Most importantly to us skirmishers, it is an offence to brandish a replica firearm in a public place, or leave it in a place where it may be seen by the public. This still applies if the general shape of the replica can be deduced through its packaging, which is a very good reason to buy a gun case (also this will protect it in transit). You can use the original box that your replica came in, but these are bulky and of course have a picture of a gun on the outside which must be obscured. When transporting an airsoft replica you must have a valid reason to have it in public (even when it is fully covered). Taking it to a game, or to a shop to fix it are examples of valid reasons. You should carry the contact number for the airsoft game manager so, if you are stopped, the police officer can verify that you are on your way to a game. Showing a replica in public will cause alarm and will help the people who want to ban our hobby.
Needless to say it is a criminal offence to fire an airsoft replica at a non consenting person, or at an animal. You will also more than likely be banned from sites and ostracised from be a source of mockery for the community.
It is not illegal to display your airsoft replicas in your house, but if they can be seen through a window it could lead to you being reported to the police by a worried passer by, or you house being burgled and your equipment stolen.
If you have a run in with the Police which involves airsoft replicas it is quite possible that they will be ignorant of airsoft related law. Sadly, poorly conceived new laws are introduced by politicians at a fast rate and often officers are not adequately trained on how to implement them. It is however extremely rare that skirmishers draw the attention of the Police through legitimate activities. When police officers do get involved they are highly likely to be amicable and fair if you are cooperative and polite in return. If you do find yourself unfairly persecuted, which does happen, get in touch with UKAPU. We can’t always find time to help non members, but we always have our members backs.
All of the above laws apply to IFs (two tones) as well. They may look like toys but they are not toys in the eyes of the law.
If you would like to learn more about said legislation, please feel free to have a look at our Legislation FAQ, or if you would like to see formal definitions of the laws that cover Airsoft in the UK, please refer to our collection of legal documentation.