Re: Police Scotland = Morons with time on their hands @jmch
To clarify the legal position in the UK (although Scotland and NI are different)
The sale and purchase of our airsoft guns is controlled by some legislation called the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 or VCRA. Specifically “Sections 36 to 38: Realistic imitation firearms”. The intention of the Act was to stop realistic looking weapons getting into the hands of people who want to use them for illegitimate reasons. When the VCRA was introduced it made it an offence to supply a “Realistic Imitation Firearm.” A Realistic Imitation Firearm, or RIF, is a model of a real firearm which, to all intents and purposes, is indistinguishable from the real weapon. An Airsoft “Imitation Firearm,” or IF, is a model of a real firearm which, to all intents and purposes, is indistinguishable from the real weapon except it is not realistically coloured. IF bodies are painted more than 50% in a bright colour or have a transparent body. They are often called “Two-Tone” guns. You can legally still buy an IF as long as you are over 18.
As it was now illegal for someone to supply a RIF Airsoft could have been stopped in it’s tracks. However an exemption was negotiated which allows a RIF to be sold by a retailer if any of the following criteria can be met by the purchaser:
You are a ‘Regular Skirmisher’ with membership of an insured skirmish site.
You are a member of a properly insured historical re-enactment group or society.
You are a film, television or theatre production company.
You are (or are acting on behalf of) a museum.
You are a Crown Servant in pursuance of your Crown duties.
These criteria are “valid defences” against the Violent Crime Reduction Act.
If you want to buy a RIF you have to be able demonstrate that you have a valid defence against the VCRA and are a “Regular Skirmisher”. To qualify as a Regular Skirmisher you must play at least 3 games in a period of no less than 2 months. The easiest, but not the only, way to demonstrate you are a Regular Skirmisher is to register with the United Kingdom Airsoft Retailers Association(UKARA) Player Database once you have met the qualifying requirements. There are other ways of getting a valid defence.
The Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003 brought in the requirement for any firearm to be covered in a public place and for the trigger. to be inaccessible. Also you cannot have a firearm in a public place without a reasonable purpose. For example to be on the way back from a shop after a purchase, taking something to a shop for repair, going to or from a range or airsoft site. So you can't just carry a bagged/cased airsoft RIF/IF or air weapon in your car all the time.