The United Kingdom Airsoft Retailers Association was formed in response to the 2006 Violent Crime Reduction Bill to enable a safe method of selling Realistic Imitation Firearms (RiFs) to the UK Airsoft player market.
UKARA registration is only available to Airsoft Players over 18 years of age.
To apply for registration, you must join a UKARA approved Skirmish Site and you must have fulfilled their membership criteria before you can be registered as a member of their site on our database. MPA Enterprises Ltd runs a UKARA registered airsoft site: Hockley Airsoft Arena and is also a UKARA registered retailer.
When signing up to UKARA players agree to have their details stored on the UKARA database. UKARA do not be pass these onto anyone else apart from legitimate requests from official bodies such as the police and United Kingdom Boarders Agency (UKBA).
NB; Under UKARA our site is known as "HOCKLEY AIRSOFT"
The paper registration can be downloaded here or a form can be collected and completed on site at Hockley Airsoft Arena. This will then be stamped and your legitimacy verified by Amanda, Albert or Victoria before being entered onto the UKARA database.
Alternatively you may apply ONLINE this will be picked up by Amanda or Victoria and verified before you are entered onto the UKARA database.
Please note: You must be a member of Hockley Airsoft Arena, have played a minimum of 3 times over a period of 2 months and present 2 forms of identification one of which must have a photo and one or both your current address for either method of application.
Violent Crimes Reduction Act
Should you wish to peruse the full act please click here and download the PDF:
2007 Amendments Concerning Realistic Imitation Firearms and legitimate defence:
Violent Crimes Reduction Act 2006 Part 2
Section 36: Manufacture, import and sale of realistic imitation firearms
- It is an offence to:
- a) Manufacture a realistic imitation firearm
- b) Modify an imitation firearm so it becomes a realistic imitation firearm
- c) Sell a realistic imitation firearm
- d) Bring a realistic imitation firearm in to Great Britain or cause one to be brought in to Great Britain
However, section 37 provides "defences” pertaining to the above, allowing realistic imitation firearms available persons with certain purposes.
Section 37: Specific defences applying to the offence under s. 36
- 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).
- 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, Design and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48)
- d) The production of television programmes (within the meaning of the Communications Act 2003)
- 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 function that a person has in his capacity as a person in the service of Her majesty
2007 amendment pertaining to sections 36 & 37:
The amendment to the 2006 Act provided two new defences. The first is for the organisations and holding of airsoft skirmishing. Defined by reference to "permitted activities” and the defence applies only where third party liability insurance is held in respect of the activities.
Defences to an offence under section 36 of the 2006 Act or under paragraph 4 of Schedule 2 to that Act
- It shall be a defence in the proceedings for an offence under section 36 of the 2006 Act or under paragraph 4 schedule 2 to that Act for the person charged with the offence to show that his conduct was for the purpose only of making the imitation firearm in question available for one or more of the purposes specified in paragraph (2).
- Those purposes are:
- 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;
- (1) The persons described for the purposes of section 37(2)(e) of the 2006 Act and paragraph 5(2)(e) of Schedule 2 to that Act are those mentioned in paragraph (2).
(2) The persons mentioned in this paragraph are;
- a) a person or persons holding public liability insurance in relation to liabilities to third parties arising from or in connection with the organisation and holding of historical re-enactments;
- b) two or more persons, at least one of whom holds such public liability insurance.
For airsoft skirmishing, the key elements enabling the purchase of realistic imitation firearms are:
- a) new players must play at least (3) three times in a period of not less than two months the two months before being offered membership
- b) membership cards with a photograph and recognized format will be issued for production to retailers
- c) a central database will be set up for retailers to cross-check a purchaser’s details
- d) a member’s entry on the database will be deleted if unused for 12 months.
- e) The defence for airsoft skirmishing can apply to individual players because their purchase of realistic imitation firearms for this purpose is considered part of the "holding” of a skirmishing event.
Section 38: meaning of "realistic imitation firearm”
- In sections 36 and 37 "realistic imitation firearm” means an imitation firearm which:
- a) has an appearance that is so realistic as to make it indistinguishable, for
all practical purposes, from a real firearm; and
- b) is neither a de-activated firearm nor itself an antique.
- In determining for the purposes of this section whether an imitation firearm is distinguishable from a real firearm:
- b) The imitation is to be regarded as distinguishable if its size, shape or principle colour is unrealistic for a real firearm
2007 amendment pertaining to section 38:
- (1) For the purposes of section 38(3)(b) of the 2006 Act and paragraph 6(3)(b) of Schedule 2 to that Act, a colour is to be regarded as unrealistic for a real firearm only if it is a colour specified in paragraph (2) or if the imitation firearm is made of transparent material.
(2) The colours specified in this paragraph are;
- a) Bright red
- b) Bright orange
- c) Bright yellow
- d) Bright green
- e) Bright pink
- f) Bright purple
- g) Bright blue
Section 40: Supplying imitation firearms to minors
- After section 24 of the 1968 Act insert –
"24A Supplying imitation firearms to minors”
1) It is an offence for a person under the age of eighteen to purchase an imitation firearm.
2) It is an offence to sell an imitation forearm to a person under the age of eighteen.