You may not need a licence to buy airsoft guns in the UK, but this does not mean you can tote them around indiscriminately. To ensure you keep yourself and others as safe as possible, you need to be mindful of how airsoft guns should be transported.

Understanding UK Airsoft Laws

It is always a good idea to have a firm grasp on the current laws surrounding airsoft gun purchase and related activities. There are often more rules around handling guns than for buying them as airsoft is a defence under The Violent Crimes Reduction Act 2006, meaning it is not illegal for certain people to buy Real Imitation Firearm – if you’re here, you’re likely one of those people (i.e. a UKARA member).

If you need to brush up on some of the regulations, please see our guide covering airsoft laws in the UK.

Just because you can purchase a single colour RIF (or even a two-tone airsoft gun), it does not mean you are free to do what you like with it.

Can You Carry an Airsoft Gun in Public?

You cannot openly carry or show airsoft guns in public. Regardless of whether you are a registered skirmisher or not, airsoft guns should always be covered from public view. To most eyes, an RIF will look just like the real thing, potentially causing panic and harm if it were visible.

A busy public space

If carrying your airsoft gear in public, you must have a justifiable reason for transporting it. This might be:

  • Travelling to and from a skirmish site or airsoft event.
  • Travelling to get your gun fixed at an airsoft store or visiting the store for another reason.

The short of it is you shouldn’t carry your gun in public unless it is in transit. If you are suspected of causing potential harm to others by possessing a perceived firearm, at best, you could be arrested, and at worst, you will be dealing with the police Firearms response unit.

Can You Take an Airsoft Gun on Public Transport?

You will need to be especially careful when transporting your kit if travelling via public transport to reduce the risk of alarming anyone and causing undue worry.

Avoid Wearing Airsoft Outfits in Public

If catching the bus or train to your next skirmish, it is best to wear regular, nondescript clothing. If you are kitted out in tactical gear or are imitating a soldier, it can be quite intimidating and attract the wrong attention.

You can get changed into your airsoft kit when you safely arrive at the site.

Use a Holdall Rather Than a Gun Case

More on the best airsoft gun cases later, but our advice here is, if you’re planning on taking your gun on public transport, a large, very obvious gun case is not the best option. You will need something more inconspicuous – something that looks like it could be a firearm is going to cause understandable alarm.

A spacious holdall or duffle bag will look like regular luggage while being big enough to secure your gun along with any accessories and additional gear.

It’s worth reinforcing here that even if you are travelling in your own car, you should keep your gun in a case that conceals it from view.

A green holdall on the floor next to a chair

Can You Take an Airsoft Gun on a Plane?

Needing to take your airsoft kit on a plane is probably more unlikely than bringing it with you via bus or train, but you may end up travelling further afield for a game!

Your ability to fly with airsoft guns will primarily come down to the airline you’re travelling with. Some will allow it, some won’t and some will require additional feed and/or forms. If you are planning a trip, check and double-check with your airline to ensure you are adhering to all their rules and don’t end up having to relinquish any of your gear.

Airsoft Gun Cases

There are several kinds of suitable airsoft gun cases and bags that’ll ensure you’re never travelling with airsoft gear out in the open.

Hard Airsoft Gun Cases

These’ll probably be your first port of call when getting a case. They offer optimal protection for your gun and also tend to look more professional, which can help show you as a legitimate skirmisher if you’re stopped by the police.

Plastic or aluminium cases are wonderfully hard-wearing, shielding your equipment from any potential damage during transportation. The only drawback is that some cases can be quite heavy and difficult to lug over the final mile some sites have between the car and the safe zone!

The Nuprol Essentials Medium Hard Case is a great option for smaller rifles, while something like the Grey Nuprol Hard Rifle Case with wave foam is ideal for bigger rifles.

A Nuprol case for transporting airsoft guns

Soft Airsoft Gun Cases

Soft bags are great if you have limited space when travelling with your airsoft guns.

They tend to be easier to carry thanks to their padded straps and are suitable for carrying all kinds of rifles.

They come in a range of materials and styles, and some provide extra padding to ensure better protection. A good place to start here is with something like the Remington Rifle Bag.

Remington Rifle Bag in green

Pistol Cases

Your pistols, as well as your rifles, will also need to be secured in a case during transportation. Like larger gun cases, easy-to-carry pistol cases can be hard or more like pouches.

One of our most popular choices here is the Black Nuprol Hard Pistol with wave foam.

An Additional Rucksak

It is also worth investing in an additional rucksack or bag that you can dedicate to transporting other gear aside from your gun. This might include things like protective wear, ammo or extra gun accessories.

Tips for Transporting Your Airsoft Guns

So, once you’ve got your case, what else can you do to ensure you’re taking the utmost care and keeping out of trouble?

Locks for Your Airsoft Case

Locking your airsoft guns away in your case or bag with a visible seal or lock is a great way to illustrate that you do not intend to open your bag in public.

If you are stopped by police, it demonstrates that you are restricting your access to the gun, indicating you have no intention of opening it while in transit and are aware of the risks.

Break Guns Down if Possible

Dismantling your airsoft guns before you pack them has a similar effect, showing you have no intention of displaying the gun in public.

This step might not be possible for some guns and those who are unfamiliar with the technical aspects of the gun’s assembly. Therefore, it is not an essential step but can be useful if you are nervous about being stopped by police.

Be Honest if Questioned

If the police do stop you, be upfront about what’s in your bag and why you’re transporting it or where you’re going. Provided you have kept your guns concealed at all times, you have done nothing wrong.

An airsoft player walking on his own

How to Store Airsoft Guns

When they’re not being transported or in use, you should also ensure your guns are stored sensibly, ready for the next game. You should keep them in your home in a secure location – don’t leave them in your car after a skirmish.

Whether you have a case, box or cupboard set aside for airsoft gun storage, you should always make your guns safe before tucking them away. This means removing magazines and ammo to store in separate locations and removing batteries.

The airsoft community is a relatively small one, so being an ambassador of the sport and doing your best to uphold its reputation is in everyone’s best interests. Hopefully, you now know all you need to know about transporting airsoft guns and can make your way to the next skirmish stress-free!

Airsoft gun maintenance