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Airsoft BB Guns Law UK

The Firearms Act 1968 states, “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 other missile.” If you take a BB gun onto the streets you may get arrested for this offence or worse – police respond to any call where a gun is involved and they will send armed officers with real guns and real bullets.

The law:

Since October 2007 you can only buy a realistic imitation firearm (one that looks like a real gun, e.g. Black) if you are at least 18 years old and meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are a ‘registered’ airsofter with membership of an insured skirmish site. To be registered, you must attend a properly organised and insured airsoft site and play for at least three days over a period of no less than two months. Even if you attend and play the three days in your first week, UK Law requires that two months pass from the first day you attended before you can legally be registered.
  • You are a member of a properly insured historical re-enactment group or society.
  • You are a film, television or theatre production company.
  • You are (or are acting on behalf of) a museum
  • You are a Crown Servant in pursuance of your Crown duties

If you cannot meet any of these criteria, you can still buy an unrealistic imitation firearm, one who’s principle colour is significantly different to that of a real firearm – i.e. bright orange, bright blue etc. However the minimum age to purchase any BB gun is 18 years old.

A BB Gun can be gifted to anyone under 18, as long as the buyer or seller is 18+. An adult must supervise persons 17 years of age or under when using a BB Gun. No gun should be carried in a public place unless in transit when it should be unloaded and placed in a bag. Guns must not be concealed on one’s person, or pointed or fired at another human or animal. Safety glasses and other protective clothing should also be worn when operating the gun or viewing.

With the VCR bill introduced October 2007, the law as it stands in the UK: (7)A realistic imitation firearm brought into Great Britain shall be liable to forfeiture under the customs and excise Acts. (1) A person is guilty of an offence if (d) he brings a realistic imitation firearm into Great Britain. (9)An offence under this section shall be punishable, on summary conviction (a) in England and Wales, with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 51 weeks or with a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or both.

It is a criminal offence to alter the appearance or paint in a colour of an imitation firearm to make it into a realistic firearm. We at PlayandBuy sell UK legal products and we have a range of 2 toned guns with one colour being bright such as blue and Realistic Imitation Firearms (RIF’s) where you will need proof of use or a UKARA membership number to purchase. Most of our RIF’s can be painted for an extra fee.

Full description of the Law can be found here >>

All orders are only accepted on the condition customers have read and accept our Terms and Conditions before purchasing.


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