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UKARA Mystery


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Why do so many skirmishers (a good 75% i recon) think you need UKARA membership to legally buy a RIF?

 

Pyro

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Hmm, care to enlighten me?...

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UKARA is an association of airsoft/RIF/IF retailers. They are not some omnipitant legal entity a many think they are. There is no need to be UKARA registered. Hell, you don't technically even need to be a member of a site. You just need to have a legal defence to buy RIFs.

 

Yes, it makes it easier to buy as many shops have a field for UKARA numbers in their online checkouts. But it's frustrating when people participate in a very legally stressed sports (consider there was going to be a total ban on RIFs at some point). But don't know the laws that govern them.

 

I can understand it from a players perspective as they're spoon fed the 'legal need' to be registered by resellers. But you would think the people selling them would have an intermate knowledge of the legal boundries they tread doing so.

 

Pyro

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...because UKARA is the most easily obtained recognized defence?

 

Even customs recognize it, so why would it be surprising that most people think UKARA is the go-to defence?

 

 

 

99.9% of people aren't going to read the small print on their car insurance, so I wouldn't expect them to go reading the VCRA either.

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Not disputing it's the most easily recognised defence, or the go-to one at that. But people think it's law and 100% essential. This is usually a belief generated by people who read it on forums and suppliers sites. Most of whome have their beliefe because they read it on a forum or suppliers site... etc.

 

It's just an un-truth that is spread freely and bugs me. Just because a lie is popular, doesn't make it right :/

 

Pyro

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There's no point for the majority going to the trouble of obtaining other forms of proof such as a photo of them airsofting (which is not widely accepted or solid proof) when you can simply go to a few skirmishes and be done with it.

Reading what you've just said I completely agree, I think it would be good to see some retailers / fields be more clear about it but I think it could just end up being a lot more confusing.

Still it seems people are reluctant or don't think to join forums, with the amount of money you can put it into it, it's stupid not to really.

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I think a few of you are missing the point, there's no denying UKARA is the most foolproof way of proving your defence.

The problem stems from a large proportion of the community genuinely believing that UKARA is a legal requirement for the purchase of a RIF, it is not.

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I got my first site membership after 2 signed sessions and a picture of my back riddled with welts :D Then got my whole loadout on just that membership, though I did have to advise a couple of suppliers of the law :/ Shame I've not been in over a year, wan't to get a couple of MP7's for my birthday :( Anyone know what the UCAP bunker nights are like on a Wed night?

 

Pyro

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Also, form the horses mouth:

 

The regulations provide for two new defences. The first is for the organisation and holding of airsoft skirmishing. This is defined by reference to “permitted activities” and the defence applies only where third party liability insurance is held in respect of the activities. The second new defence is for the purpose of display at arms fairs, defined in the regulations by reference to “permitted events”.

  1. The regulations also specify the persons who can claim the defence for historical re-enactment. This is restricted to those organising or taking part in re-enactment activities for which third party liability insurance is held.

  2. For manufacturers, importers and vendors to claim one of the defences, they must be able to show that their conduct was for purpose of making realistic imitation firearms available for one of the reasons specified in the defences above. How they should satisfy themselves of this will vary from case to case and it might be advisable for them to keep a record of this for each transaction. In some cases they could ask to see, for example, a letter from the commissioning film or television company.

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I agree completely that there is a great deal of confusion around the legality of this hobby.

But I don't see much point in taking an elitist attitude of looking down on other people for not knowing any better when at every stage of purchasing you have UKARA shoved in your face.

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I agree completely that there is a great deal of confusion around the legality of this hobby.

But I don't see much point in taking an elitist attitude of looking down on other people for not knowing any better when at every stage of purchasing you have UKARA shoved in your face.

 

there's no elitist attitude here, just an acknowlegement of widespread ignorance.

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I assume you mean ignorance in the literal sense of absence of knowledge / being informed...

 

As opposed to willing -being a giant muppet- ignorance?

 

I don't hold honestly ill informed people in contempt, it just bugs me. Like people who honestly don't know they should get in the left lane when done with overtaking.

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Don't forget too that requesting a UKARA number in most instances is the EASIEST defence for a seller (retailer or private) to ensure they are complying with the legislation. Retailers in particular by and large don't want to be chasing site owners by phone/email to see if you have played there 3 times, its too time consuming.

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I don't think UKARA is a particularly good system. I have played a lot of games last year and this but they have mostly been on different sites. So the issue I am now facing is later this year is once again obtaining my UKARA renewal on a site I have played 3 times. There are some I have played on enough but which I haven't played recently but more where I have played just the once. I face the very real possibility that the only sensible thing to do is play on the same site a few times just to get UKARA. Its one thing to be forcing new members of the sport to wait until they can buy a RIF but messing up veterans just because they play 3 milsim ops a year or play a lot of different sites like myself is ridiculous.

 

The system is stacked, its designed to maximise profits to sites that administrate it. Many charge for it and some are even using it to sell guns over their competition despite charging more (buy the gun from them, its not two toned and you can take it home on your 2 month third game). Its a system of proof, but the issue is with its rules and how its applied and how it ultimately is being used to distort the market. I imagine Wolf armouries would sell less guns without UKARA driving some of its sales, because their website is awful but their mastery of UKARA and selling guns to new members to the sport is really quite special. I still think a system that allowed multiple site airsoft proof would be better, it would at least solve my current issue with it.

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I think that peoples misconceptions about UKARA being a legal requirement isn't a bad thing, as it helps perpetuate UKARA and the independant retailers who keep the airsoft market competitvely priced.

 

The alternative is bleak;

 

Without UKARA then the only way i can envisage RIF being sold at all is at skirmish sites by the people running it. A site could then set their own criteria for what they consider to be sufficient 'proof' of your defence for owning RIF. They could make it so you have to go to their skirmishes 10 times before you can take the gun home, and charge you lots more for the gun knowing you'd have to be willing to go to a less convinient site multiple times to get any cheaper.

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The problem with multiple site operation is that legally (as far as I understand the VCRA), the defense applies to members of an insured establishment, be it skirmish site, reenactment group... etc.

 

UKARA is not an insured group, and merely a database of insured site members. So while you need to be a member of a site to get a UKARA membership, thus easily prooving you have a defence, having the UKARA membership in and of itself is not a legal defense (if that makes sense).

 

Short of all (or collections) of airsofting sites pooling together for combined insurance and membership, a multi-site playing defense won't tick the right boxes.

 

Pyro

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Whilst I agree ukara has its place I don't think it should have a monopoly on airsoft , another downside is the insurance or should I say lack of , all well & good if your on a site with insurance but what in the unlikely event you hurt someone where your not insured ukara membership isn't much help then I should imagine.cheers marcus

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Ok, I think a lot of people here have got the wrong end of the stick about what UKARA actually is. It's a retailer's association, your 'UKARA number' does not make you a member of UKARA, your name being on the database is NOT membership of UKARA, it is a record of your membership to an insured game site.

 

If you're playing at an uninsured game site and you injure someone, no one is going to help you.

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Ok, I think a lot of people here have got the wrong end of the stick about what UKARA actually is. It's a retailer's association, your 'UKARA number' does not make you a member of UKARA, your name being on the database is NOT membership of UKARA, it is a record of your membership to an insured game site.

 

If you're playing at an uninsured game site and you injure someone, no one is going to help you.

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Is this thread purely based on peoples misunderstanding of VCRA and UKARA?

It is, as has been said, the most easily obtainable legal, defence.

What's the point of this thread?

Or am I missing the point and just being ignorant?

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