Nobody wants to get in trouble with the law. So, it makes sense that a very common question people have is that of do I need a license to own an airsoft gun. And in this article we’ll answer that question in detail, along with everything else you need to know before buying your first airsoft gun.
Do I Need a License To Own an Airsoft Gun?
In the US, you don’t need a license or permit to own or buy an airsoft gun. Any person, including minors, can own an airsoft gun without any restrictions. When it comes to buying, any person 18 years or older can buy an airsoft gun both in a physical store and online without needing any kind of license or permit, just as they would buy any everyday product.
While it’s legal to own or use, in some states carrying one is regulated. So, whenever you’re transporting an airsoft gun (for example, when going to an airsoft field), make sure that it’s always in a gun case or in a bag. This should always be done even if not for the law, since airsoft gun visible in public are always a terrible idea.
There are a few exceptions in US where there are restrictions on airsoft guns or they are completely illegal. These include the state of Arkansas, certain parts of Michigan, some boroughs of New York City, New Jersey, Washington DC, Chicago and San Francisco. It’s always a good idea to look up the specific laws for the state or city where you’re located.
Internationally, the laws differ widely. Still, in most countries you don’t need a license. While airsoft is legal and doesn’t require a license in most of the world, once again there are exceptions where airsoft is banned, most notably Australia.
What Even Are Airsoft Guns?
Before looking to buy an airsoft gun, you need to be aware what they are, how they work, and how to stay safe while using them. Airsoft guns are simply toy guns that very closely resemble real-life guns, at least in looks. They must have an orange tip in order to differentiate them from real guns.
While they look exactly like the real firearms they replicate, they shoot tiny plastic pellets that usually won’t cause serious damage. This makes them great for games in which real-life combat is simulated. For combat enthusiasts, the realism of airsoft guns makes them a far better option than paintball for example.
Airsoft guns aren’t dangerous as long as you’re following the safety guidelines and wearing the necessary equipment. The most important thing is wearing eye protection, but you should also wear face protection and clothing that leaves no skin exposed.
Is Airsoft Legal?
In the US, airsoft is mostly legal to play, and you’re allowed to own airsoft guns (keeping in mind the above-mentioned exceptions). The same is true in most European countries, Canada, and in most of the world. For a full guide to the legality of airsoft in the US, check out this comprehensive guide.
How Old Do You Need To Be To Play Airsoft?
In most of the US, airsoft can legally be played by anyone, regardless of age. The only age restrictions apply to buying an airsoft gun. In order to do so, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old or accompanied by someone 18 years or older who is willing to buy one for you.
Even though airsoft is legal for everybody, it’s up to the parents to decide if they’ll let their children play it. While airsoft guns are toys, they can still cause damage if children aren’t following the safety rules. Therefore, the parents should decide if they believe their child is responsible enough to always follow the safety guidelines, such as wearing full-face protection at all times.
How Much Do Airsoft Guns Cost?
Since you don’t need a license to buy an airsoft gun, you can simply go online or to your nearest store to get yourself one. Now, you’re probably interested how much that will cost. Well, it depends a lot on how much you’re willing to spend.
The price of airsoft guns varies widely, depending on their power, range, material etc. If you’re looking for your first airsoft gun and don’t know what to get, it’s probably best to get an automatic electric gun. Rifles such as these can go between $150 and $300.
If you’re just looking to try airsoft out, it would probably be best to simply rent out an airsoft gun at the airsoft field you’re playing at. This way, you can see if you like airsoft for a relatively cheap price, instead of spending a lot on an airsoft gun and then not playing ever again.
Are Airsoft Guns Considered Weapons?
In US federal law, airsoft guns are considered toys, and not real weapons. This may however differ in some states, where airsoft guns may be included in the definition of a firearm and may be subject to regular gun laws. In the rest of the world the laws differ widely between countries, however airsoft guns are generally regarded as toys rather than real firearms.
How To Stay Safe in Airsoft?
In order to always be safe with airsoft guns, there are certain guidelines you need to follow. Most importantly, you need to wear protective equipment on the most sensitive parts of your face and body. It’s crucial to wear goggles or better yet, a full-face mask, so that your eyes and face are protected. Not leaving any skin exposed is also very important.
Another thing to keep in mind at all times is to handle your gun as you would a real firearm. This includes never showing your gun in public to avoid creating a chaos, keeping your gun pointed in a safe direction, keeping the finger off the trigger unless you’re shooting and more.
Finally, you should always follow the rules set by the airsoft field you’re playing at. They exist for a reason.
Be sure to check out this definitive guide to how to always stay safe in airsoft. As long as you’re following such basic rules, there’s nothing to worry while playing airsoft.
You don’t need any kind of license to own, buy, or operate an airsoft gun in most of the US. This is also the case in a large majority of the rest of the world. There are still some exceptions both in certain US states or cities and in other countries, so make sure to look up the laws for the specific location where you live.
In this article we discussed if you need a license to own an airsoft gun, what those are, is airsoft legal, any age requirements for airsoft, and how much can you expect to spend to get yourself an airsoft gun.