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Tamberlin

Why are airsoft RIFs under the UKARA act, but airguns not?

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Hi there,

 

First of all, apologies if I am wrong about this, but why're airsoft guns counted as RIFs, but air guns not? Some airguns look incredibly realistic and if a member of the public saw one, unless they were very knowledgeable about air guns, would instantly assume some of them to be real firearms. On that note, air guns themselves are deadly! Why do you need qualifications to own a realistic BB gun, but anyone over 18 can walk into a store and buy a lethal weapon which also look like a real firearm?

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RIF = Realistic Imitation Firearm

 

Airgun = Real Firearm.

 

 

wikipedia's uk airgun and the law section

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_gun_laws#United_Kingdom

 

so dont soup up your airsoft gun to the point it's an airgun......

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What I don't understand is why RIF's aren't classed as airguns. Its clearly an airgun but around 1 Joule instead of the 8 Joules for an air pistol and 16 Joules for an air rifle. It meets all the definitions of an airgun but it isn't actually a firearm....for some reason. But look a lot of what makes our legal system work is actual case law and the application of it, so what is actually written isn't always that helpful.

 

To this day one of the first questions always asked in a case of a "shooting" is whether the weapon can be classed as a firearm, because people use nailguns and all sorts to attack each other. There are now efforts to change the law to define anything above 1 Joule as a firearm but historically they would have to assess and home made weapon for lethality and classify it.

 

I think its all a bit weird but maybe I am just missing some aspect of this I don't know about.

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because the VCRA is a very badly written bit of law.

Yup. From what I can tell, it's crap. From there not being an exact definition of what 'manufacturing an RIF' is, to the confusing points that I've been told about UKARA not being a license/legal defense, it really is a silly bit of English law.

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Because it is an air rifle (BB gun) firing steel BBs and is not an airsoft gun, therefore, nothing to do with UKARA.

 

The Description for that gun reads:

"Due to current UK laws you have to be 18 years or older to purchase ANY firearm. Guns CANNOT be delivered to your home address and must be collected from one of our SGC stores or a 3rd party registered firearms dealer*. When collecting your gun please provide a valid form of identification and / or your firearms certificate."

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you can OWN whatever the f*ck you want without UKARA, there's no law on ownership

 

Own as in buy yet it's RIF

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Because it is an air rifle (BB gun) firing steel BBs and is not an airsoft gun, therefore, nothing to do with UKARA.

 

The Description for that gun reads:

"Due to current UK laws you have to be 18 years or older to purchase ANY firearm. Guns CANNOT be delivered to your home address and must be collected from one of our SGC stores or a 3rd party registered firearms dealer*. When collecting your gun please provide a valid form of identification and / or your firearms certificate."

But in relation to VCRA 2006 it's not about airsoft but RIF, and gun linked in my post clearly look like RIF yet anyone can buy it over the age of 18.

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But it's not a rif, air rifle is an actual firearm and comes under different laws.

You don't have to be ejecting brass to be a firearm.

Hell, if you fire frozen chickens out a drainpipe over a certain joulege it's a firearm.

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Going to have to try that now.

the one US bird strike test states a 4lb bird at 400mph.

so that equates to a 1800g bb at 586 fps, giving you a power rating of 28712 joules.

it's rubbish for CQB and the reloading is a complete bugger......

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OK someone answer me this precisely, all the better if you are well versed in law.

 

I know that there is work being done to clarify this in upcoming bills based on what some from the airsoft community and the FSS have done, but, what in current UK legislation precludes airsoft guns from being a firearm, specifically a 'low powered air weapon'. I ask this given that I can see an upper limit, but no lower limit to the definition.

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It is they are not deemed lethal whereas an air rifle/pistol is. It might not be a perfect system but it is not complicated and is incredibly easy to qualify for UKARA.

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It is they are not deemed lethal whereas an air rifle/pistol is. It might not be a perfect system but it is not complicated and is incredibly easy to qualify for UKARA.

You're right about UKARA being easy to qualify for, but the system is a joke.

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You're right about UKARA being easy to qualify for, but the system is a joke.

This is something that really gets me.

 

Yes UKARA isn't perfect and neither is the vcra but they are both pretty straight forward and just require a bit of common sense to deal with.

It's better than an all out ban like some countries have. People just need to approach both with a bit of logic and stop trying to pick them apart, take them in the spirit of what they are and its simple.

 

Most problems with them are either people trying to circumvent them or people just being plain stupid.

 

I have no issues with the system and neither do most airsofters but if people keep bleating on enough then eventually someone will start trying to change things and that will probably be for the worst.

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It is they are not deemed lethal whereas an air rifle/pistol is. It might not be a perfect system but it is not complicated and is incredibly easy to qualify for UKARA.

 

But where do you draw the line? Is there a legally defined limit for lethality? There are airsoft guns above the recommended (I stress recommended as, again, I can see nothing in legislation) limits for lethality and air weapons that are below.

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But where do you draw the line? Is there a legally defined limit for lethality? There are airsoft guns above the recommended (I stress recommended as, again, I can see nothing in legislation) limits for lethality and air weapons that are below.

The definition of a firearm under the act is "a lethal barrelled weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged" it further defines "lethal weapon" as "a weapon capable of firing a projectile with sufficient force to inflict more than a trivial injury i.e.. with sufficient force to puncture skin". The Home Office consider the lowest level of muzzle energy capable of inflicting a penetrating wound is one foot pound (1.35 joules) hence guns producing less than 1ft/lb are not covered by the act and therefore not classified as air weapons or subject to any restrictions.

 

So 380fps on a 0.2g BB which is why in the UK 350 is the limit with no MED for most woodland sites. giving a margin of error on the chrono. It is why BASRs have an MED as it would be deemed they will have dropped enough energy by the time they have travelled that distance.

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A few people on page one of this thread have implied that if a 'gun' is a 'firearm' in law then it does not matter it's appearance - that is to say if it is externally indistinguishable from a similar [airsoft] Realistic Imitation Firearm, it is easier to purchase than an [airsoft] RIF - but that does not make sense, else people would be putting 3,4 or 5 joule springs in airsoft guns to circumvent UKARA and selling airsoft guns by the airgun format [circumventing the UKARA 2m hold] - in person from licensed gun stores.

 

This doesn't seem right (I have not checked the law or airgun rules as I don't believe this is a correct implication).

 

NB, VCRA makes no mention that a RIF is [must be] an airsoft gun, or that an airsoft gun is [must be] a RIF

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