Everything You Need to Know About Transporting Airsoft Guns on UK Public Transit
“Can I travel to an airsoft site with my weapons on a public transit system, like bus, tube, or rail?” — we see this question being asked a lot, and since we couldn’t find a straight answer we went out to get it for you.
• 2 min read
Airsoft weapons in the UK are considered as Realistic Imitation Firearms (Section 38 of Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006), and as such are not treated the same way other Air Weapons are. Here's legal guidance from Crown Prosecution Service.
Section 19 of the Firearms Act 1968, states that “it is an offence for a person to have with them in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse a loaded shot gun, an air weapon (whether loaded or not), any other firearm (whether loaded or not) together with ammunition suitable for use in that firearm, or an imitation firearm.”
Section 37 of the 2006 Violent Crimes Reduction Act provides a defence for possession of a RIF for the purpose of holding and organisation of airsoft skirmishing events.
Technically then, there’s nothing stopping you from transporting airsoft weapons (RIFs) using public transport, but you need to ensure they are stored out of sight, unloaded, and not displayed at any point. Otherwise you risk having unpleasant moments with the police, or in the worst case: the armed police.
Displaying firearms weapon in a public space is a punishable offence, with a maximum of 12 months in prison for imitation firearms.
Some advisories for using public transport when transporting your RIFs:
- don’t wear any of your airsoft gear in public
- don’t transport your airsoft weapons in typical gun cases, unless you have no choice; use plain duffel bags if possible
- practice your “grey-man skills”: wear normal, plain clothing; you can change clothes at an airsoft site
- if you get stopped by the police, be honest and tell them straight away what’s in your bags, and where you’re going; otherwise if they search you and find RIFs without you telling them first, you may be detained for questioning.
Provided you have kept your guns concealed at all times, you will have done nothing wrong in the light of the law.
It is important to note that the material provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not to be taken as legal advice. It is strongly advised that you consult with relevant legal advisers to ensure full compliance with applicable laws and regulations.