Are Airsoft Guns Illegal In the UK?

Are Airsoft Guns Illegal In the UK

Are you living in the UK and wondering if airsoft guns are illegal in the UK? You are not alone! Many people who love airsoft guns ask this question. Don’t worry. This blog post will cover information about airsoft guns and how to play with them. So keep reading for more details.

What Are Airsoft Guns Used for in the UK?

If you want to start playing airsoft, it’s best to know what it is used for. Airsoft guns fire plastic pellets, usually 6mm, and are mainly used in:

1. Airsoft Games

An Airsoft game has two competing teams, each attempting to capture the opponent’s flag or eliminate all other team members within a designated time limit.

There are three broad categories of team sports:

  • Individual Sports – Players compete single-handedly against another solo opponent in a particular match more like tennis, golf, or swimming
  • Team Sports – This includes activities where two or more competitors from different groups compete against one another for one team to win

2. Military Training

In military training, there are two groups whose members are armed with ranged weapons. Airsoft guns are used for shooting practice and as ranged weapons for practice.

Airsoft Laws in the UK

Many people think owning an airsoft gun in the UK is illegal. Owning an airsoft gun in the UK can be tricky since there are varying laws around purchasing and possessing.

However, if you live somewhere such as Scotland or Wales, you can use your airsoft guns freely without any problem and have plenty of fun.

What is the Policing and Crime Act?

In the UK, airsoft guns are classified as imitation firearms under section 5(2) Firearms Act 1968. Importing, manufacturing, or selling an imitation firearm can only be allowed if the barrel is

  • 0.38 inches in diameter
  • 3 feet in length

UK law does not prohibit owning or using an airsoft gun. However, there are laws against carrying them in public without good reason. Using them in public will be considered a crime, even just to threaten people for fun.

The 2017 Policing and Crime Act also clarifies the Airsoft specifications and legal thresholds involving these guns in the UK.

What Is the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006?

The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that prohibits the sale of realistic imitation firearms and airsoft guns. It aims to reduce crime by making it illegal to sell realistic imitation firearms, such as airsoft guns, in England and Wales.

The show came into force on 31 July 2007 and has been amended by section 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 2015.

You can only purchase airsoft guns if:

  • You’re a member of an organization that reenacts historical events
  • You represent any film, theatre, or TV production
  • You represent an exhibit or museum
  • You represent the Crown
  • You are a registered Airsoft Player

Replica Imitation Firearms and Imitation Firearms

With these varying laws, airsoft possession can be confusing. This is where Imitation Firearms come into play. These are airsoft guns that have varying colors that you can purchase instead of the more common airsoft guns that look exactly like real firearms.

It becomes legal if you purchase Imitation Firearms since they don’t replicate how real firearms would look like. With this, players can purchase airsoft guns without the exemption of VCRA.

If you really want to possess a Replica Imitation Firearm or an airsoft gun that looks exactly like the real gun counterpart, you have to have a good reason to purchase this. And also follow the exemption of the VCRA.

How Do I Register for an Airsoft Gun in the UK?

Once you know your local guidelines, it’s time to set up your gun.

1. Airsoft and Pellets

Find an airsoft gun and pellet that is legal under your local guidelines.

Make sure to check your local laws on the type of Airsoft gun that is legal to own and the pellet size and other accessories.

2. Local Sellers

Locate airsoft gun sellers in your area. You can do this by looking up the seller on the Internet or their social media pages if they have any.

If you can’t find any, try going to airsoft fields and connecting with other airsoft players in your area. They might even show you which stores offer promos or sell their guns for a lower price.

3. Requirements

Ensure that the seller has the gun and accessories available for your age.

Ensure that the seller is legitimate and knowledgeable about Airsoft guns, including their usage, safety, and legal technicalities in the UK. Since you will be more at risk with the law, you have to ensure everything is in accordance with the law.

4. Register and Pay For Your Airsoft Gun

Make sure to register for a valid Firearms Certificate (FAC) and submit any other forms if you want to legally own an Airsoft gun.


In the end, the answer is yes and no. The law governing the possession of airsoft guns in the UK is much stricter than in many other countries. This stems from several high-profile incidents involving airsoft guns at school and college campuses.

To purchase an airsoft gun, you must have a valid Firearms Certificate (FAC), which will only be issued to you if you have a good reason for wanting one, such as being a firearms dealer or collector.