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mikemike09

airsoft vs airguns vs replica weapons

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Hi guys, I have been trawling the net to get an answer to this question but i am finding all kinds of conflicting advice. I own an airgun (im 40 years young) so i am aware of the law regarding these, but i am now puzzled about the law about replica non firing guns. I would like to purchase some of these replicas for display purposes, mounting on a wall in my man cave etc as they are a lot cheaper than deactivated guns. Now the problem im finding is #1 can i buy these as a non re-enactor film company / man off the street etc legaly and have them in my house? ( i dont intend to run about the local park with them obviously)

I'm also confused about the whole airsoft thing, it seems its quite difficult to buy an airsoft gun that fires plastic balls but looks realistic without being a member of a site etc which is fair enough, yet i can walk into an air-gun shop and buy a c02 replica UZI or similar just as easy as i can a normally legal air gun, why am is this allowed yet if i want an all black electric airsoft gun say an M16 i have to prove my use more thoroughly.

Am i right in thinking as long as the C02 guns are stored and used the same as the arigun law then thats ok?

Sorry if I'm opening up an old topic but I've searched a round and cant quite find 'my' question.
Is it because the co2 scene came after the airsoft scene and the law?
Thanks for any help in advance
Mike


just noticed the avatar! i think i have my children to blame for that!

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Am i right in thinking as long as the C02 guns are stored and used the same as the arigun law then thats ok?

Not exactly. What constitutes an air gun is legally defined.

I agree it is a little odd that you can buy a more powerful air rifle at 18 but have several hoops to jump through to buy a BB gun. That said, air rifles are generally easy to identify and not particularly fast firing whereas some of the airsoft replicas are very difficult to differentiate from genuine weapons, particularly at first sight, and can fire semi/fully automatic.

Basically the public aren't allowed the wapons you desire;, but do have a defence against prosecution if they have a valid reason (re-enactor, film company, airsofters etc)

Interestingly the law doesn't prevent you buying this stuff as such - it just stops anyone from selling it to you. You can buy the weapons painted bright colours but don't be tempted into thinking that you can do thy then paint them, as that would be manufacturing an imitation firearm where the offence is committed by you.

Either way, if you do end up with any of this stuff, then yes the rules around carrying them in public are largely as you'd expect - keep the magazines unleaded and out of the weapon, keep the batteres out, keep it covered, etc etc etc. basically as long as nobody can see it or tell that you have it, it could not quickly and easily be made to fire, and you have a good reason for wandering round with it (just bought it, etc) then you shouldn't have too much trouble.

I take it your searching found the thread two lines below this?

http://www.ukpoliceonline.co.uk/index.php?/topic/51425-is-owning-a-realistic-replica-firearm-legal/#entry561552

Edited by Cherry beret

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Agree with Cherry Beret.

Unfortunately, because firearms, air weapon and imitation firearms laws have been introduced at different times and for different reasons over the last 50 years, they don't join up seamlessly.

The current restrictions on realistic imitations were prompted by concerns over crimes committed with fake weaponss, however, there is nothing to stop the would-be criminal legally buying a deactivated firearm or an airgun which looks like a modern firearm and committing the same crimes.

I once stopped a man at the border importing a springer air rifle with pellets, a CO2 powered airgun shaped like a Walther P99 and a blank firing starter pistol. The only one which couldn't harm someone is the starter pistol, but that was the only one which was illegal to import.

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just noticed the avatar! i think i have my children to blame for that!

Well kindly remove it as some members have taken offence to it. Cheers.

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Have done, Its something to do with a website called GRAVATAR for the xbox the kids have set up allowing you to have a unified avatar across all websites, not really the best thing on a police website, once again apologies the pic was actually my son dressing up in his camo gear with a wooden toy i made him. if you look at the size of the gloves you can see hes about 3' high!!!

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UK Gun laws hurt my head.

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Buying realistic imitation guns has only got more difficult I think due to the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006. It basically means you cannot buy a REALISTIC imitation gun unless you have good reason. Those good reasons are if you are with a TV/film production company and you need it for a prop, or you are an airsoft skirmisher and don't want to have a bright orange BB gun.

There are specific defences within VCRA for the two above purposes, for airsofters they must be a member of UKARA, which is free providing they register with a recognised airsoft skirmishing club and attend I think at least 1 skirmish a month or something like that.

Obviously for the TV/film use you would just have a signed letter on your companies headed paper.

Anyone can buy imitation firearms, for BB guns and air guns etc you have to be a certain age but they cannot be realistic unless you are covered by one of the above defences. This means that at least 50% of the gun has to be painted in a bright colour. Most just come all orange.

God knows why this is the case, even for replicas. It seems crazy when you can buy a deactivated gun and there are no such requirements for silly colours.

A replica is probably partly or all plastic and will NEVER fire any sort of real round. A deac is for all intents a purposes, a real gun, just with internal modifications (which can probably be reversed by someone with sufficient skill and tools) that mean it can't shoot anything.

http://www.guntrader.co.uk/Guns-For-Sale/Glock_Pistol-Deactivated_17_For-Sale_090316115805303

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A week ago I bought a Swiss Arms M92 gas blow back air pistol (http://www.gunstar.co.uk/Air-Pistols/Swiss-Arms-M92-gun-for-sale-gs143038.aspx) from a model shop in Cardiff. It is an all metal construction replica of a Beretta 92 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_92). The air pistol fires 4.5mm steel BBs (.177 cal). It takes 20 BBs and a 12g carbondioxide canister in the magazine. In operation the top slide cycles. When fired there is a loud bang as the gas escapes and a cloud of CO2 is expelled around the pistol. So to most it could appear to be a real pistol being discharged

I'm not an airsofter. All I needed was photo ID with address (drivers licence). Due to the energy of the BBs it is classed as an air pistol/firearm, not a toy or airsoft weapon. As such it's not covered by the RFID legislation.

So as long as I don't wander down the street waving it around and follow the legislation re it's use I'm goo to go for some fun backyard plinking :-)

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I'm sure I've read somewhere before its down to the fact that if a SFO/AFO was to turn up to an incident of a person in possession of a firearm then if the person was to point the weapon at the officer it would be very easy to identify if the thing being pointed at you could be a lethal weapon or if it would just ping you with plastic pellets.

Airguns can be lethal weapons and I know for a fact that you can buy a .177 Uzi that is VERY easy to convert to fully automatic, you can also pump up air weapons to a lot higher than their standard output which makes things a bit more dangerous.

I have nowhere to quote from so class this as my own opinion but I'm sure I've read it somewhere!

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A week ago I bought a Swiss Arms M92 gas blow back air pistol (http://www.gunstar.co.uk/Air-Pistols/Swiss-Arms-M92-gun-for-sale-gs143038.aspx) from a model shop in Cardiff. It is an all metal construction replica of a Beretta 92 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beretta_92). The air pistol fires 4.5mm steel BBs (.177 cal). It takes 20 BBs and a 12g carbondioxide canister in the magazine. In operation the top slide cycles. When fired there is a loud bang as the gas escapes and a cloud of CO2 is expelled around the pistol. So to most it could appear to be a real pistol being discharged

I'm not an airsofter. All I needed was photo ID with address (drivers licence). Due to the energy of the BBs it is classed as an air pistol/firearm, not a toy or airsoft weapon. As such it's not covered by the RFID legislation.

So as long as I don't wander down the street waving it around and follow the legislation re it's use I'm goo to go for some fun backyard plinking :-)

As we've said before, UK firearms, air weapons and replica laws are an inconsistent mess.

The myths that have grown up about airsoft purchase and possession have even found there way into official Home Office guidance. If the Department responsible for introducing the law can't get it right, what hope the rest of the population?

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I'm sure I've read somewhere before its down to the fact that if a SFO/AFO was to turn up to an incident of a person in possession of a firearm then if the person was to point the weapon at the officer it would be very easy to identify if the thing being pointed at you could be a lethal weapon or if it would just ping you with plastic pellets.

There is no legal requirement to make realistic replicas or deacts look different to real firearms, hence the need for firearms officers to treat them as real until conclusively shown otherwise.There's no way to do it visually from a distance.

Replicas which aren't covered by the owners VCRA defense do have to be 50% brightly coloured, not just for firearms officers' benefit, but for the general public, so they can't be "fooled" by them. But, in the US they also have rules about toys being bright colours and airsoft guns having orange tips to enable law enforcement to hesitate before committing to lethal force. All that led to was some of the bad guys painting real guns bright colours to gain the advantage.

Edited by Fritz@Customs

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I'm sure I've read somewhere before its down to the fact that if a SFO/AFO was to turn up to an incident of a person in possession of a firearm then if the person was to point the weapon at the officer it would be very easy to identify if the thing being pointed at you could be a lethal weapon or if it would just ping you with plastic pellets.

Airguns can be lethal weapons and I know for a fact that you can buy a .177 Uzi that is VERY easy to convert to fully automatic, you can also pump up air weapons to a lot higher than their standard output which makes things a bit more dangerous.

I have nowhere to quote from so class this as my own opinion but I'm sure I've read it somewhere!

I would love to know where you read that little jem, if indeed you did.

The fact is, it's incredibly difficult to tell some air / airsoft / replica weapons from the lethal thing even when you have them side by side and a foot in front of you.

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I'll try and find it but I read a lot of crap on the internet, to be honest if I read stuff that was actually meaningful instead of watching cat videos on YouTube I'd be a doctor by noe!

Pretty much hit the nail on the head and when you're in a pressured situation the last thing you want to be doing is doubting yourself!

Now*

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The airsoft trend started in Japan where firearm ownership is banned. The guns are virtual copies of the original. The high quality versions.

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