The Violent Crime Reduction Act And How It Affects You.
As you might have noticed, almost all of the guns on this site have a box saying "Please Enter UKARA Number", and you may be wondering why this is the case.
As a result of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 (c.38), henceforth referred to as the VCRA, Airsoft guns, like all the guns that we sell are termed "Realistic Imitation Firearms" (RIFs), which was loosely defined as "being recognisable as a firearm by an untrained expert".
This legislation means the manufacture, modification into, sale, purchase or importation of a realistic imitation firearm is a criminal offence, and if convicted, the individual may be subject to up to 51 weeks imprisonment and a fine of up to £5,000.
(The full text of this law is available for viewing on the UK Statute Law Database here
What this means in layman's terms, is that you may not legally buy, build or import a RIF. The Law does however, provide specific defences allowing the purchase, importation or creation of a RIF in certain circumstances, and the defence relevant to Airsofters was provided by the Secretary of State in an addendum to the VCRA.What the addendum defines is that a person recognised as a regular airsoft player has a defence or exemption against the VCRA, and the government has accepted that the scheme put in place by the United Kingdom Airsoft Retailers Association (UKARA) is suitable for vetting and verifying players to allow them to purchase RIFs.
What this requires is that a player attends a particular registered skirmish site (Defined as a UKARA registered site holding Airsoft-Site Insurance) three times in a period of not less than two months and not more than twelve months.
This essentially means you must attend the same skirmish site three times in two months or more, and on the third time you are eligible to be added to the UKARA database by the site in question, or if the site is not eligible to add players (normally this may be the case if the site does not have a shop), they will stamp or authenticate a players UKARA form which is then to be included with your next purchase from a Airsoft Retailer, who will then add the player to the database on behalf of the site.This then makes the player eligible to purchase RIFs for twelve months from the date of their last skirmish at their registering site.
If you do not wish to register, or are unable to register, you may purchase an Imitation Firearm (IF), which is a RIF where 51% has been permanently coloured a bright, unrealistic colour, such as Bright Crimson.
We charge £9.99 for this painting service, and would like to remind customers that spraying an imitation firearm to resemble a realistic imitation firearm (back to its original colours, for example) if you are not a registered skirmisher is a criminal offence.
We also offer a hire purchase scheme - you can buy the gun from us, come to AWA Herts to use it (we'll bring it there for you!) and you can take it home once your registration is complete!
The bottom line? To buy a realistic imitation firearm, you must - have a UKARA number, have it painted 51% a bright colour, or buy it under our hire purchase scheme.