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Age Restricted items

Products that come under (18+) are age restricted items

  • All Guns - including Air guns, BB guns etc
  • Ammunition - Including Airsoft BB,s,  Pellets, Crossbow bolts, Slingshot ammo, Steel BB's
  • Axes and sharp tools
  • Camping gas
  • Catapults & Slingshots
  • Co2 Gas - including 12g Powerlets capsules, 88g Airsource bottles
  • Crossbows & Pistol crossbows and the ammunition please note that this also includes any components to enable the making of a crossbow, eg, strings, limbs, cams etc.  For full details please refer to crossbows act 1987 
  • Knives
  • Swords
  • Crossbows, Bows, Spares
  • Aerosol Spray Cans
  • Airgun Mainsprings

Things you may not know you need ID for include aerosol spray cans airgun mainsprings, some cleaning product etc.

When you place your order, please send your ID to

It is illegal to sell knives, swords, crossbows or air guns to anyone less than 18 years of age

We cannot and will not sell to any person less than 18 years of age. If you are under age please do not attempt to purchase from us; as your order will be cancelled and up to 20% fee will be deducted form your refund payment, it is also against the law for you to attempt to purchase any knife, crossbow, airgun or weapon or any other age restricted item. We clearly state this on each product.


IMPORTANT! UK Airgun Law - Airguns must be sold on a face to face basis from a Registered Firearms Dealer.

Guns can only be delivered or collected in store by the person that has purchased the gun - two forms of ID will be required in-store and at point of delivery by our driver. 

To avoid selling any age restricted items to people under 18 we take several precautions.

Quickest way to verify age and get your order shipped:

You can scan or take a picture of your proof of age e.g. drivers licence, passport or your UK Proof of Age Card (PASS Card) and email this to Once, this is received we will check the ID, once this has been verified your order will be processed for dispatch.

Feel free to block out any information you do not wish us to see but we are only interested in your name, address and date of birth to confirm you are over 18 years of age. It is very simple to do: especially with smart camera phones.  All our pages are 100% secure and we will never use or sell you data.

Once verified all future orders will be dispatched immediately as your account will have been manually approved.  However, if you have moved address or your name has changed you will need to provide us with updated information.

In addition we will check the UK electoral roll; where we can check that customers are over the age of 18. If you are not on the public version of the electoral register we will need to request ID. 95% of all people in the UK are on the electoral roll. If we cannot find you on the roll it does not mean you are not registered to vote, it just means you have opted out of the publicly available version.

We have to be sure every customer who orders this type of product is over 18. Please do not take offence when asked to prove your age, we are very strict with this and make no exceptions to the rule. 

Home Office - UK Law

  • Knife and sword
  • Knife and sword ownership
  • Carrying Knives in Public

The CJA 1988 mainly relates to carrying knives in public places, Section 139 being the most important.

"It is an offence for any person, without lawful authority or good reason, to have with him (or her) in a public place, any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except for a folding pocket-knife which has a cutting edge to its blade not exceeding 3 inches." [CJA 1988 section 139(1)]

The phrase "good reason" is intended to allow for "common sense" possession of knives, so that it is legal to carry a knife if there is a bona fide reason to do so. Examples of bona fide reasons which have been accepted include: a knife required for ones trade (e.g. a chefs knife), as part of a national costume (e.g. a sgian dubh), or for religious reasons (e.g. a Sikh Kirpan).

In this case, public place is meant as anywhere accessible to the public, so for example a private campsite, which members of the public must book to use, is a public place. Also, knives should only be carried to and from and used at the location where they are needed. For example, leaving a knife in a car for use when you go fishing would be illegal. It should be taken back into the house each time you use the car (other than to go fishing). [1]

The special exception which exists in the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (s139) for folding knives (pocket knives) is another "common sense" measure accepting that some small knives are carried for general utility however even a folding pocket knife of less than 3" (76mm) may still be considered an offensive weapon if carried or used for that purpose. It was a long held common belief that a folding knife must be non-locking for this provision to apply.

A Crown Court case (Harris v DPP), ruled (case law). A lock knife for all legal purposes, is the same as a fixed blade knife. A folding pocket knife must be readily foldable at all times. If it has a mechanism that prevents folding, it's a lock knife (or for legal purposes, a fixed blade) The Court of Appeal (REGINA - v - DESMOND GARCIA DEEGAN 1998) upheld the Harris ruling stating that "folding was held to mean non-locking". No leave to appeal was granted.

Illegal Knives

In the UK, the main knife legislation is found in the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) 1988 however certain types of knife are banned under the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act (ROWA) 1959, the relevant section of the latter being Section 1.

"It is an offence for a person to manufacture, sell, hire or offer for sale or hire or expose or have in his possession for the purpose of sale or hire, or lend or give to any person:

  • A) any knife which has a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife, sometimes know as a "flick knife" or "flick gun"; or
  • B) any knife which has a blade which is released from the handle or sheath thereof by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force and which, when released, is locked in place by means of a button, spring, lever, or other device, sometimes known as a "gravity knife". "

[ROWA 1959 S 1(1)]

Section 1(2) also makes it illegal to import knives of this type, as a result it is (almost) impossible to obtain possession of such a knife without either committing or abetting an offence. Note that the above legislation does not refer to possession of such knives other than possession for the purpose of sale or hire, it is therefore not illegal per se to merely possess such a knife.

this law is aimed primarily at knives designed with features specific to fighting/assault rather than use as a tool.

Burden of Proof

Although English law insists that it is the responsibility of the prosecution to provide evidence proving a crime has been committed an individual must provide evidence to prove that they had a bona fide reason for carrying a knife (if this is the case). Whilst this may appear to be a reversal of the usual burden of proof, technically the prosecution has already proven the case (prima facie) by establishing that a knife was being carried in a public place.

Age Restriction

British law also covers age restriction on the sale of knives in the Criminal Justice Act 1998:

"It is an offence for any person to sell to a person under the age of 18 any knife, knife blade, razor blade, axe or any other article which has a blade or is sharply pointed and which is made or adapted for causing injury to the person." [CJA 1988 section 141A]

British courts have in the past taken the marketing of a particular brand of knife into account when considering whether an otherwise legal folding knife was carried as an offensive weapon. A knife which is marketed as "tactical", "military", "special ops", etc could therefore carry an extra liability. The Knives Act 1997 now restricts the marketing of knives as offensive weapons and thus it is much more unlikely that such marketing could be used as evidence against a defendant.

In practice, this law makes it highly unlikely that most shops would sell a knife to someone younger than 18+

Illegal Goods

Samurai and other curved Swords - On April 6th 2008 a law came into effect banning samurai and other curved swords with a blade length of 50cm or more, there are some exceptions for registered martial artists, re-enactors and even certain genuine Japanese swords.

An amendment to this act was passed, which came into effect on the 1st of August 2008, which allows curved and samurai swords which are handmade using traditional forging/production methods to be sold without a license which you will see on the site and can buy and own without a license.

Some controversial legislation was passed in 1988 which made certain types of knives illegal to import or sell in the U.K, these include push daggers, butterfly knives, blowpipes, sword canes, gravity knives (similar to flick knives), knuckle dusters (inc. knives and other weapons with knuckle duster style handles), throwing stars (with 3 or more spikes) and some martial arts equipment, we will not source these items for you so please don't ask. For a more detailed breakdown you can view 'The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons)' by clicking OFFENSIVE WEAPONS ACT.

Amendment of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988

—(1) The Schedule to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988(1) (which specifies offensive weapons for the purposes of section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988) is amended as follows.

(2) In paragraph 1, after sub-paragraph (r) insert—

“(s)the weapon sometimes known as a “zombie knife”, “zombie killer knife” or “zombie slayer knife”, being a blade with—
(i) a cutting edge;
(ii) a serrated edge; and
(iii) images or words (whether on the blade or handle) that suggest that it is to be used for the purpose of violence.”.

  • Crossbows
  • Crossbows Act 1987
  • 1987 CHAPTER 32

An Act to create offences relating to the sale and letting on hire of crossbows to, and the purchase, hiring and possession of crossbows by, persons under the age of eighteen (18); and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1.  Sale and letting on hire

A person who sells or lets on hire a crossbow or a part of a crossbow to a person under the age of eighteen (18) is guilty of an offence, unless he believes him to be eighteen (18) years of age or older and has reasonable ground for the belief.

2.  Purchase and hiring

A person under the age of eighteen (18) who buys or hires a crossbow or a part of a crossbow is guilty of an offence.

3.  Possession

A person under the age of eighteen (18) who has with him—

(a)  a crossbow which is capable of discharging a missile, or
(b)  parts of a crossbow which together (and without any other parts) can be assembled to

form a crossbow capable of discharging a missile,

is guilty of an offence, unless he is under the supervision of a person who is twenty-one (21) years of age or older.

4.  Powers of search and seizure etc.

(1)   If a constable suspects with reasonable cause that a person is committing or has committed an offence under section 3, the constable may—

(a)  search that person for a crossbow or part of a crossbow;
(b)  search any vehicle, or anything in or on a vehicle, in or on which the constable suspects with reasonable cause there is a crossbow, or part of a crossbow, connected with the offence.

(2)   A constable may detain a person or vehicle for the purpose of a search under subsection (1).

(3)   A constable may seize and retain for the purpose of proceedings for an offence under this Act anything discovered by him in the course of a search under subsection (1) which appears to him to be a crossbow or part of a crossbow.

(4)   For the purpose of exercising the powers conferred by this section a constable may enter any land other than a dwelling-house.

5.  Exception

This Act does not apply to crossbows with a draw weight of less than 1.4 kilograms. 

6.  Punishments

(1)   A person guilty of an offence under section 1 shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to both.

(2)   A person guilty of an offence under section 2 or 3 shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(3)   The court by which a person is convicted of an offence under this Act may make such order as it thinks fit as to the forfeiture or disposal of any crossbow or part of a crossbow in respect of which the offence was committed.

7.  Corresponding provision for Northern Ireland

An Order in Council under paragraph 1(1)(b) of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Act 1974 (legislation for Northern Ireland in the interim period) which contains a statement that it is made only for purposes corresponding to the purposes of this Act—

(a)  shall not be subject to paragraph 1(4) and (5) of that Schedule (affirmative resolution of both Houses of Parliament), but
(b)  shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

Short title, commencement and extent

(1)   This Act may be cited as the Crossbows Act 1987.

(2)   Sections shall come into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed.

(3)   Sections 1 to 6 shall not extend to Northern Ireland.

So, in a nutshell, the above official government laws mean...... 


Is illegal in the UK, however, any hunting can only be undertaken on private land with the landowners permission, and certain animals and birds can be hunted.

e.g. to hunt deer your require a very special hunting license. However, vermin like rats require no special license, just the landowners permission.

Using a crossbow (or any bow weapon) for hunting is completely illegal here in the UK.

The crossbow itself cannot be carried in public and a common sense approach should be adopted when transporting a crossbow.

However, It is not illegal to own a crossbow.

Broadheads are not illegal to own or use in the UK, you just cannot bow hunt with them.

Although they are legal to own and use, it is highly discouraged, due to the risks involved in doing so, especially around wildlife and other people.

Broadheads should only be used in a safe, controlled environment, with strict safety measures in place.

Although legal, they are usually not permitted on public ranges and 3D course, because, in addition to the safety issues, they can cause too much damage to targets.

Finally - a crossbow is a powerful, lethal weapon and, as such, should be treated with a planned, common sense approach and be given the respect it deserves as a lethal weapon - always use safe practices at all times and ensure you have ample space beyond your target.

  • Air Guns
  • UK Airgun Laws
  • Air Rifles Code of Practice (revised July 2008)

This summary is taken from content provided by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation.

The most important rule of gun handling……


It is estimated that there are six million air rifles in the England And Wales, the vast majority of which are used in a safe and responsible manner. This code offers guidance to those who shoot with them. It does not apply in Northern Ireland where firearms laws are very different.

Above all, safety is the most important consideration. Always know where the muzzle of your air rifle is pointing and NEVER point it in an unsafe direction. Whenever you shoot, make sure you know where the pellet is going to end up before you pull the trigger.

The Law

The law makes no distinction between air rifles and more powerful guns for which you need a licence – they are all classed as firearms. This means that any offence you commit can carry a very heavy penalty – and there are at least 38 different offences. Following this code will help you to keep on the right side of the law, but, if you have any doubt, seek advice from BASC or your local police firearms licensing department.

As of the 1st of January 2017, those in Scotland wishing to purchase an air weapon above 1 joule require an Air Weapons Certificate (AWC) to purchase and own. For more information, please go to the Scottish Air Weapons Licensing webpage here.

Who can shoot

18 years

If you are 18 years or older there are no restrictions on buying an air rifle and ammunition, and you can use it where you have permission to shoot.

14–17 years

You can:
- borrow an air rifle and ammunition

- use an air rifle, without supervision, on private premises where you have permission

You cannot:

- buy or hire an air rifle, or ammunition, or receive one as a gift. Your air rifle and ammunition must be bought and looked after by someone over 18 – normally your parent, guardian or some other responsible adult

- have an air rifle in a public place unless you are supervised by somebody aged 21 or over, and you have a reasonable excuse to do so (for example, while on the way to a shooting ground).

Under 14 years

You can
- use an air rifle under supervision on private premises with permission from the occupier - normally the owner or tenant. The person who supervises you must be at least 21 years old.

You cannot
- buy, hire or receive an air rifle or its ammunition as a gift, or shoot, without adult supervision.
Parents or guardians who buy an air rifle for use by someone under 14 must exercise control over it at all times, even in the home or garden.

It is illegal to sell an air rifle or ammunition to a person under 18 years of age.

Where you can shoot

Where you intend to, always ensure that you are authorised by the landowner or person with the sporting rights and that you know precisely where the boundaries are. Get permission in writing, if possible, to remove any doubt.

Whenever you are in a public place you should carry the rifle in a gun cover and always ensure that it is unloaded and not cocked.


Going on to private land, or water, where you do not have permission is trespassing, and if you are carrying an air rifle it becomes armed trespass. Whether the gun is loaded or not, or whether you are carrying pellets, is irrelevant – armed trespass is a serious criminal offence carrying heavy penalties.

Only shoot where you have the permission of the landowner or tenant.

Firing pellets beyond your boundary

It is an offence to fire an air rifle pellet beyond the land where you have permission to shoot, unless the occupier of the neighbouring land has also given you permission. Where someone under 14 is shooting, both the young person and the supervising adult can be prosecuted.

It is also against the law, in England and Wales, to fire an air rifle within 50 feet of the centre of a highway if this results in someone being injured, interrupted or endangered. These offences could be committed, for example, when someone is shooting in their garden close to a road and the pellets ricochet onto the highway.

It is an offence in Scotland to discharge any gun in a culpable or reckless manner. This means shooting without caring about the safety of others.

What you can shoot

Target shooting

There are numerous clubs catering for this growing sport, throughout the UK, and they can offer great help and shooting opportunities to both the novice and the experienced shooter alike. You will find contact details on

If you want to practise on your own premises make sure that you have an effective backstop. Soft earth or chipboard is ideal, but don’t use any hard, polished surface because it is likely to cause a dangerous ricochet or could cause the pellet to rebound and hit the shooter.

Remember that you can be prosecuted if any pellet goes beyond your land, whether it is directly fired or an accidental ricochet.

Principal quarry for air rifles

• BIRDS: (covered by the open general licences) crows, rooks, jackdaws, magpies, jays, woodpigeon, collared doves, feral pigeons
• MAMMALS: brown rats, grey squirrels, stoats, mink and rabbits

Live quarry shooting

Many people shoot live quarry, either on their own land or where they have permission. The species which you can shoot are limited by the law and by the effective power of an air rifle.

All birds are protected, and although there are seasons when you can legally shoot game, and some wildfowl, they are not suitable quarry for air rifles. However, as long as you are complying with firearms law, you can shoot certain pest bird species. These are covered by open general licences which, in simple terms, mean you can shoot the birds listed, provided you have the landowner’s permission and provided you are doing it for one of the reasons allowed by the licence.

These reasons include:

  • to protect crops
  • to protect game and wildlife
  • to protect public health or safety

BASC recommends that anyone wishing to take bird pest species should read BASC’s advice on general licences.

You can shoot mammal pests at any time provided you have the landowner’s permission. Air rifles are suitable for: brown rats, grey squirrels, stoats, mink and rabbits.

Respect for the quarry

Always shoot well within your capabilities. Practise on targets, never on live quarry, to establish the maximum range at which you and your rifle can consistently hit the point of aim that will ensure a clean kill; this is usually the head, and normally has a maximum diameter of about three centimetres (an inch and a quarter). Practise regularly to improve your shooting and stalking skills.

Make sure you know where the kill zone is for each species that you are going to hunt. For mammals the side-on head shot is the preferred target. For birds, head shots are effective but difficult because the target area is very small and rarely holds still. Shots to the breast or body cavity give a bigger target area but remember that dense feathers or a crop full of grain will limit the pellet’s effectiveness. The area under the wing is a good place to aim for.

You must zero your rifle and sights (check their correct alignment) before starting any hunt; usually a riflescope will come with instructions on how to do this, otherwise there are many books which explain the principles.

It is your responsibility to be able to recognise your quarry and know when and where you may shoot it. Never shoot unless you have positively identified your quarry.

Wounded quarry

Always despatch wounded quarry quickly to minimise suffering, either with a second shot or a sharp blow to the base of the skull. Be particularly careful when dispatching wounded rodents – they can bite and scratch with a risk of serious infection. DO NOT TOUCH RATS. They may carry fatal diseases, so you should lift them with a fork or shovel.

Suitable air rifles for hunting

Always ensure that your air rifle is powerful enough to achieve a clean kill of your chosen quarry and do not attempt a shot of more than 30 metres. Generally the ideal power level is just over 11 ft lb (15J). For an air rifle that is more powerful than 12 ft lb, (16.25J) you must have a firearm certificate.

Never shoot at partially obscured quarry or shoot at quarry which could escape into cover before it can be retrieved. For example, do not shoot rabbits which are less than two metres from their burrow.

Certain types of air rifle are more suitable for hunting than others. Avoid those air rifles which take excessive time to charge, load and fire. Repeating air rifles give an immediate second shot which is always an advantage. All air rifles must be well maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. If in doubt - consult your local dealer.

Choose pellets which are designed for hunting. These will produce a cleaner kill than those which are intended for target shooting. Check every pellet before loading to ensure that it is not damaged or deformed.

Check list in the field

• Always check with the landowner, in good time, if you want to go shooting.
• Always confirm with the landowner what quarry you may shoot.
• Always respect the owner's property, crops, livestock and fences and follow the Countryside Code (
• Always treat an air rifle as though it is loaded and keep its muzzle pointing in a safe direction.
• On picking up or being handed an air rifle, check immediately to ensure it is not loaded e.g. that it is uncocked and that there is no pellet in the breech. Be particularly careful when checking pre-charged pneumatic air rifles.
• Before you fire your rifle, consider where the pellet could go. Be sure that no damage can result if you miss your intended target.
• Always bear in mind the possibility of a ricochet.
• Never put down a loaded air rifle or leave it unattended.
• Use of a silencer can minimise disturbance to wildlife, livestock and other countryside users.

Remember that all shooters will be judged by your actions and ensure that your conduct is always above reproach. Encourage the same attitude in your shooting companions. Above all, be safe and be sensible.

At the end of the day

Always leave your shoot in the condition in which you would like to find it. Make sure that you collect all your equipment

It is courteous to thank the landowner and to offer him something from the bag if you have shot any edible quarry. Take care of your edible quarry – remember it is food, store it in a cool place and never waste it.

Non-edible quarry should be disposed of discreetly, carefully and should not create a health hazard. This is a legal requirement. Under most circumstances deep burial beyond the reach of a carnivorous animal would be appropriate.

The displaying of carcasses on fences or on a gamekeeper’s “gibbet” serves no useful purpose and may offend other countryside users.

Care and maintenance

Take care of your gun; it is a precision weapon and damage or mistreatment can seriously affect its performance and safety.

Do not attempt to strip an air rifle without having the proper tools, facilities and knowledge to do so safely. Many air rifles contain powerful springs which can cause serious injury if released in an uncontrolled manner.

After shooting, ensure your air rifle is dry and free from dirt before storing it. Metalwork may benefit from a wipe down with a lightly oiled rag or a silicone cloth. The barrel should be cleaned using a proper barrel cleaning kit, and again lightly oiled. Only use the correct lubricants in accordance with the rifle manufacturer’s instructions. Always carefully wipe the oil from the bore before shooting.

The BASC ideal is ...

That all who shoot in Britain conduct themselves according to the law and to the highest standards of safety, sportsmanship and courtesy, with full respect for their quarry and a practical interest in wildlife conservation and the countryside.

Never guess at what the law allows. If in doubt, contact BASC or your local police firearms licensing department.

Airsoft BB Guns (RIF) Realistic Imitation Firearms


Please note this information is only relevant for sales to  people in the U.K:

From 01st October 2007 a new law was introduced in the U.K (VCR-Act) restricting sales of all types of replica guns (but not banning them or making them illegal).

You can purchase as per normal for film, theatre T.V, living history or if you are registered with a re-enactment group (other exemptions exist from the new law, please read on)

Purchases of replica guns for re-enactors and for film, theatrical performances, or rehearsals and for skirmishing are permitted and confirmed so by the Home Office.

Other exemptions also include for use in museum, galleries and for public displays. 

Replicas that are at least 51% in a bright colour specified as either red, purple, orange, pink and yellow are exempt from the new UK laws. Therefore, if you do not fall within the above categories then you can still purchase a replica but 51% of it will have to be painted in a bright colour as indicated above.   (we offer a painting service to make 51% your replica a bright colour if you do not fall within the above categories - Please ask).  The reason behind bright colour is because the replica goes from being a Realistic Imitation Firearm (RIF) to a imitation firearm (in bright colour) which is exempt from the VCRA laws.  You have to be over 18yrs old to purchase/own. No replica would be sold to anyone under 18 years old. 

If you are registered with an insured skirmishing group you are also exempt and can also purchase under the new laws. Proof of exemption has to be provided.

In order to purchase you will have to confirm you are registered with a re-enactment group or living history group / skirmishing group or the purchase is for film / theatre or re-enacting purposes. This could be done via your re-enactment/living history membership card, your UKARA registered, Just Cos number, letter from film/TV company etc.   If you cannot provide proof of your defence then 51% of the replica would have to be painted in a bright colour (as specified in the UK-VCRA) in order to make it a imitation firearm. Unfortunately we do NOT offer a painting service for people who do not have a defence.

To clarify:Ownership and use of replica guns will remain unaffected after 01st October 2007.Anyone who purchased before or after 01st October 2007 will be able to continue to own, use their replica guns as per normal within the law.Exemptions in the new law allows sales to film, theatre purposes (for example rehearsals) and to re-enactors meaning collectors in general may be joining re-enactment groups or confirming use of replica guns is for film or theatre use.  Also exempt :  for purposes of museum, galleries and public displays.   There is no mention in the VCR Bill that re-enactors are limited to era specific replica gunsReplicas that are 51% in a bright colours specified as either in red, pink, purple orange and yellow are exempt from the new UK laws.  This is because the realistic imitation firearm (RIF) goes to being a Imitation Firearm.Replicas with a design and mechanism of a sort first dating before 1870 are also exempt from the new UK laws  (S.A.A. .45's are exempt)  Please see our Wild-West page.Parts / Accessories unaffected (PFC caps, cartridges, mags...ect..)Both before and after the new laws introduced model guns are 100% legal in the UK

Additional (extracts taken from the Home Office site and various other government sites):

Realistic Imitation Firearms Exemptions from the VCRA:

Defences applicable:

• the organisation and holding of permitted activities for which public liability insurance is held in relation to liabilities to third parties arising from or in connection with the organisation and holding of those activities;

• the purposes of display at a "permitted event", which means a commercial event at which realistic imitation firearms are offered for sale or displayed, this relates to certain exhibition events and arms


• the purposes of a museum or gallery;

• the purposes of theatrical performances or rehearsals;

• the production of films or television programmes;

• the organisation or holding of historical re-enactments;

• the purposes of functions that a person has in his capacity as a person in the service of Her Majesty


- a museum or gallery
- theatrical performances and rehearsals of such performances;
- the production of films and television programmes;  
- the organisation and holding of historical re-enactments   

"museum or gallery" includes institutions which are open to the public and whose purpose includes the preservation, display and interpretation of material of historical, artistic or scientific interest. (B) And gives the public access to it.

Historical re-enactment is defined as "any presentation or other event held for the purpose of re-enacting an event from the past or of illustrating conduct from a particular time or period in the past". This is intended to include a range of re-enactment activities, including the display of military vehicles at shows and presentations to school children by war veterans.

"Imitation Firearms" are exempt from the VCRA.

What distinguishes an imitation from a realistic imitation firearm?

An ‘imitation firearm’ is regarded to be unrealistic if it is made of transparent material or

has a principal colour of:

  • Bright red
  • Bright orange
  • Bright yellow
  • Bright green
  • Bright pink
  • Bright purple
  • Bright blue

Note: ‘Principal colour’ means that the bright colour has to be foremost regardless of how many colours the imitation has. So, for instance, if the imitation has two colours, the bright colour must cover at least 51% of the gun in order to conform to the regulations

The regulations also prescribe dimensions that distinguish between ‘imitation’ and ‘realistic imitation firearms’. Imitation firearms are not deemed to be realistic if they measure less than 38mm in height and 70mm in length (regardless of colour); they are simply imitations and may be sold freely to persons aged 18 or over..

Note: It is an offence to modify an imitation firearm so that it becomes a realistic imitation firearm, i.e. to remove the colouring or enhance its appearance in any way to resemble a real firearm.

The actual law can be found here :

Section : 36s

37Specific defences applying to the offence under s. 36E+W+S

(1) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under section 36 in respect of any conduct to show that the conduct was for the purpose only of making the imitation firearm in question available for one or more of the purposes specified in subsection (2).

(2)Those purposes are—

(a) the purposes of a museum or gallery;

(b) the purposes of theatrical performances and of rehearsals for such performances;

(c) the production of films (within the meaning of Part 1 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents

Act 1988 (c. 48)_see section 5B of that Act);

(d) the production of television programmes (within the meaning of the Communications Act 2003 (c. 21)_see section 405(1) of that Act);

(e) the organisation and holding of historical re-enactments organised and held by persons specified or described for the purposes of this section by regulations made by the Secretary of State;

(f) the purposes of functions that a person has in his capacity as a person in the service of Her Majesty.

(3)It shall also be a defence for a person charged with an offence under section 36 in respect of conduct falling within subsection (1)(d) of that section to show that the conduct—

(a) was in the course of carrying on any trade or business; and

(b) was for the purpose of making the imitation firearm in question available to be modified in a way which would result in its ceasing to be a realistic imitation firearm.

(4) For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to have shown a matter specified in subsection (1) or (3) if—

(a) sufficient evidence of that matter is adduced to raise an issue with respect to it; and

(b)the contrary is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

(5) The power of the Secretary of State to make regulations under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(6) That power includes power—

(a) to make different provision for different cases;

(b) to make provision subject to such exemptions and exceptions as the Secretary of State thinks fit; and

(c) to make such incidental, supplemental, consequential and transitional provision as he thinks fit.

(7) In this section—

         “historical re-enactment” means any presentation or other event held for the purpose of re-enacting an event from the past or of illustrating conduct from a particular time or period in the past;

        “museum or gallery” includes any institution which—

( a) has as its purpose, or one of its purposes, the preservation, display and interpretation of material of historical, artistic or scientific interest; and

(b) gives the public access to it.