Are BB guns illegal in the UK? | The Sun

BB guns fire small metal balls that can cause broken bones, but they are legal to own in the UK as long as people in possession of them follow the guidelines.

This is what we know about what a BB gun is and the laws regarding the ownership of them.

What is a BB gun?

A BB gun is a type of air gun that shoots small round metal balls called BBs.

The term is frequently used incorrectly to describe airsoft guns, which shoot plastic pellets that are larger but much less dense than metal BBs. 

BBs are usually made of steel, and despite rarely being fatal, can cause injury to people in the vicinity.

Eye protection is advised during use near hard surfaces such as walls.


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Are BB guns illegal in the UK?

BB guns are legal in the UK but there is some legislation that concerns them.

The Firearms Act 1968 states, ‘An imitation firearm is anything which has the appearance of being a firearm, regardless of whether or not it is capable of discharging a shot, bullet or another missile.’

To comply with the Violent crime reduction act 2006, these guns must have over 51% of the outside material must be a bright colour or transparent plastic.

This is to help people distinguish it from an actual handgun, which is illegal to own in the UK.

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The minimum age to purchase a BB gun is 18 years old.

No gun should be carried in a public place unless in transit. Also, the gun should be placed in a bag so it won't be visible.

What firearms are prohibited in the UK?

It is illegal to own a handgun in the UK.

This was a law established following the Dunblane school massacre in 1996.

There have only been five fatal mass shootings carried out by a civilian in the entire history of Great Britain, but measures are enforced to prevent any more from happening.

It’s illegal to possess most firearms without a license in the UK. 

Those who use firearms for hunting or shooting, such as rifles and shotguns, must hold a license to be able to use them.

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