well surely it would be beneficial...
As has been discussed before I have lobbied provincially, federally and now internationally on behalf of various organizations.
Proper lobbying is time consuming and expensive, and having unco-ordinated efforts where everyone is not delivering exactly the right message in the same way can be a big problem. In one case I met with a minister who told me that a member of one of the orgs I represented had told him that we wanted X, when we really wanted Y. He basically told me to come back when we had our crap together, so we had to discpline the member and probably lost 6 months or so.
Lobbying also requires infrastructure. If your long term dream is to lobby for better treatment of airsoft (which is federal issue, a much more expensive and complicated place to lobby) you need a really good grassroots system in place. For instance I can walk into a meeting and say, "I represent OTLA an organization of 1100 lawyers with members in every riding in the province" when I lobby in Ontario (just as an example).
So, and this is my opinion only
, that if someday (not tommorrow) you wanted change in this regard you should start with local and then provincial airsoft organizations with membership lists, properly registered, with lots of dues paying members and a good constitution etc and then you can think about funding a lobbying effort (I do fundraising now for lobbying, and let me tell you, it is NOT cheap to even get meetings). I am doing some projects provincially and our we are buying a bunch of tickets for the Liberal Heritage Dinner coming up, and the tickets are $800 a pop.
Until airsoft is a well organized sport (which may not be something people want), I think the idea of petitions, letters to politicians, lobbying etc is premature.