Airsoft guns are replica firearms that look like real weapons (including in size) and are powered by air, compressed gas or electricity. They are usually made of plastic and used to propel pellets sized 6mm in diameter. Airsoft guns are used for indoor and outdoor war games, including by young boys in residential areas and local woods. Because airsoft guns are often precise replicas of real firearms, they may also cause dangerous situations due to thoughtlessness or disruptive behaviour. Airsoft guns are not toys.
The maximum muzzle velocities of airsoft guns are almost as high as those of traditional air rifles. A pellet hitting an eye, ear, tooth or nostril may cause serious injury.
Parents should always monitor their children's play. Even if those participating in an airsoft gun session are wearing protective equipment, unprotected people may enter the play area, particularly in residential areas. When left in gardens and parks, the plastic pellets are also detrimental to the environment.
Airsoft guns are classified as air-powered guns. Under the Public Order Act, the possession of air guns is prohibited in a public place. It is also prohibited to sell such guns to a minor without their guardian's authorisation.