The public are currently being warned to watch out for suspicious activity via a new campaign and hotline, ACT (action counters terrorism). It’s fair to say that the British public is more wary about firearms than ever before, and things are only getting worse.
Of course UKAPU is fully supportive of Government counter terrorism initatives, and we advise UKAPU members to take on board the advice in the campaign.
But as an airsoft player the likely risk you face is not from terrorism but from a member of the public calling the hotline about your legitimate airsoft related activities.
There are precautions you can take to reduce the likelihood of this happening, such as-
*Buy gun cases and slips, don’t carry an airsoft replica to a game loose in the car or in the original box.
*Keep airsoft replicas away from windows when storing or maintaining in your home.
*Let friendly neighbours know about your hobby (especially if you use them to ‘plink’ in the garden- which is perfectly legal).
*Wear civilian clothing to and from games
*Try to only attend games at professionaly run sites, good sites will have liaised with local police.
*Don’t share airsoft replica photos on public social media unless you make the viewers aware that it is airsoft.
*When carrying replicas by rail, coach, air or ferry, call ahead to let them know.
*Do read up on the relevant laws- when questioned, make sure you can explain how and why you are allowed to purchase and use replicas.
Please like and share- you may already ‘get it’, but there’s many players out there who don’t know how much trouble an airsoft replica can cause. Every time someone screws up it moves us closer to a UK airsoft ‘ban’. Many players don’t realise the Secretary of State can repeal the airsoft specific defence overnight with the stroke of a pen, and the government have made it known that they will do that if airsoft is causing trouble.
Matt Furey-King, Chair UKAPU