So, we’re finally here. The firearms provisions of the PCA 2017 came into effect today. From today onwards airsoft is defined in UK law (not including Northern Ireland) as 6mm or 8mm spherical pellets containing some plastic, fired from devices capable of less than 2.5J (or 1.3J if they are fully automatic)
This is a good thing on the whole, as we now know where we stand in firearms law. And without years of very intensive lobbying we would have been lumped with 1J, which is what the government have always been keen on, and other powerful interest groups were fighting for. We also now have recognition for airsoft as a legitimate activity in primary legislation. This is very significant for our future. It’s more than our brothers in the paintball community have. So things aren’t so bad.
The government has declined to clear up some big questions that have now been brought into focus, but UKAPU and UKARA will keep asking them for answers, and we’ll need your help to keep the pressure on.
All we can advise for now is that you try your best to make sure you airsoft gun is capable of less than the applicable limit. UKAPU aims to produce legal and technical guides, we want to advise and assist members as much as possible, in case the government never explain to us how to comply with the law they have created, law which doesn’t really make sense in the real world.
Bear in mind that the common site limits of 1.14J (350fps with a 0.20g BB) and 2.31J (500fps with a 0.20g BB) are not going to change.
Matt Furey-King, Chair UK Airsoft Players Union