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Second hand purchase of RIF


Zedward
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Hello everyone,

I’m quite new to airsoft after stumbling onto a You Tube video. I have a background in air guns and shotguns, but the laws in Scotland are a nightmare, so I picked airsoft for my fun target shooting and plinking. I have a few two tone guns and love them, but would like to take advantage of the 2nd hand market, especially here. 😂
I don’t have a UKARA number (no site close to me and don’t want to skirmish anyway, although a site is opening close by next year) so my question is simply can I buy a second hand airsoft RIF without a legal defence? 
Thanks is advance, 
Zedward. 

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Hi and welcome

Yes, you can legally buy second hand RIFs without having UKARA or any other VCRA defence.

 

Its up to the seller to take the risk that you might do something illegal with it which could possibly have repercussions for them.

 

 

 

Edited by EDcase
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Hi EDcase,

Thanks, appreciate your reply. I read the relevant parts of VCRA and was none the wiser! From what I could tell, it’s as you say that’s it’s the sellers responsibility, but that I would need a defence if asked by the Police etc. You guys know more than I do, though. 
I will speak to the site opening near me to see if an alternative to skirmishing is available (I’m not very mobile) with a view to getting a UKARA number, but I’d like to buy a few pieces on the classified section meantime. 
I’ll watch for other answers, as well. 

Cheers

Kieran 

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You’ve posted up that your intent is to use an Airsoft gun for plinking and have no intent of skirmishing 

So you’ve literally shot yourself in the foot 

 

Even with second hand sales the seller is liable under the VCRA, and the penalty if they were prosecuted is a 51 week custodial sentence and / or an unlimited fine.  (If given a custodial then no more than 6 months would be expected to be served)

 

 

 

 

If you’re happy with two tones then there’s no problem.  The VCRA only requires a valid defence on the sale/import/manufacture/modification of RIFs

Its therefore a matter of identifying a two tone (or >50% bright colour) IF in a forum sale or whether the seller will be willifn to paint a RIF into an IF for the sale 

The only other matter is are you over 18?

Otherwise you can’t be sold an IF or RIF

Edited by Tommikka
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Hi Tommikka,

I haven’t shot myself in the foot at all, literally or figuratively. I’m asking the question to stay within the law. I am happy using two tones, it makes no difference to me, it’s just that the second hand market is, obviously, cheaper than new.
I don’t want to get myself or a seller into trouble. 
I appreciate your answer, though, I’m sure there’s a lot of questions on here on ‘how to avoid UKARA’. 

And yeah, I am sadly well over 18! ☹️
Cheers,

Zedward 

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Well, you pretty much have really as no responsible seller will sell you a RIF knowing you're not going to skirmish with it.  I imagine if you pay a little extra, a seller will two tone a RIF for you. 

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@everyone To be clear, I’m not trying to buy an RIF without a UKARA, I’m trying to clarify if I can legally buy an RIF from the classifieds on here (I can’t and won’t). If I wanted to buy an RIF illegally I wouldn’t be ok here asking, I’d be on Facebook or Gumtree. 
I appreciate your help and apologies for any confusion.

Thanks 

Zedward 

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Yes, you can legally buy a RIF from the classifieds here if you're over 18 but it is on the seller to check you have a reason for owning a RIF as they are the party that would potentially get in trouble.  If you try and buy a RIF from here, the seller will ask for you to provide a defence, be it UKARA etc.

 

You've admitted you want a RIF for target shooting and plinking which are not justified uses for owning a RIF.  Your options are IFs or airguns.

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hitmanNo2 It’s as I thought from reading the VCRA. I won’t buy second hand here or anywhere else unless I have a UKARA defence. I used to have air guns, but the laws in Scotland are different from

the rest of the UK and I can’t be bothered with the hassle of an air gun license for target shooting at short range. 
I’ll stick to buying two tones for now. There’s a skirmish site opening near me next year, I’ll see if that have an activity suited to me, if not so be it. 
I don’t need RIF, I just wanted to access 2nd hand prices. I am Scottish, we like a bargain. 😉

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You don't need to worry Zedward.

As long as no public see it then you won't have a problem with the police.

If neighbours might possibly see it then let them know beforehand that its just a toy.  If you use your airguns in the garden then they'll likely be used to seeing gun shapes things.

 

I'm sure many here would still sell you a RIF if you explain the situation.

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EDcase Thanks man, I’m not trying to get around the laws, just making sure what they are. I sold my air guns before the Scottish laws changed, I only used them for targets in the end anyway. I have private land to use the airsoft on, no public nearby, so no worries there. 
My long term aim is get a Ukara number, just so I can buy in the second hand market. 
Night, mate, appreciate your and everyone’s advice. 👍

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@Zedward

As you understand the issues then you have no problem with a secondhand IF, and for a RIF the seller ought to only sell to you if they are willing to paint it into an IF etc

 

The ultimate answer would be to go out and play a few games when the site opens, enabling you to sign up under UKARA or whichever scheme they use

(Note that UKARA itself isn’t a legal VCRA requirement but it’s the ‘best established’ / most recognised one produced by retailers)

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10 hours ago, Zedward said:

I’m not trying to get around the laws, just making sure what they are.

 

I appreciate that, and apologise for any appearance of hostility here.  Since you care enough to have read the VCRA, that's a pretty good sign that you'll be a responsible owner.

 

So I'll confirm that legally, you are absolutely fine to purchase and possess an airsoft RIF, even in the Democratic People's Republic of Caledonia.  You're not committing any offence, it's entirely on the seller, and on their tolerance for risk.

 

Personally, I'd put that risk so low as to be completely negligible.  There are airsoft retailers selling RIFs without any real defence, or openly manufacturing non-airsoft firearms then incriminating themselves on YouTube without any repercussions.  A private sale of a used RIF to someone responsible with land to use it on is just not going to be an issue.

 

So if you can find someone who wants to sell, go ahead and buy.

 

If you want to stay clearly within the law, especially in Scotland, the other thing to be aware of is energy limits for airsoft guns.  For anything capable of automatic fire, it's 1.3J using "any missile", i.e. heavy BBs, not just the light 0.2gs that the airsoft world is still obsessed with.  Anything over that is, strictly speaking a Firearms Act Section 5 prohibited firearm, although I'd be astonished if anyone gets prosecuted over it.

 

For semi or bolt, it's 2.5J.  Over that you've got an air gun which needs licensing.  Again, not likely to be an issue, I mention it only because I put a "500fps" (i.e. 2.32J) upgrade piston and spring into my cheap airsoft bolt action and it came out at 3.3J!

 

Anything that you buy 2nd hand from someone who has been skirmishing with it is almost certain to be well within those legal limits, as airsoft site limits are lower.

 

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/27/section/57A

 

The bigger consideration is S19, which requires a reasonable excuse for any public possession of an imitation firearm (realistic or otherwise).  It's a low bar, and since the same offence applies to air weapons and shotguns, target shooting on private land should be sufficient.  Just be aware that it's an affirmative defence that requires proof.  I'm sure you already know this, I mention it just for completeness.

 

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/27/section/19

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@Tommikka Yes, I think that’s the best idea. The site near me is due to open in spring, so I can wait, no problem. Thanks for your advice, much appreciated. 
@Hudson Good point, well made! I do plan to do that, but I saw a nice GBB SCAR in the classifieds near me, but was an RIF. Plus, there’s fewer two tones for sale. 👍

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@Rogerborg Thanks, pal, no worries. I expect there’s a lot of neds trying to get round the rules, it doesn’t bother me. 
That’s all good info, I knew about muzzle energy, but hadn’t really thought about it. I’ll see if my old chrono still works and figure out how to convert feet pounds to joules. 🙄 I assume a skirmish site sill test before allowing me to play?

I’ve got a rifle bag and hard pistol case left over from air guns, so all good for transporting. 
Thanks for you reply, top info. 
cheers 

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3 hours ago, Zedward said:

@Rogerborg Thanks, pal, no worries. I expect there’s a lot of neds trying to get round the rules

 

I figure that anyone who's taken the time to find and join and forum, read the VCRA and ask an honest question isn't going to be a problem for the hobby.

 

 

3 hours ago, Zedward said:

I’ll see if my old chrono still works and figure out how to convert feet pounds to joules. 🙄

 

If it can read in feet per second, it's easy enough to look up. 

 

airsoft master airsoft FPS chart

 

 

 

3 hours ago, Zedward said:

I assume a skirmish site sill test before allowing me to play?

 

Yes, all (decent) sites will expect you to chrono your guns before playing, and will generally tag them for the day.

 

I'll spare you the rant on how that doesn't actually stop rogues, it's not relevant to honourable chaps. ;) 

 

Target shooting is fun, but skirmishing is a real rush, give us a shout if you intend to go along and we'll doubtless bombard you with a list of things that you absolutely must have. ;)

 

(Spoiler: Decent boots and eye protection that you're prepared to test by shooting it yourself with your hottest gun and heaviest BBs)

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@Rogerborg Everything in your answer is very useful, thank you. That chart is perfect, I’ll be keeping that. 
I’ll definitely ask what gear I need, I don’t have much beyond eye pro just now. 
One of the problems I think I’ll face is that my whole life it’s been drummed into me to never, ever point a gun at someone. Now I have to point and shoot at someone. 😂 My other concern is I’m in my late 40s, fat, unfit, have bad knees and smoke too much. Oh well, in for a penny. 
Thanks again for your and everyone else’s advice. I have my answer, I’m happy to close the thread. 
Cheers

Zedward 

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11 hours ago, Zedward said:

@Rogerborg Everything in your answer is very useful, thank you. That chart is perfect, I’ll be keeping that. 
I’ll definitely ask what gear I need, I don’t have much beyond eye pro just now. 
One of the problems I think I’ll face is that my whole life it’s been drummed into me to never, ever point a gun at someone. Now I have to point and shoot at someone. 😂 My other concern is I’m in my late 40s, fat, unfit, have bad knees and smoke too much. Oh well, in for a penny. 
Thanks again for your and everyone else’s advice. I have my answer, I’m happy to close the thread. 
Cheers

Zedward 

Early 40s medically obese. You can play at what ever pace you want. Till he moved down south there was a regular player that played on crutches on a wood land site.

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Size,age,shape have no meaning in airsoft. Well apart from the fact that if you are big and slow you make a better target for me who is also big and slow 🐌 

😆😆

Enjoy yourself and have fun 👍

 

Regards 

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22 hours ago, Zedward said:

I'm in my late 40s, fat, unfit, have bad knees and smoke too much

22 hours ago, Zedward said:

 

That describes quite a lot of airsofters. As others have posted, play the way that suits you and leave the charging around to those who are fitter/jacked up on monster 

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22 hours ago, Zedward said:

@Rogerborg My other concern is I’m in my late 40s, fat, unfit, have bad knees and smoke too much. Oh well, in for a penny. 

Early 50s, extra lockdown padding, unfit, screwed knees, wonky ribs, multi directional spine, cracked skull,  only occasionally smoked socially decades ago (and others would benefit from the free leftovers of the pack at evening end)

 

Shooting people & getting shot is fun and a lot safer then other things I’ve done in life 

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