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Darrenj

The law and airsoft

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Hope you can help me with some clarification on the law and airsoft firearms.

 

 

We live out in the sticks in Cornwall and our property has a public footpath which runs by it, of which we own the land.

 

On Saturday we had some kids come down with what looked like an air rifle partially covered (just the muzzle sticking out) they continued on to private wood land.

 

We rang the police, they came out went down into the woods. Upon his return he said there were six kids down there aged between 13-15 just playing off the public footpath, no air rifle just paintball guns, they weren’t doing any harm so he said it was fine and when asked if they were allowed to have a gun such as this exposed in public, he said yes !!!

 

Upon our own investigations they was no sign of paint or used capsules anywhere, however we did find little white plastic balls which I now know to be Airsoft balls.

 

After looking at various website we rang the Police sergeant at our local Police office only to get a load of abuse saying that these airsoft guns were only toys and they can use them where they wanted and do not need to be covered up in a public place and to stop wasting his time. That conflicts somewhat with what I am reading, can you please help me for from what I have read these people are making your sport very unsavoury.

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Can you just let us know your local police station`s No and this SGT`s No aswell or you can just report it and let these guy`s deal with it http://www.ukara.org.uk/

 

and print those site`s off go down their and give them ALL HELL with the Proof and ask to speek with the next one up untill your the bane of their existence as nobody is allowed any kind of potentially lethal weapon in public and especially when it is not covered

 

Cheer`s for not making assumption`s about the rest of us being Nonce`s and ready to blind people for our own amusement.

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In a perfect world, we would disassociate our sport from little kids who use airsoft products in such a manner...

 

You are entirely correct. It is illegal to carry (unless cased or in a gun bag) or use any airsoft gun in a public place.

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Many thanks for your quick responses, I will be contacting UKARA and hopefully get this resolved.

 

Just as a matter of interest how far can these guns fire?

 

And also how old do you have to be to own one?

 

Cheers

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technically by my definition you should be 18 and that`ll annoy a lot of our underage guy`s on here but most off them are nice cannon fodder but you have to be a minimum of 18 to buy and no restriction on actually owning (i know) just buying restriction`s im afraid but if their all black then that`s a major part of the law down the tube and they better not drop any soap for a few year`s...

 

and most will soot at about 30FT i think it was or maybe 50 i really need to go again...

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Haha, Craig. Fully upgraded sniper rifles will go past 250 feet :P

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I'd say the most any airsoft gun can fire is around 100m and at that range they probably couldn't break paper. But they'll draw blood from under 30m on bare skin.

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I'd agree that 100m will probably be the max.... however, I'd really want to see a polarstar fusion rifle, heard really good things about their performance

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Hi Guys

 

Back again!

 

Can someone clarify for me the difference between these guns as it is not 100% clear.

 

The ones that are black and to all intent and purpose look like the real thing are only available to someone who belongs to a club and are referred to as RIF's (realistic Imitation Firearms) and the laws on these in Public places etc are very strict.

 

The ones that are coloured, Blue,Red etc are knows as IF's and the laws on these are very different, i.e. you can take these into public places, carry them uncovered and basically use them where and as you wish because they are low powered and because of there colour are easily identifiable from RIF's or the real thing and these are just classed as toys?

 

Its just to get it clear in my head, any other info would be gratefully received .

 

I rang the local firearms police this morning and advised to look on the internet for the info as they didnt know. :blink:

 

many thanks

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All forms of airsoft gun should be covered up in public, no matter the colour. Two tones (or IF's) are purely in place to stop people getting RIF's so easily:)

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And there is no power difference. They are the same guns, just coloured.

 

Two toned rifles and pistols carry the same danger as their realistically coloured counterparts.

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Basically yes, the only difference is that you can buy them without being registered as an airsoft player. You still have to be over 18, though adults can buy guns for minors and "gift" the gun to them.

 

Reason being that when you're a player you almost "earn" your right to buy the real coloured ones, if you actually go airsofting they trust you to buy the guns for that purpose, where as if you don't go airsofting, there's nothing stopping you using the gun for whatever you want.

 

So the guns are made obviously "fake" by brightly colouring them on the off chance that the purpose you choose isn't an intelligent one.

 

It's still illegal to use or brandish them in public and I think the penalty if caught is something around the 5 year mark, though that may need someone else's confirmation.

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Here you go:

 

Increase of maximum sentence for possessing an imitation firearm

 

(1)In the entry in Schedule 6 to the 1968 Act relating to section 19 of that Act (mode of trial and punishment of possession of firearm or imitation firearm in a public place)—

(a)in paragraph (B) of column 3 (offence to be triable either way except in the case of an imitation firearm or air weapon), omit the words “ in the case of an imitation firearm or ”; and

(b)in column 4, for “7 years or a fine; or both” substitute—

“(i)if the weapon is an imitation firearm, 12 months or a fine, or both;

(ii)in any other case, 7 years or a fine, or both.”

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/38/section/41

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I think the issue I am having with the local police is the 'Definition' of these guns, they seem to think because they are coloured they are not a Imitation Firearm they are toys and because they are minors the law doesn't apply to them.

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they are wrong then and need to go through Training again (here`s me hoping your not in moray) and just direct em to the commisionar Hopefully he has an idea of what the law say`s if not UKARA can sort it or atleast i hope they will do something or print every little thing off we have told you and that you have found and that will clear it up and tell em to check the darn VCRA while their doing their training again.

 

EDit: and after you have passed 12 in the UK atleast you are punishable by law i think top brasse`s may well be involved then...

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I think the issue I am having with the local police is the 'Definition' of these guns, they seem to think because they are coloured they are not a Imitation Firearm they are toys and because they are minors the law doesn't apply to them.

 

This should clear things up.

 

Airsoft guns that are two tone are classed as imitation firearms.

 

Taken from the VCRA of 2006 section 38:

 

(1)In sections 36 and 37 “realistic imitation firearm” means an imitation firearm which—

(a)has an appearance that is so realistic as to make it indistinguishable, for all practical purposes, from a real firearm; and

(b)is neither a de-activated firearm nor itself an antique.

 

(2)For the purposes of this section, an imitation firearm is not (except by virtue of subsection (3)(B.)) to be regarded as distinguishable from a real firearm for any practical purpose if it could be so distinguished only—

(a)by an expert;

(b)on a close examination; or

©as a result of an attempt to load or to fire it.

 

(3)In determining for the purposes of this section whether an imitation firearm is distinguishable from a real firearm—

(a)the matters that must be taken into account include any differences between the size, shape and principal colour of the imitation firearm and the size, shape and colour in which the real firearm is manufactured; and

(b)the imitation is to be regarded as distinguishable if its size, shape or principal colour is unrealistic for a real firearm.

 

As Airsoft guns are generally realistic imitation firearms painted in bright colours (as per imitation firearm specifications), they fall under this description and are thus counted as immitation firearms.

 

Having one out in public is in fact, an offence.

 

Taken from the firearms act 1968 section 19:

 

A person commits an offence if, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse (the proof whereof lies on him) he has with him in a public place

(a) a loaded shot gun,

(b)an air weapon (whether loaded or not),

©any other firearm (whether loaded or not) together with ammunition suitable for use in that firearm, or

(d)an imitation firearm.

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The rifles in question, as has been mentioned are legally toys, BUT should NOT be given to kids to go and play with them in the woods.

 

Just because they are brightly coloured it does not mean that they are for kids or are any less dangerous:

If a lambourghini is bright Orange, it is a lambourghini.

If a lambourghini is black, it doesn't suddenly become a hearse. It is still a supercar, capable of doing supercar things.

 

Police and parents alike need to get their heads out of the sand and realise that just because the colour of something indiactes that it is for kids, it does not mean that it is!

 

I must applaud you, Darren, for realising that we are not all young kids and we do want to protect our chosen sport and hobby. And also thank you for not jumping on the 'guns r bad and people who like them are physcopaths' bandwaggon because you have had an issue with a few individuals.

 

I probably haven't added much here, but there is definately some good, solid advice in this thread.

Cheers

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The age of criminal responsibility in England is 10 years old, unless they've upped it since I was told for my A-Levels a few years ago. I'm sure no parent would give their kids permission to use guns that they would have had to buy for them, in public. Especially if they're under 10 years old.

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What irks me is why they couldn't just make themselves know to yourself, being a nearby property owner. If they state thier intent then someone local may have a bit of land and let them use them in a controlled manner, ie a shooting range. Shooting them near a path, with possible dog walkers, ramblers, other children is idiotic.

 

By all means they are bang out of order, if they have to enter through your property I suggest you might put a sign saying that people have been spotted using airsoft firearms in the woods and the area is under surveliance. If I was a kid that would be enough to scare the be-jeebies out of me.

 

Again, thanks for coming in here open minded and not on a warpath.

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The rifles in question, as has been mentioned are legally toys, BUT should NOT be given to kids to go and play with them in the woods.

 

Just because they are brightly coloured it does not mean that they are for kids or are any less dangerous:

If a lambourghini is bright Orange, it is a lambourghini.

If a lambourghini is black, it doesn't suddenly become a hearse. It is still a supercar, capable of doing supercar things.

 

Police and parents alike need to get their heads out of the sand and realise that just because the colour of something indiactes that it is for kids, it does not mean that it is!

 

I must applaud you, Darren, for realising that we are not all young kids and we do want to protect our chosen sport and hobby. And also thank you for not jumping on the 'guns r bad and people who like them are physcopaths' bandwaggon because you have had an issue with a few individuals.

I probably haven't added much here, but there is definately some good, solid advice in this thread.

Cheers

 

I have alot of respect for people in what they do when they do it properly as you all clearly do, I'm not such a stranger from this environment as I grew with Firearms around me, both of my parents had FAC's with guns to match, 45's, 38's, blackpowder, shotguns, .22 and air rifles, so I have the utmost respect for guns but, also I had a great childhood growing up. I only have an air rifle now for disposing of rodents and I am very fortunate to have my own land to shoot on.

 

I have to say that Airsoft in the correct environment looks like great fun.

 

Thank you all for your help so far.

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Just an update for those who may be interested.

 

Following on from the saga and because of the police and there lack of interest in the law this situation is still on going.

 

 

I did contact UKARA and initially they did seem interested, but for some reason things just fizzled out with that line of enquiry.

 

We have since I wrote this still had continual abuse of these weapons be carried in public and used incorrectly.

 

We had another incident only yesterday, I called the police, and give them their due they did come out, they went and spoke to the kids and came back and reported to me only to reiterate to me that they were only toys and no crime had been committed. when I confronted the police officers with the laws which I printed off the internet from the Cleveland Police website they said no, the way its been worded is misleading and these ones are just toys, the other officer said after I pushed them on this ' anyway Devon and Cornwall Police don't recognize these BB laws' as you can imagine I was gob-founded, just then these two young lads walked past on the public footpath with both their weapons clearly visible, one was a AK 47 in Blue, I have to admit I did not recognize the other one.

 

unfortunately for the police when I was talking to them they were under one of my CCTV cameras which has a microphone, so I have the whole conversation recorded.

 

So now I have witnessed two under aged boys committing a crime with two police officers watching and they did nothing.

 

AHHHHHHH !

 

I really need your help and your comments

 

Thank you.

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i regret saying this but screw it write to the sun or any BIG and local newspaper with all the info you have and let the home office know as county`s have to abide by law`s set out by the UK government (we are not in america thank you) and not forgetting SKy new`s and BBC New`s aswell post the Video on youtube and that will bring a true storm down on them

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