Are Airsoft Guns Illegal In The UK (Laws & Regulations)

London (Parliament Politics Magazine) –  Airsoft guns are classified as Realistic Imitation Firearms (RIFs) or Imitation Firearms (IF’s). However, the only difference is that IF is 50% more brightly colored. These guns are used for recreational activities and cannot be used to harm someone. If you are looking to purchase an airsoft gun make sure you are at least 18 years of age. Realistic Imitation Firearm is prohibited for use if we consider the terms of the Violent Crimes Reduction Act (VCRA). However, it doesn’t mean that the UK doesn’t allow the sale, purchase, or use of these guns. If you qualify for an exemption set by the Violent Crime Reduction, only then you can use an airsoft gun.

Are Airsoft Guns Illegal?

It is legal to purchase an airsoft gun in the UK under some conditions. The first thing is that you must be over or at least 18 years. The UK has made strict laws when it comes to the use of Airsoft guns. These products look more like real guns and can harm a person around you. There are different types of airsoft guns available. You need to check the color before purchasing this product.

It is necessary to understand the terminology and features of these guns as well. A black airsoft gun will be classified as a realistic imitation firearm (R.I.F). While the two-tone BB gun is 50% red and 50% black. This is classified as an unrealistic imitation firearm. However, both these guns are the same when it comes to power and quality. The only major difference is the color.

You really don’t need any kind of defence if you are over 18 years old. This is the minimum age required to use an airsoft gun. Make sure you are supervised by elder people all the time. 

Are You Allowed To Purchase An Airsoft Gun?

You have the option to purchase a bb gun from a reliable retailer in the UK. However, you need to make sure that the color is not black. It is necessary to comply with UK law before making the purchase. The two-tone Airsoft gun is easy to identify by the police and even the public. There is no doubt when you choose the right product it help you get rid of unnecessary stress. You will be surprised to know that the two-tone guns are easily identified as fake guns.

Users of this gun can feel at ease as they will not need any airsoft license to make a purchase. All you need is to show that you are over 18 years. If you are purchasing an airsoft gun from outside the UK these rules may not apply. These conditions will not apply if you are a member of UKARA member. Moreover, if you are a British Airsoft Club member you can purchase the airsoft gun without any difficulty.

What Are The Laws Regarding The Use Of Airsoft Guns?

Airsoft guns are intended for fun and enjoyment for some people. However, UK law doesn’t allow you to fire a gun at the other person. You are not allowed to shoot the animal through it. These guns are powerful and the BB pellet may even hit someone’s eyes. You will be surprised to know that it can even make the other person go blind. If the other person gets hit by mistake it can lead to trouble. You may get heavy fines if you indulge yourself in such situations.

Always use goggles or masks at all times while you are trying to create a good shot. It is necessary to wear protective clothing while using this gun. If another person is hit with the pellet without their consent it will be termed as an assault. Moreover, if the person gets injured it can lead to a very serious offense and may land him in jail. According to UK law, if you hit someone’s belonging and it is broken, it will be classified as criminal damage.

Read More: Why Was It illegal To Play Rugby League In Greece?

Are You Allowed To Keep An Airsoft Gun With You?

According to the Firearms Act 1968, “An imitation firearm is anything which has the appearance of being a firearm, regardless of whether or not it is capable of discharging a shot, bullet or another missile.” If you take an airsoft gun or rifle and hang around the streets or other public areas, it will lead to an arrest. Police are likely to respond to any calls quickly when cases with guns are involved. You cannot take the gun and display it while moving around the street.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.