Legal Issues of Airsoft: Where Is Airsoft Legal?

Airsoft Games
Airsoft Games

 Airsoft is a team shooting sport via the players use the replica of real-world weapon.  It’s one of the most interactive sports. Airsoft is originated in Japan in 1989 when a similar game called paintball was gaining popularity in the USA.  Soon after that Airsoft got the highlight and became more and more popular. And now at the time like this Airsoft is more popular than ever.  And why not this is a fun game where we get to have a taste of the real world war.

The best part of it is, there is almost no casualty with a few exceptions in this mock military combat sport. As a fun shooting game, many of the countries have no legal issue with it. But there are also some examples of categorizing the Airsoft guns with the firearms. Though there is a significant difference between an airsoft gun and a real firearm. Airsoft gun doesn’t use gunpowder to shoot a bullet. It uses a plastic ball Bullet rather than the steel bullet.

Airsoft in Australia

Playing Airsoft in Australia can be troublesome as there are some legal issues about it. Most of the people who are updated with the news know that there is a ban on playing airsoft in Australia. And the people who love this sport are trying their best to make the law enforcement agencies understand that it poses no real threat.

But, as it is now, if you want to buy an airsoft gun you will have to have a police confirmation and certification. Although officially the airsoft guns are considered as the toy guns by the government, you still need the police confirmation. However, it’s not the same cases in all the states of Australia. Some of the states of Australia requires to have a firearm license to have an airsoft gun. As it is a toy and replica and no threat to human lives, it ridicules the idea of having a firearm license for it.

As the rules vary from state to state, there are two general rules regarding playing airsoft in Australia.

1) Automatic guns

No fully automatic airsoft gun is legal in Australia. You may use the semi-automatic or the pistols depending on the states.

2) Submachine gun

No submachine gun or machine gun is allowed anywhere in Australia. Well, that’s sort of understandable.

New South Wales

The law regarding airsoft is quite a clear cut here. Airsoft is under the firearms act of 1996 which classifies the airsoft guns as firearms (which they are not). Therefore, no such sports is allowed by the law in New South Wales.

Victoria

Importing airsoft guns is not permitted in Victoria. The Victoria Police will not issue any sort of authorization. Because they think that there is no ‘genuine reason’ to purchase or have airsoft guns. They don’t want these ‘war games’ in Victoria. And the LRD really don’t like the realistic vibe on the combat suits and other gears.
So, yeah LRD is not convinced to approve airsoft in Victoria. Not yet.

Queensland

Any and all kinds of airsoft weapons are prohibited in Queensland right now. Under the state law, it is illegal to purchase or own any sort of airsoft gun. So, importing Airsoft guns and other weapons is not an option in Queensland. Therefore it is totally illegal to own, buy, import or play with any airsoft weapon.

South Australia

South Australia had a chance for its Firearms Amendment Act 2008. According to that amendment act, an airsoft gun that shoots 175fps is considered a firearm. And as for those guns that are lower than that is considered as the imitation firearms. Therefore both types of airsoft require licensing. As the imitations/ replica is under the same class. So, they need a license to have one of airsoft gun.

Irrespectively the police of South Australia refuses to give license to any airsoft guns or weapon.

Western Australia

Western Australian Police is pretty straight forward when it comes down to legislation of airsoft games and guns. They prohibited any and all kinds of airsoft games there and will not allow or authorize it.

Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory all the airsoft guns are allowed and legal. As long as you have the right firearm license for it. And the police also allow paintball which is a similar kind of shooting sport to airsoft.

Australian Capital Territory

Australian Federal Police acts under a strict law regarding this matter. They don’t allow any shotguns, automatic or semi-automatic that resembles or is a replica of the real weapon. They don’t even allow pistol replica and of course, machine gun or submachine gun replica as well. But if the registrar allows it then it’s another thing.

Tasmania

Under the Firearms Act of 1996, Airsoft and paintball are described as war games. And any kind of war games is banned there. It prohibits to take part in, allow, assist or promote any war games in Tasmania. As the airsoft gun is categorized as air rifle which itself is a category of firearms. Owning a firearm may have some valid reasons such as self-defense, but as for airsoft guns and weapons, there really is not much of ‘genuine reason’ to have in Tasmania. So, yes. Therefore, Airsoft guns and weapons are banned in Tasmania.

Airsoft in Argentina

Airsoft is now legal in Argentina. However, to play or participate in an airsoft game, you must be at least 18 years old. But if you want to import and sale or manufacture any kind of airsoft gun then you will be needing the permission of the Federal Law.

Airsoft in Armenia

Airsoft is also legal in Armenia. And you won’t need any permit to play an airsoft game there. The police don’t consider the airsoft guns as a weapon rather than toy guns. As long as you use .20g BBs for 568 fps guns or less.

Belgium

The law is rather loose regarding Airsoft and Paintball games. They don’t mind people playing with replica guns as long as it’s not dangerous or forbidden. They declared a limitation of the guns velocity and barrel length for keeping it as a non-lethal fun game. The weapons need registration if:

  • The barrel is shorter than 30 cm & shoots .20g BBs traveling at 899fps or more.
  • The weapon is shorter than 60 cm & shoots .20g BBs traveling at 899fps or more.

Otherwise, the gun would be classified as a firearm. And like any other firearm needs, that would need registration.

If you want to sell or buy any kind of airsoft gun in Belgium you can, there is no legislation there. You can sell or buy them if you are 18 years old at least. But, if you are planning to sell them for commercial purposes, then it would definitely need a license.

As we all know, airsoft games required a venue to hold. But, that’s not a problem in Belgium. You can organize a game in your private locations. As long as you are not allied with any ideological or religious schemes they wouldn’t mind bothering you. Before arranging an airsoft game you have to notify the local authority, police and have their permission. And if you are happened to be arranging airsoft games of four consecutive days or more or you will need an environmental permit for that. Moreover, if the venue includes any kind of forest, you would have to ask permission of the regional nature and forest agency as well.

Transportation of airsoft weapons

There is no vibrant law about the transportation process of airsoft guns and other weapons. However, the players like to transport the airsoft guns just like real firearms. They try to be as cautious as possible to avoid unnecessary problems with it. The players cover the guns with a gun case or gun bags. They are bound to give an acceptable explanation to the law enforcement agencies.

Uses of scopes and gun-mounted laser

You can use a normal scope with any kind of airsoft guns to play in the games. But using night-vision is strictly prohibited as it’s for military operations or assassinations. Also, using real silencer and gun with laser mounted with it is illegal to use. You can use fake or replica silencer of course.

Brazil

Airsoft is legal here. In Brazil, it is quite expensive to import any kind of airsoft weapon. There you will have to pay about 60% of taxes on the price of the gun. Additionally, you have to pay the administrative fees which are about 50$. Whenever you import any weapons, you have to apply for International Import Certificate (CII) to the Brazilian Army. In the application, you will have to describe the gears and equipment you want to import, the location of the port of departure, store and buyer’s detailed data. Whether they will approve it or not is up to them.

Because of the bureaucracy, most of the time the price of the imported product goes way higher than usual. Sometimes, you will have to pay as much as a triple of the original price of the product. You must be at least 18 years old to buy any sort of airsoft guns in Brazil. The importers from whom you buy the bb guns have the right to collect and keep the details of the buyer for about 5 years.

As with the import taxes and other fees, Airsoft accessories become very expensive in Brazil, it is not possibly becoming a popular sport in Brazil. The price you have to pay to have an airsoft gun in Brazil is the same as the price of the real firearm in the US. So, yes. It is pretty damn expensive.

The orange or often the red tip on top of the muzzle of the gun is essential in Brazil. It helps to easily identify if the gun holder is a threat or not. It clarifies if it is lethal or just a gear of sports. So, I would recommend you to have the orange tip on your gun, if you are playing airsoft in Brazil.

The scope, holographic sights, red dots, magazines are still under some restrictions while importing.

Airsoft in Bulgaria

Airsoft games and guns are totally legal in Bulgaria. There is no legislation concerning this fun sport. Even you are a kid under 18 years old, you can still play airsoft. Well, that is not the case in the rest of the world, is it? You just have to have your parents’ permission to do that.

There is no restriction about the velocity of the gun. You can even carry them in public places. But, I wouldn’t suggest any of you carry any airsoft weapon in public without any appropriate gun case or bag. Because it would make misunderstanding and panic among the crowd. Furthermore, the Airsoft Bulgaria Organization will ban you from joining the games.

There are protected areas like schools, college, public property or administrative buildings. Shooting airsoft guns there is strictly forbidden.   

Canada

Airsoft guns that are replicas of the original firearms are considered as illegal in Canada except for the antique arms. However, if anyone happened to own any replica gun before 1998, he can have kept it without any license. And the antiques are the guns manufactured over a hundred years ago from 1998. That means you can buy or keep any arms that are manufactured before 1898. Importing the replicas is not an option here.

Air guns and Airsoft guns except the replicas are legal and do not need any license or registration as long as they are within the muzzle velocity limit. The minimum muzzle velocity is 366 fps whereas the maximum muzzle velocity is 500 fps. So, if your gun fires at this limit, then you are ok to have that gun without any sort of problem. Just make sure it’s not a replica of the real gun. 

Airsoft in China

As airsoft is controlled strictly, it is believed to be banned in China. The law is so tight regarding airsoft and the punishment so heavy that it is often considered as unreasonable for common folks to play it. The reason behind the laws being so strict is that they consider airsoft as a war-game.

Airsoft in Croatia

Owning airsoft guns and other weapons are legal in Croatia as well as playing airsoft games. As long as you are 18 years old, you have the privilege to play this fun sport. Airsoft weapons are under the Categroy D firearms in the Croatian Law.

Airsoft in the Czech Republic

The Czech Firearms and Ammunition Act listed airsoft in the category D firearms just like Croatia. You can buy any airsoft weapon in Czech and play with them as well if you are 18 years old. No registration or certification is needed for that. Therefore legislation regarding airsoft is quite relaxed here. Using or carrying the airsoft guns in public without any case may cause panic. So, playing in public is prohibited. That is understandable.

Using night-vision or laser is also prohibited in airsoft. As long as you honor these regulations you are ok to play.

Airsoft in Denmark

In Denmark Airsoft is a legal game to play. The weapons are permitted to hand over, buy or own as long as you are 18 years old. Even you are 16, you can still play and have an airsoft gun with a permission slip. Once you get your weapons, you got to carry them in a bag or in a gun case. You don’t need any certificate to buy one.

Airsoft in Egypt

No legal prohibition is imputed on airsoft in Egypt. You can buy and keep your replica guns and rifles from any weapon stores. However, when it comes to import, as a civilian you can’t buy airsoft weapons. During the festival such as Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, you can find some quality stuff at a low discounted price.

As it is becoming much more popular game day by day, the government is considering permitting the importation of the guns for the civilian.

Airsoft in Estonia

No legislation has clarified the detail recognition of airsoft weapons in Estonia. But try not to carry any replicas without any cover or gun-case. Though the law regarding the game is quite unclear, people are playing it without any legal issues so far.

Finland

In Finland it the airsoft weapons are not considered as the same of firearms. However, you need to be at least 18 years old in order to buy them. Don’t carry them in public places uncovered.

France

In France, Airsoft guns are legal to have and you can play with it at your home. Though Airsoft games are permitted carrying them in public is forbidden for good reason. You don’t want to make a chaotic situation here and there. However, when you carry them, you can cover them up with its cover or some kind of other clothes or whatever you like.

So, yes. You can carry them in public as long as you cover them up. In other words, carrying airsoft guns and riffles uncovered is illegal. But, you can always carry them covered.

In France, you can play Airsoft wherever you like not in others private property of course. As long as you have the land owner’s permission to play there.

Younger ones under 18 can buy Airsoft guns and rifles too. But they can only purchase those rifles under 465 fps with 0.2gram bb)

Germany

In Germany, airsoft guns are considered as toy guns. As long as the guns are below 0.5 joules, they are allowed to be sold to anyone. However, kids under 14 years are not allowed to buy them. If you are in Germany, you can carry airsoft guns, as they are seen as toy guns. You should cover them with the proper care if they look like real guns.

You can start playing your desired airsoft games as long as you play it in private property and do not disturb others. And of course, you cannot use the lasers mounted on the airsoft gun.

Greece

You cannot carry a replica of a real gun in public in Greece. It is considered as the possession of a real firearm. But, you can buy and play airsoft games. Because airsoft guns are seen as in the same class of air gun. As we all know air gun is permitted to purchase in Greece, you can buy airsoft guns too.

Though it is not prohibited directly, people don’t play it publicly. Because there is no clear law about the permission of Airsoft.

Hong Kong

If a gun fires with over 2 joules energy it would be considered a firearm. Under 2 joules kinetic energy, all guns are seen as toy guns and that is why permitted. But, if they are above 2 joules kinetic energy, you need to have registration for that. Otherwise, you can be imprisoned for several years or fined up to 100,000 Hong Kong Dollar.

You should always have the orange tip on the muzzle of your airsoft guns. Don’t carry the airsoft guns in public, as they seem pretty similar like the real firearms. You don’t need any license to sell the airsoft guns.

Indonesia

The government does not have any kind of law regarding airsoft games. But, since the time airsoft guns are brought there in 1996, there established an airsoft community. They put some rules and regulations to play this game there. According to them, you should buy airsoft guns below 450 fps. If you use a 450+ fps gun in an airsoft game, you shall be banned from the community.

No kid under 18 years old is permitted to buy or play airsoft games. 

India

In India, there is no sports category for airsoft. So, any airsoft game is not considered as sports or recreational activity. Like any other country, there is no airsoft manufacturer company in India. So all of their guns, ammunition and other accessories are to be imported from outside.

As airsoft guns often resemble original firearms, the Indian customs mistake it as the real firearm. As a result, they get seized. However, sometimes they got imported as toy guns. Though that is rare in India due to lack of awareness, it happens.

Ireland

After the recent change in the Criminal Justice Act (CJA), the airguns that shoot less than 1 joules of kinetic energy is not considered as a firearm. So, as long as your airsoft guns’ barrel’s kinetic energy is under 1 joule, it is legal.

Israel

In Israel, since 2010 carrying airsoft rifles at home is legal. They are considered as toy guns. You can import, sell or manufacture these guns. But you should always buy your accessories from licensed retailers.   

The Israeli airsoft community has established a cooperation with Czech, Slovenian, Swedish, and Ukrainian airsoft community. When you carry airsoft guns or play airsoft games, you should always keep the orange tips on top of the muzzle.

Italy

In Italy there is no age restriction to play airsoft games. However the muzzle energy above 1 joule is considered as firearm and needs registration for that. You can purchase from the online stores too. There is no restriction for that.

Japan

As long as you don’t shoot with an airsoft gun with 0.988 joules of muzzle velocity, you can play in Japan. It is totally legal to play airsoft in Japan.

Kuwait

If you live in Kuwait you can buy airsoft guns at any age. There, airsoft guns are considered as toy guns. So, a lot of airsoft shops are established in there rapidly. You can buy both electric and gas operated airsoft gun of 300-450 feet per second.  

Latvia

In Latvia, you can play airsoft with ease. As long as the firearms are under 4 joules they are considered as toy gun. But if it goes over 4 joules of kinetic energy, it is considered as firearm.

Lithuania

Anyone above 18 years can use 2.5 joules of energy weapons and does not need any registration. You have to be legally adult to buy any types of airsoft guns.

Follow us on Pinterest: AirsoftHow

About the author