Do I need UKARA to Buy an Airsoft Gun?

In 2006 UKARA was formed in response to the ‘Violent Crime Reduction’ Act (VCRA), which specified that to purchase a realistic looking firearm the Individual must have a reason, or defence, for purchasing it.

However, if you do not have a UKARA membership you can still buy a Realistic Imitation Firearms (RIF) but only if you have a valid reason for purchase. This is typically to stop realistic looking guns getting into the hands of people who want to use them for reasons other than airsoft.

So if you do not have either a UKARA membership or a valid defence to purchase a realistic airsoft gun or pistol, there is an alternative to enable you to buy one and its called two-tone. Two-tone means a gun or pistol that is a non-military colour, such as blue, orange, yellow, pink, red or green.

If the gun or pistol is to be delivered outside of the UK then a UKARA membership or an airsoft defence is NOT required.

What is UKARA?

UKARA stands for ‘United Kingdom Airsoft Retailers Association’ and is essentially a database of all registered airsoft skirmishers in the UK, which allows retailers to check an individual to see if they are eligible to purchase Replica Imitation Firearms (RIF). UKARA registration is recognised as a valid defence against purchasing an airsoft gun or pistol.

To obtain a UKARA registration an individual must visit an airsoft skirmish site 3 times or more outside of 56 days or 8 weeks, at which point the site can stamp your paperwork which must be handed into a retailer for entry into the database.

What are the other Airsoft Defences?

Although we recommend to any customer that they get a UKARA membership, we realise that some people may not have access to this. So that is why we also accept the following defences:

  • 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