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Modding Information: UK Law Regarding Imitation Firearms

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Modding Information: UK Law Regarding Imitation Firearms
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The Dealer

Joined: 08 Dec 2012
Posts: 3411
Fav. Blaster: (Modified) Stampede ECS
Location: Bristol, UK

Post Modding Information: UK Law Regarding Imitation Firearms  Reply with quote
This is a post to bring together the law regarding Imitation Firearms and how it applies to modding. It's also here to stop me from repeating myself all the time - these problems have come up in several different threads now and I think having all the information in one place so it can be succinctly linked is a good idea.

This applies mostly to modders and painters who would like to paint their guns and use them in a public place. The Crown Prosecution Service full legal guidance can be found here but it's lol-long and the UKBA provide a much neater summary (provided below).

The UK Border Agency supplies this PDF document that sets out the rules nicely. One very similar to this was handed to me by Avon & Somerset Police when we started our Society here at Bristol University. I'm told that DarkSunLARP were handed a similar one at their own beginnings.

Essentially, blasters that are modified/painted to fall into these categories are fine:
> realistic imitations of pre-1870 firearms;
> deactivated firearms
> antique imitations;
> any imitation firearm that is smaller than a height of 38 millimetres and
  a length of 70 millimetres;  
> any imitation firearm that is transparent or its predominant (more than
  50%) colour is any one of the following:  
       bright red;
       bright orange;  
       bright yellow;
       bright green;
       bright pink;
       bright purple; or  
       bright blue.

Other points to bear in mind:
> Using an imitation firearm in a public place is a bad idea and will cause legal problems - Nerf guns are that colour stock for a damn good reason
> If it looks like a gun, it'll be considered a gun by the police and justice system who will act accordingly
> It's unlikely a Nerf blaster could ever be converted to be lethal or to cause serious harm but that bar needs to be borne in mind for the more powerful blasters.

Generally speaking, just be sensible. We're not responsible for you getting yourself into trouble but these are the rules of the land and it's highly recommended that you read and understand them. Modding guns is not illegal and this is not to discourage people - it's important we're aware of the boundaries before problems arise.

- Boff

EDIT: Note I'm open to corrections and edits if I've missed anything - we could expand into the lethality and injury laws if anyone wanted a gander at that but I've only come across the IF rules since they're more applicable to Nerfing.

2nd EDIT: Sticky plz - mods, feel free to edit title/content accordingly

Boff: Managing Director, Blastersmiths UK & BUZAN Founder (formerly)
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Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:37 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
New Member

Joined: 09 Jan 2013
Posts: 8
Fav. Blaster: Sawn-off buzzbee doubleshot.
Location: Stockton-on-Tees.

Post Reply with quote
Thanks. I've always been a bit over-cautious when it comes to stuff like this, so knowing the definate guidelines is a big help!
Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:17 pm View user's profile Send private message
Junior Member

Joined: 24 Oct 2012
Posts: 68
Fav. Blaster: Elite Stryfe
Location: East Sussex

Post Reply with quote
Hi Boff

Yes we have indeed had issues with this as we conduct our games in a public woods.

I will always be caustious when using blasters in public. Not just because of 'The Law' but because members of the public hit by even a Nerf dart could make a complaint to the police and that would open a big old can of worms regarding breach of the peace, anti-socila behaviour etc etc.

I think if people are sensible and comply with these guidelines, you can't go far wrong.

If you are on private land, the rules may be different though. I know you cannot use Airsoft guns on public land, and have to carry them in a holdal when transport too.

Dark Sun LARP - Let the Nerf LARP begin!
Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:31 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Starfalcon Tactical
Junior Member

Joined: 13 Mar 2016
Posts: 40
Fav. Blaster: Stryfe, Longshot
Location: Manchester

Post Reply with quote
As a general rule of thumb... for f***s sake dont go running around in the street with any Nerf gun especially a painted one. ID only ever repainted guns at wars, in your house, on private land or conventions/replays. Generally anywhere the general public cant see you.
Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:50 am View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Site Owner

Joined: 08 Feb 2012
Posts: 2447
Fav. Blaster: Swarmfire
Location: London

Post Reply with quote


Stop it, it's silly.

Check out my YouTube Channel.

Visit the UK Nerf blog.

I also have a Website

[quote="OldNoob:38837"]Remember if a mod guide has no performance test figures to back it up, look for a better one![/quote]
Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:46 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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