Today airsoft replica guns are featured in many TV and Film productions. This is due to the low cost of the guns plus they eliminate the need for a registered firearms instructor attending the set. Below is a brief explanation of airsoft and the UK law regarding airsoft guns for film and TV. If you have any questions regarding the following information please do contact us.
The following videos are great examples of how to make your guns look like the real thing on camera plus how to simply create a stunning firing effect in after effects.
Airsoft replicas are a legal and safe method of providing props for film, tv and other productions. As most airsoft replicas are not easily distinguished from their real counterparts they do need to be sold and used in a reasonable manner. To do this there are legal requirements as well as protocols self-imposed by the industry to ensure the responsible retailing and use of airsoft replicas. There are differing interpretations of these, but the core principles are universal.
If the replica is required as a prop for a film, TV or theatrical production, or for use in photography, the company buying the prop or replica needs to provide company details and a copy of the company's liability insurance to the retailer, to the point where the retailer is confident that the purchase is taking place for the legitimate reason stated.
Airsoft replicas are often indistinguishable from real firearms externally. Therefore, care must be taken when transporting. An airsoft replica must be in closed container and not visible, nor should it be loose in a car boot. It is recommended to be stored in a gun bag or case in transit, with the magazine removed and disconnected from the power supply.
You should have a valid reason for having it with you. For example, you're on your way to or from filming, you're taking it to a theatre production where it will be used as a prop etc. When not in transit a replica should be stored at home, out of sight from passers-by, preferably in a cupboard or case, out of reach of unsupervised children. The magazine should always be removed from the replica; ideally with the power source disconnected.
On set it is your responsibility to keep the guns safe and out of site so that no bystanders can assume a real gun is being used. If you are on a closed set then security and your work is much easier than say on an open public set. It is your responsibility to notify the local authorities and obtain the correct permits.
Until relatively recently (2006/7) airsoft replicas were regarded as toys in the eyes of the law. As stated the above is not exhaustive. The above should be enough information, most of which is common sense, to keep you out of trouble. However, if you require more detailed information, the relevant legislation is The VCRA OF 2006 and subsequent amendments in 2007.