The Legal Issues of Using Airsoft Guns


One of the modern shooting sports that is widely growing in popularity is Airsoft. Participants normally eliminate their opponents by use of replica weapons known as Airsoft guns which have spherical plastic pellets. Airsoft guns and pellets are known to have less stopping and penetrating powers when compared to conventional guns. They are generally safe to use in competitive sporting events if protective gear is worn.

Airsoft guns

How Airsoft Guns Work

Airsoft guns shoot out plastic pellets commonly called BBs. Some can be operated manually by use of a spring-loaded air pump, whereas there are others that are operated on an automatic cycling basis. Regardless of if the Airsoft guns are automatic or manual, the speed at which the pellets travel is much lower compared to real bullets.

Also, depending on the customization and design, these Airsoft guns shoot plastic pellets that can travel at a speed ranging from 160 to 550 feet per second. Real bullets travel at an average speed of 600 to 5,000 feet per second.

Some Airsoft guns are designed to resemble firearms that are genuine in appearance which makes it very difficult to distinguish them. They are legal in most parts of the world although, in some nations, states and even cities have some specific restrictions regarding these replica weapons.

Legal Issues and Airsoft Guns

There are some different legal guidelines concerning Airsoft guns, although they can sometimes vary depending on the Airsoft activity. Some issues that one has to consider include firepower restrictions, orange barrel guidelines, very clear Airsoft guns, public places, and age. If one clearly understands the different legal guidelines, he or she will have a great time during the activity without any chances of getting in trouble.

Firepower restrictions

There are some legal guidelines that place restrictions on the firepower of Airsoft guns. They can vary when participating in outdoor vs. indoor activities. This is because those participating in the activity in indoor spots have got a smaller space or area to operate meaning that it is more likely that you will be hit.

The restrictions for those participating in indoor spots majorly consist of 300fps to 350fps. If one upgrades his Airsoft gun to a greater firepower, then it is likely that he or she is not permitted to use it indoors. There are other nations across the world which state that firepower restrictions should abide the legal guidelines put in place simply because stronger gun shots lead to additional injury. The pellets are capable of breaking an individual’s skin and thus can lead to excessive harm to the players especially to those who are near.

Orange Barrel Guidelines

Airsoft guns are known to occur with an orange painted barrel. The main aim of this is simply to make both men and women aware of the difference between a fake gun and a genuine gun. There are some gun owners who do not consider these guidelines to be useful and so decide to paint around the orange color. This can make people mistake them with genuine guns and thereby believe them to be extremely dangerous.

Injuries That Can Occur During an Airsoft Sporting Event

Injuries are very common with most Airsoft games, and in this case, a private Airsoft sporting event will lead to some injuries although the safety gear is mandatory. Some of the injuries are:

  • Eye injuries
  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Sprains from jumping, running, or crouching
  • Welts or bruises in cases whereby the pellets penetrate through a certain spot in the protective gear

Specific Rules and Regulations In Some Nations

Governments within most nations have introduced some specific rules and regulations governing the use of Airsoft guns. Below is a list of some nations and the restrictions they have on the use of this Airsoft rifle:

  1. In Belgium, Airsoft guns can only be purchased from officially licensed dealers. These dealers have got government permits as well as a certified weapon of defense for them to import and sell the guns.
  2. In Bulgaria, Airsoft is a legal sport and doesn’t have any specific restrictions regarding the use of these guns, although all users should be at least 18 years of age.
  3. In Germany, Airsoft guns that are under 0.5 joule are all considered to be toy guns and all persons above 3 years can buy them. Those between 0.5 joule and 7.5 joules should be semi-automatic or bolt-action only and people aged 18 years and above can buy them freely.
  4. In the Czech Republic, Airsoft guns don’t have any status as real firearms, and thus their use isn’t discouraged. In instances whereby children aged 15 years and above want to play the game, it is the duty of an adult to supervise. The guns must also have energy that does not exceed 16 joules. Unlike other countries whereby individuals are not allowed to carry Airsoft guns, it’s not illegal in the Czech Republic even in public places.
  5. In Denmark, the use of these guns is mentioned in the arms control legislation commonly known in Danish as “Våbenlov”. One has to be 18 or older to buy or even possess these Airsoft guns. One also has to get a permission slip to use the guns, although a firearm certificate isn’t required.


Depending on the country where one is located, it is likely that there are measures in place by the government to regulate the use of Airsoft guns to avoid confusion and also tension for those who are unable to distinguish between genuine and fake guns. In places like the US, you will find that different states have their own regulations whereby in some states, the purchase and use of the Airsoft guns are allowed, whereby in others they are termed illegal. This means that one cannot travel from one state to the other with an Airsoft gun without knowing if the destination or the state he visits allows it to be used. Care must be taken to prevent one being accused of breaking the rules governing its use.