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BB Guns & The Law

A Quick Overview...

Since 2007 it has been illegal to purchase Realistic Imitation Firearms (a link to the actual legislation is at the bottom of the page) without a defence. There are defences for re-enactors, film, TV & theatre companies, the armed forces and police (only to be used under official capacities) written into the bill, but there is also a defence for an active airsoft skirmisher under home office regulations.

A Realistic Imitation Firearm (R.I.F.) is anything that looks like a firearm designed post 1870 which is distinguishable from the real steel firearm only by an expert on a close examination or as a result of an attempt to load or to fire it. These a prohibited to people with a legal defence as above...

An Imitation Firearm (I.F.) is any thing which has the appearance of being a firearm whether or not it is capable of discharging any shot, bullet or other missile but is distinguishable from a real firearm I.e. the principal colour is any of the proscribed bright colours mentioned in the VCR regulations. These are for purchase by people over the age of 18 only.

If you have an Imitation Firearm (Two Tone or clear plastic) do not attempt to turn it into a Realistic Imitation Firearm, it is illegal and without a defence is punishable with up to a year in prison or a fine up to level 5 on the standard scale (at time of writting £5000) or both!

R.I.F. Requirements...

If you are interested in Airsoft Skirmishing and you want to purchase a R.I.F. you can avail yourself of the airsoft defence. You need to attend an organized Airsoft Skirmish site (which has Public Liability Insurance) 3 times in not less than 2 months (I.e. once a month for 3 months) and become a member of the site, if the site is UKARA registered you can also have you details registered on their database, this will allow any UKARA registered retailer to confirm that you have the defence within seconds, rather than contacting the site you game with a confirming with them (sometimes it can take a day or so to get through to the right person). A UKARA registered site membership number can also be useful when importing R.I.F.s. Check the UKARA site here http://www.ukara.org.uk/ there is a downloadable PDF file that needs to be filled in, once you have that stamped and completed by your gamesite send the paper work to us, we will get you on the database and send you a confirmation email asap!

Two Tones...

If you don't or can't get the Skirmish defence don't worry, you can still have a Skirmish worthy BB gun! We do a range of either clear plastic or Two Tone BB guns & AEGs. Fancy that strange looking BB gun only available in R.I.F.? Again don't worry, we have a spray shop in house so we can two tone almost any R.I.F. for you (within reason, two toning over a chrome/nickel or Tan rifle could look hideous!). Please bear in mind although we do need to charge for this the paint job is not a high end paint job so there maybe small imperfections in the finish and the paint may wear or chip over time or with contact. Unfortunately due to varying the nature of the products this is unavoidable. We are constantly striving to get a better and tougher finish so if we are unsatisfied with it, it doesn't go out the door!

A direct link to the relevant law http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/38/part/2/crossheading/imitation-firearms