We have an answer to this question “Are paintball guns illegal in UK?”. Paintball has long been regarded as one of the most enjoyable and thrilling outdoor hobbies available. The options are unlimited for groups of friends, team building, stag nights, and parties.
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Paintballing is a thrilling and exciting sport, but because of the ‘guns,’ we are frequently asked if the equipment is legal or regulated.
However, when it comes to any activity these days, health, safety, and legal issues are at the forefront, and Paintball is no exception.
Are paintball guns illegal in UK? 2022 | What You Should Know
The paintball industry is governed by the Air Guns Section of the Firearms Act of 1968. Because paintball markers fire frangible ammunition that breaks upon contact rather than inflicting penetrating harm, the Home Office does not consider them to be guns.
Paintball guns (also known as markers) must, however, follow a few rules, including:
- Only use paintballs that have been approved.
- They must not be entirely automatic, that is, they must only discharge one ball at a time.
- Regular testing of air cylinders and CO2 bottles is required.
- The maximum speed for tournament guns should be 300 fps (approximately 9.9 ft/lbs).
Do You Need a Licence to Use a Paintball Gun? Are paintball guns illegal in UK
Although most Paintball guns meet the above requirements, some exceed them and must be licensed under the Firearms Act or be designated a “prohibited gun.”
Is There a Paintballing Governing Body in the UK?
The regulatory body in the United Kingdom in the United Kingdom Paintball Sports Federation (UKPSF). This is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the sport and making it as safe and enjoyable to participate in as possible.
The UKPSF, formerly known as the European Paintball Sports Federation (EPSF), was founded in 1990 by a group of players and industry professionals who got together at a time when the sport was receiving negative attention and faced investigation due to the wording of the Firearms Act.
The Act’s wording has since been altered, and the UKPSF has issued a number of guidelines and rule books in the years thereafter.
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Here are the key issues to keep in mind when it comes to the law as it pertains to paintballing.
Cylinder Testing In conformity with UKPSF rules, compressed air cylinders must be tested on a regular basis. Your compressed air cylinder must be inspected five years after it was manufactured if it is fiber wrapped. This includes CO2 bottles, as well as all bottles with a capacity of more than half a liter.
Check the tank for the date the cylinder was made; the date will be etched onto it. Refilling a bottle that has passed its test dates is prohibited, and no respectable provider will allow you to do so. Accidents involving bottles that have not been tested may potentially invalidate your insurance.
Firearms Act The Paintball industry is governed under the portion of the Firearms Act that deals with air guns. As a result, it’s critical to understand when a license to use an air gun is required. To avoid the need for a license, a gun that is more than 60cm long must not be capable of firing more than twelve ft/lbs.
The critical figure drops to six ft/lbs for firearms under that length. If air guns have a greater capability, they will need to be licensed. Paintball markers, in particular, cannot discharge more than one Paintball at a time or they will be classified as automatic. They can only use certified paintballs with a maximum speed of 300 feet per second. All tournament markers are limited to a maximum velocity of 300fps, or 9.9ft/lbs, and site markers should be utilized at 250-280fps to keep consumers safe. This corresponds to 7ft/lbs to 8.7ft/lbs.
Additional Safety Measures In America, health, and safety have gone a step farther, and we tend to follow suit in due course. Across the pond, tournament organizers require that players wear complete face and ear protection while wearing paintball masks.
They must be provided by the same persons who provided the mask, and they cannot be altered in any manner. While this is not currently law in the UK, the UKPSF correctly points out that it is still necessary due to the minor matter of insurance. Any UK paintball site’s insurer will require that all players wear face masks, goggles, and ear protection at all times.
Paintball marshals are in the same boat. When it comes to tournaments, it’s common for organizers to demand on goggles that haven’t been updated since their creation. Aside from insurance concerns and tournament regulations, wearing protective gear is an important safety precaution that should always be followed.
Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003 This Act imposes some limitations that are important to remember. To begin with, it is illegal to carry a handgun in a public area unless you have a valid permit or a good cause to do so. The defendant bears the burden of proof in this case. This includes all air guns, whether loaded or not.
Giving any air gun or ammunition to someone under the age of 17 is also illegal. Under 17-year-olds are not permitted to possess these objects unless they are members of an authorized and specified club or are on the privately held property with the approval of the proprietor. In the latter case, everyone under the age of 14 must be supervised by someone over the age of 21.
The Future There have been calls to tighten gun laws even more. A parliamentary committee suggested that all air guns, even those with little power, be licensed. They also advocated prohibiting youngsters under the age of 12 or 14 from handling guns. Another idea is to create a computerized database that lists everyone who has a gun license. License holders would have to demonstrate that they had a legitimate cause for possessing the gun, as well as a secure location to store it and that they were qualified to do so. At this stage, these are only proposals, and both sides have lots of complaints.