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Erwin Rommel

Airsoft how to get around buying rules

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Hi ,

 

I would like to buy an airsoft gun, the problem i have is that i live in Shetland , so its not possible for me to attend sites to get my licence thing without spending hundreds if not over a thousand or two on travel and accomidation , so are there any loopholes that i can use to buy a gun , i want a realistic one and not one of the orange ones

 

Could i get one from the states ?

 

Or are there any sites i could by from ?

 

 

 

Thanks

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Nope, it'd be illegal for you to buy one and if you ordered one from overseas it would be seized and destroyed by customs unless you could prove a defence against the VCRA.

 

You have three options.

 

1) Befriend an airsofter and be so nice to them, that they buy you a realistic gun as a present - Owning one isn't illegal, only buying one is.

2) Become an official film maker/cinematographer - You can then use your profession to purchase the guns as props. But using them would then be frowned upon.

3) Just pay the money to get to some sites to get your UKARA registration.

 

If you just want one for target shooting, then why not look at air guns instead? They're much more powerful and significantly more accurate - Just be aware that they can cause significant damage to people, hence why it isn't airguns we shoot at each other.

There are a fair few air pistols that are just as realistic as airsoft ones though, the only difference being the type of ammunition.

 

I suggest this because there are no restrictions on buying airguns, apart from that they have to be an over the counter, face to face purchase and you must be over 18.

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Hi , Thanks for your quick and helpful reply ,

 

I have a few of questions for you

 

1. Whats the cost of getting registered with UKARA ?

 

2. What would be the nearest Airsoft game site to Aberdeen ?

 

3 Once registered is that you for life or do you need to re-apply every few years ?

 

4 Once registered would i have to attend regular games to keep my registration valid ?

 

It seems strange to me that you can buy an airgun without a licence but cant buy a BB gun , is it because some of them are very real looking ?

 

Obviously id like to be registered but financially its difficult with mortgage and bills plus the wife :) ! so maybe ill just have to buy a airgun for a bit of target shooting , dont worry i wont be shooting anyone with it , had airguns years ago but sold them when i started going out to the pubs and partying, now that my party and pub days have come to an end im looking to get back to some of my old hobbies

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Registering with UKARA is free, but it requires you to attend 3 game days at an airsoft skirmish site, it doesn't matter which one, but it has to be the same one for all three visits. The first and 3rd visit must also be more than 2 months apart. One trip per month is how most people seem to structure it. Then on the third month you can fill out a form, get the site you played at to stamp and validate it, then you post it off to an airsoft shop to be added to the database.

 

I can't tell you which is the closest site to Aberdeen, but there's bound to be some around there. I'll let someone else answer that one for you. You could try looking up an airsoft site map on google or something though, I forget the name of the site but somewhere there is a comprehensive list of all the registered UK sites, along with a google maps style map for you to look on to find where they all are.

 

Once you are registered the defence lasts for 1 year, from the day you were added to the database, to the day before of the following year. You must then go through the process again if you want to buy more guns. It's still legal for you to own the guns you bought from the first time around though, so if you buy everything you're ever likely to want in that first year, there'll be no need to ever do it again.

 

Once you are registered you do not have to keep regular attendance for the defence to retain its validation, but as above, it only lasts for one year.

 

I agree with you that it's highly stupid that more dangerous weapons have fewer restrictions, but that's just the madness of UK law unfortunately, I assume it is entirely down to the fact they are replicas. If you modified a copper pipe to fire shotgun shells and walked around the street with it, no one would be scared of you, despite the danger of the weapon you made.

Whereas if it were an actual shotgun, people would see it and freak out. Weapons seem to flip a switch in people's minds, so the restrictions are more to protect the pubic's peace of mind, than their actual safety - or at least that's how it's always seemed to me. I could honestly rant about how stupid it is for hours, but there are other times and places for that.

 

Hope I've helped clear some stuff up for you.

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1. Whats the cost of getting registered with UKARA ?

To become UKARA registered you need to play 3 times in a period of over 2 months (but under 12 months) at a UKARA registered site. Costs vary but would be around £20-35 + gun hire fees per day. So roughly £120-160.

 

2. What would be the nearest Airsoft game site to Aberdeen ?

http://www.airsoftmap.net/Skirmish/ Look up here for most local sites

 

3 Once registered is that you for life or do you need to re-apply every few years ?

You will need to get it renewed each year

 

4 Once registered would i have to attend regular games to keep my registration valid ?

You will need to continue playing at your registered site to get it renewed

 

It seems strange to me that you can buy an airgun without a licence but cant buy a BB gun , is it because some of them are very real looking ?

Yes

 

EDIT: DAMN YOU ED beat me to it :P

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Haha sorry Tariq. You at least provided the link to the map I mentioned, so you did provide more help than me, even if you were slower on the draw ^_^

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Thanks for the info , looks like its going to cost a bit for me to play ill need to workout the costings , anyway im going out to Thailand for a month in April as thats where the wife is from so i think ill play there , apparently its quite big out there and there are no laws for buying or owning guns cops are more worried about the real ones !, so potentially i could buy one there and take it back to the uk in my baggage ? If its not illegal to own it then i cant see how they can take it from me as long as its in the hold baggage, what do you think ?

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You will have to declare it in customs and they will ask you for a defence.

No Defence (UKARA being the easiest one) = Customs seizing it.

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I wouldn't risk it. Taking anything gun shaped through customs could go very badly wrong if you don't declare it.

 

If you do declare it then you run the risk of it being confiscated, but it might work - It's illegal to buy, not own, after all. But, I've never known it done before.

 

I'll see if I can't get someone more informed on the topic... Where's Finius?

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Guy's how many time's I'm the Scottish director of answering question's Jeez!

 

if you go to Inverness (Much closer also mainly for those south of the Border) you can go to WildWoodz or Highland Tactical Airsoft which is near someplace i've forgotten the name of so yea that one

 

Also GUY'S! when Finius ain't here i'm top dog remember!?!?

 

RE: Bringing one back in your Luggage.

 

you can't because it is still importing just because you bought it over their mean's nothing hence why when we Import from shop's we also have to provide a defence and pay more money than we should...

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The simple answer is just buy an orange one (or other brightly coloured one). Most people want them black for realisim when they play airsoft. If you aren't playing, just plinking on your own land then there's no real need for a black one.

 

The law is there because the govt don't want any Tom Dick and Harry getting hold of realistic looking guns, so like a lot of things they place restrictions on them. If you can't fulfil one of the criteria in Airsoft-Ed's post, then quite simply you aren't entitled to buy one. The same way you aren't allowed to buy booze under 18 etc... It's just one of those things you have to live with! If you're serious about airsofting, the the three game rule isn't really that difficult to adhere to!

 

If you try and bring one back in your luggage, it may get seized and destroyed. If you try and import one it may get seized and destroyed. If you buy an orange one, it will be delivered to your door the next day with no issues whatsoever :)

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I agree TBH you should just buy an IF in this case since you'll save yourself the hastle of having to go to the skirmish site more than you might originally intend to. I mean, if you're interested in going a few times throughout the year, or even less, then it's not worth the 120+ quid it'll cost you in hiring equipment, and that's excluding your fuel costs and everything else.

As aforementioned, and as you can probably infer, it all depends on how serious you are on having a more realistic-looking gun.

 

May I suggest that you purchase a brightly coloured gun (You can buy some that are pre-painted or pay an extra 10-15 pounds for it to be painted orange or green or whatever)

Then purchase a roll of camouflage tape (you can usually buy it from airsoft websites) and cover your gun with that. As long as you don't have a PERMENANT black-coloured / realistic looking gun, it's OK. So only put on the camo tape (or alternative means of making it look more realistic) when you're at a skirmish site, however remember to remove it at the end.

 

And there are air guns too of course, but you won't be able to skirmish with them.

That stupid law [you're allowed a far-more-dangerous air gun without any licence, yet you need one for a RIF because it looks more like a gun?] is so retarded, but I shalln't talk about it because as Ed said:

 

"I could honestly rant about how stupid it is for hours, but there are other times and places for that." - Airsoft-Ed

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I love how you need a valid defence like UKARA to buy a RIF,

 

but you can just get a shotgun license unless the police prove that you shouldn't have one :P

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Ed, I am going to have to disagree with you again.

 

It is far easier to buy RIF's than air guns. You can buy a RIF with no record being taken (most shops will record UKARA, or whatever evidence you use to provide them with a defence, for their own defence, but there is no compunction in law so to do). When an RFD sells you an air rifle they have to record name, address etc. in their ledger. You don't need to be a registered firearms dealer to sell airsoft guns as trade (private sales are different) and there is no need for RIF sales to be face to face.

 

Also remember (yes, this argument again) you CANNOT commit an offence by purchasing an RIF. Whether you can prove one of the defences or not (except if you are under age of course, different argument then). It is not an offence to own or buy one.

 

The OP could quite legally BUY a RIF, but the person selling it to him would be on dodgy ground if asked to prove their defence under the VCRA.

 

Buying abroad and bringing back in hand luggage is monumentally stupid. Firstly, if you IMPORT (in your hold luggage still classifies as importing) without a defence then you DO commit an offence, and could face stiff fines. Secondly, if you try to smuggle it through without declaring it then you are likely to end up with a couple of very real MP5's pointed at you. I'm not saying you will get shot, the coppers are generally pretty well disciplined, but nerves can make trigger fingers veeeeery twitchy.

 

So yeah, if you want a RIF, then you need to prove to your seller that you are a regular player. Why not see if you can set up a group on the islands? There must be a few blokes you can cajole into running round getting shot at, though having shot up there a few times with bigger stuff, good luck hitting anything with that wind!

 

Air rifles are good for target practice. Far more accurate than airsoft guns, and actually pretty useful for pest control. Shoot a rat with an airsoft gun and all that will happen is you'll hear him laughing as he runs away. Shoot him with an air rifle and he's not going to be laughing, or running! Be aware though that the Scottish Parliament are trying to wrest control of firearms low from London, and if they succeed it looks likely that air rifles will be made FAC only toys!

 

Jae, I'd be careful suggesting things like that. For it to count as an IF, it must be 51% one solid, bright colour as laid down in the rules. Covering it with camo tape would be the same as painting over it or colouring it in with a black marker pen, and would be MANUFACTURING AN RIF. Do that without a defence and you are open to prosecution, bit different to just buying one!

 

Tariq, having gone through the process of getting FAC and Shotgun certificates, it's not as simple as you suggest, and there's the fact that all shotguns are registered to you and therefore traceable.

 

The whole VCRA thing is to try and stop the type of oik who goes along to an airsoft retailer, buys an RIF and then flourishes it to try and scare people. They're unlikely to spend the £100 or so for an air pistol to do that. Putting the onus on the retailer takes the responsibility out of the hands of the irresponsible ones who have nothing to lose, and means that if the shopkeeper flouts the law they stand to lose everything. It's a pretty good incentive I'm sure you'll agree!

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Ed, I am going to have to disagree with you again.

 

It is far easier to buy RIF's than air guns. You can buy a RIF with no record being taken (most shops will record UKARA, or whatever evidence you use to provide them with a defence, for their own defence, but there is no compunction in law so to do). When an RFD sells you an air rifle they have to record name, address etc. in their ledger. You don't need to be a registered firearms dealer to sell airsoft guns as trade (private sales are different) and there is no need for RIF sales to be face to face.

 

Also remember (yes, this argument again) you CANNOT commit an offence by purchasing an RIF. Whether you can prove one of the defences or not (except if you are under age of course, different argument then). It is not an offence to own or buy one.

 

The OP could quite legally BUY a RIF, but the person selling it to him would be on dodgy ground if asked to prove their defence under the VCRA.

 

When I say it's easier to buy an air gun than a replica airsoft gun, I mean in terms of what has to be done by the buyer. Playing 3 game days to get UKARA is a lot more hassle than simply being over 18, walking into a shop and giving them a few details. I fail to see how you could possibly argue it's harder to get an air rifle than an airsoft gun, without going through some shady characters. Yes you can buy one with no record being taken, but when buying an airgun it's not exactly taxing to give them something to keep a record of, is it? You seem to be making the assumption people would only want one for nefarious purposes, thus making them avoid buying airguns because they wouldn't want someone to have a record of it.

 

I'm confused by your argument on the above point actually, it's almost like you got RIF and airgun mixed up... Or I might've just completely misunderstood your point. I just can't understand how anyone could argue it was easier to get a RIF than an airgun. The points you make seem to point more to how the process of buying an airgun can be a hassle for the RDF than the buyer.

 

Also, you say, "the person selling it to him would be on dodgy ground if asked to prove their defence under the VCRA" - the person selling doesn't need a defence, the person buying does. I don't think shops have a VCRA exemption like UKARA as a business entity and I don't think everyone that works at an airsoft shop has to have UKARA to be allowed to work there on the till.

Additionally, what if someone owned a RIF from before 2007 and wanted to sell it? They'd be completely able to do that, but they'd need to check the defence of the buyer for it to be a legal sale.

 

Also, disagree with me again? When was the first time? :blink:

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BTW covering with tape for use in game is fine as long as the changes are reversible and it is removed before you leave the site.

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So only put on the camo tape (or alternative means of making it look more realistic) when you're at a skirmish site, however remember to remove it at the end.

 

Phil, it's already been said, but II guess it doesn't hurt to be twice as sure.

 

also, maybe not relevant, but back in the day when people were much more laid back, my dad told me that he could walk into woolys and buy an airgun off the wall, and he'd just cycle to his friends house with an air rifle on his back, shows how the media can change peoples' opinions on certain subjects.

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Thanks for the help folks, i agree with what you all said , and bringing one back in hold luggage is a crazy idea should have never given it a thought , so my plans are to buy one that i can legally buy until i get the UKARA requirements , ill also hopefully get to play a few games when im out in Thailand so will give me a better idea if i enjoy it enough to travel away and play often.

 

 

Good luck with your games

 

 

Cheers

 

Field Marshall Rommel :)

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Ed, you are wrong about the defence. It is the seller that needs the defence, which is provided by the buyer. Might sound like semantics but it's a very important distinction. The buyer needs to provide the defence to the seller. The buyer can't commit an offence, there is no offence of buying an RIF.

 

I'm not saying that each person working behind the tills in an airsoft shop has to hold UKARA at all (other defences are available). What I'm saying is that the SELLER is responsible for ensuring that the BUYER can provide them with a valid defence.

 

The defence is for the seller, against a prosecution under the VCRA, not for the buyer.

 

As for air guns, you're saying it is nonsense for you to need to prove a defence for owning an airsoft gun but not an air gun. I would contend that it is the abuse of "replica" guns as a cheap, easy way to threaten someone that has caused the VCRA to come in to being. The use of an airgun for the same crime is much less likely, due to the higher cost generally engendered.

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I see what you mean now and I agree that you're right, but I think that the distinction is more of a technically, going into it to that depth when explaining it to someone as I was doing here is simply unnecessary.

 

Additionally, to touch on why I think the need for a defence is stupid and said I could rant about it for hours, is because the defence we need is completely pointless. Think of it this way, as you said above, people probably aren't going to buy air guns to threaten people, because of the cost. But they can just buy a two tone airsoft gun and paint it... In my opinion the existence of two tones completely negates the point of needing a defence against the VCRA for skirmishing purposes.

 

I think that for UKARA and the other skirmish defences there are to be worth having, two tones ought to be completely done away with.

 

As long as their are two tones criminals can abuse their existence, not exactly helping to reduce violent crime, eh?

 

There was a huge thread about this in the Supporter's forum the other month where I made my stand on it more than clear, but I'm not going to copy and paste it all over.

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Thing is, the '2-tone' as we know it wasn't our choice, someone in government thought of that brilliant idea

 

Makes sense really :P

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Was Their? i'm watching a movie exscuse the brain for not working!

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Thing is, the '2-tone' as we know it wasn't our choice, someone in government thought of that brilliant idea

 

Makes sense really :P

 

I know two tones were nothing to do with us and I can barely believe it, it's unbelievable how stupid the two tone idea was... <_<

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Still think it would be nice if people would have the courtesy to put Orange tip's (Safe Bag's) on their RIF's during Transport and before Liam Pipe's up you can Put a Can on the end so how do you do that with out Glue? and i don't mean an orange tip the size the US has More like the Front of the Flash Hider and 2 CM's around the Edge

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Guest WhiteDeath

Why don't you British lot come and join the 'copy the Japanese' bandwagon.328 FPS limit,no UKARA,no more two tone plastic crap,RIFs for all!

Or just move to Ireland.

I know that's a silly idea.But it can be considered...

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