Airsoft Facilities Zoning Update

On April 13, the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) will consider an amendment to the indoor and outdoor paintball ranges regulations of the Knox County Zoning Ordinance.

The regulations were first adopted in 2000 and since then a similar sport, airsoft, has gained popularity. These are generally referred to as recreational shooting sports, which are defined by the use of pneumatic guns that propel projectiles using compressed air or gas, or spring energy. Airsoft guns shoot plastic BBs that have an effective range of approximately 47-73 yards and are considered non-lethal. Participants must wear appropriate safety gear, such as goggles and face masks, and are required to attend a training with the field organizer before playing.

Airsoft facilities are currently regulated as paintball fields; they are allowed indoors in some commercial and industrial zones and outdoors in agricultural zones. MPC received an application to update the zoning regulations to address current paintball and airsoft business trends, specifically requesting that indoor paintball and airsoft ranges be permitted in agricultural zones as a use on review. This would give the owners of these facilities more options to develop their businesses. The use on review process would ensure that the county and general public would be able to provide their input to achieve an appropriate concept for the facilities.

For additional information, contact Mike Reynolds, Senior Planner, at 865-215-3827 or