First a disclaimer, none of us are Lawyers so this is not legal advice, but we have read the law, put more work into understanding it than most people have any need too and taken legal advice on numerous occasions. Here is our interpretation of the law, there are some grey areas and I will attempt to let you know when we hit them, but this is our interpretation and we can only do business according to our interpretation of what's legal.
First up, where would you like to start?
You have to be over 18 to buy any Airsoft Replica.
Imitation Firearms are separated into 2 categories, Imitation Firearms (I.F.s) and Realistic Imitation Firearms (R.I.F.s) Realistic Imitation Firearms are the ones that look like a real gun, there are close enough to the real steel firearms so as to be indistinguishable from a real steel firearm, by anyone other than an expert or as an attempt to reload it. Basically if your normal person on the street would look at it and think "That's a gun". Imitation Firearms are what you would usually see as Two Tone or transparent. They need to be either principally a proscribed bright colour (bright Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Purple Or Blue, principally is interpreted as over 50%) or transparent plastic.
It is illegal to manufacture, sell or import a Realistic Imitation Firearm. So how do we exist? When this legislation was enacted a group of retailers (later to become UKARA) lobbied the UK Government to keep an exemption for Airsoft and managed it. There are several defences to allow the sale of Realistic Imitation Firearms (or Airsoft RIFS!) one of which is Airsoft. To prove you are an Airsofter you have to attend 3 games in not less than 2 months (so once a month for 3 months will work), apply for site membership, once you have your site membership & 3 games you can refer us to your game site, or if your game site is a UKARA member they can register your membership number with UKARA and any UKARA member retailer will be able to prove your defence at the click of a button. Not every Game site picks up the phone or returns emails super quick!
You can gift an Airsoft RIF to someone, but no money can change hands (cause then it's not a gift is it!)
Other defences to purchase RIFs are "in service to the crown", Museum, Theatre, Film & Television Production & Re-enactors. All of these are dealt with on a case by case basis, so please contact us for details.
Interpretation, there is a grey area around what you can do with your Airsoft IF once you own it. If you are using it for Airsoft at an official site you might be able to change it back to it's realistic colours, but this has not been tested in law, you would be manufacturing a RIF and you would need a defence to be able to do this. If called upon in a court of law would you be able to prove it? To our knowledge no one has been prosecuted for changing a IF to a RIF, but I know I wouldn't want to be the first! This counts for anything that changes the look, so paint, tape wraps, even a ghillie wrap could drop you in hot water.
Anything that can fire more than 2 shots in sequence (anything that's burst fire or full auto capable) is limited to under 1.3 Joule power, single shot is limited to 2.5 Joule. These are what is defined in law as Airsoft. That equates to around 374 FPS and 520 FPS with a 0.2g BB. Unfortunately due to being written by politicians they don't say what happens if you go over those limits. If you go over 2.5 Joules with a single shot it will most likely be re-classified as an Air Weapon, not a huge problem legally, unless you shoot someone with it. If you go over 1.3 Joules with a full auto capable rifle you may well have a section 5 firearm and that's a straight up 5 year prison sentence (gets reclassified as Air Weapon, full auto capable Air Weapons are very bad news!).
The word capable in the last paragraph is as problematic as you're thinking, if you can change it with software (think computerised trigger units) it's still capable of full auto, so you have to manually lock it off, so that it would need disassembly and preferably parts replacing to allow it to fire full auto.
You have to be over 18 to buy any Air Weapon.
All the Air Weapons we sell are available within England, Wales and Northern Ireland without a licence. A licence is required in Scotland.
These Air Weapons are restricted to less than 12 Ft/Lb for rifles and less than 6 Ft/Lb for pistols. Most manufacturers give themselves a safety margin, so a full power rifle will tend to be 11.5 Ft/Lb and the pistols at 5.5 Ft/Lbs. most pistols are significantly less.
Rifles are defined as having a barrel longer than 30cm and an overall length more than 60cm.
All Air Weapon transactions have to be made face to face with photo ID that shows your name, date of birth and current address. This can be done in store, if you are within 100 miles (by road) of the store we can arrange for a representative to come out and deliver it or arrange for the items to be transferred to a Registered Firearms Dealer for local collection. Please check the Air Weapon delivery page for more information on this.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your Air Weapon is used safely and doesn't fall into unauthorised hands, whether that's being locked away or locked itself. Don't think intruders here, this is to protect you and your family from someone picking up a gun that they may not know how to handle safely. These are dangerous weapons, they are designed to kill animals and should be taken seriously at all times.
It is illegal to carry an Air Weapon in a public place without a good reason and yes, your car is classified as a public place. Always get written permission from the land owners of any land you want to shoot on and don't shoot on public land.
Think about where your pellets are going, make sure where you are shooting keeps any ricochets or overshoots within the land you have permission to shoot on. A lot of people shoot in their back gardens, but if any pellets leave your property (the property you have permission to shoot on) it can be classed as trespass with a firearm, which is very bad news!
Don't shoot any animal that you can't be sure of a humane kill with 1 shot. With the power levels in the UK rifles are suited to small game and pest control, so Rats up to Rabbits, but not much bigger. If you attempt to shoot anything bigger not only will you be unlikely to kill it, you could be committing animal cruelty. Always use as powerful an Air Weapon as you can for the same reasons. The highest power Pistols are only suitable for small pest control at extremely close range, for all other circumstances use a full power rifle.
You need a licence (known as an Air Weapons Certificate) to own an Air Gun in Scotland, the same face to face restrictions apply and we can't help you get your licence, but if you do have an Air Weapons Certificate and wish to purchase from us we'll arrange for collection from a local Registered Firearms Dealer. However we will require proof of your certificate before sending out the order.
You have to be over 18 to buy any knife over 3". Technically you can buy a knife with a folding blade under 3" if you are under 18, but we aren't going to sell that to you. Our company policy is 18+ for all knife sales
You are allowed to carry a non-locking pocket knife with a blade length up to 3 inches (7.62CMs) without having to provide a reason, but be sensible, don't take your penknife down the pub!
It is illegal to carry any knife unless it is exempt (under 3" and folding) without a good reason, again be sensible, carrying a locking blade or longer blade for work is fine, but if you're not at work, you're probably going to get it confiscated, or worse!
There are lots of banned knives, anything that uses a button to release a spring loaded blade, any knife that is disguised as something else (belt buckles etc), anything with zombie or zombies printed on it (yeah, we know!). For a full list and in fact for more information please check this link https://www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives