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Transporting RIF's


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#1
Matt!

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Props to Finius for this.

This will be a long read, so if you want to skip it all; you're fine as long as you have a reason that you can prove, and always comply fully with police commands; you don't want to end up like that Brazilian lad who got shot a few years back.

Now the long version:

The transportation of concealed airsoft replicas is perfectly legal provided you have a valid purpose/reason for transporting them. This can include many things; taking them somewhere to be repaired, taking them somewhere to skirmish etc, taking them somewhere for any legitimate and legal use. The key thing is that you must have some sort of reason.

It should be noted that you'll have to be able to in some way explain-away or prove your reason. My advice would be to let people at your destination know that you're coming (so pre-book skirmishes, ring any stores you're going to before you go, let people know how you'll be arriving) and keep any invoices/receipts/booking confirmations and a phone number for where you're going on you.

In all likelihood you'll never be stopped, people travel the London subway daily carrying RIFs (going to and from Wolf Armouries) and are rarely stopped. If you suspect a police officer or some other authority figure is trying to stop you, or you are directed to stop, do so, and when questions, comply entirely. If they wish to check your bags, tell them you have a Replica Imitation Firearm and to avoid causing any alarm, that they should take you somewhere private to have a look at it. Whatever you do, do not try to avoid an officer, do not try and evade officers etc. If you try to avoid them, they will see you as more suspicious, thus meaning you will definitely be stopped. If you try to run or ignore an order to stop, you will likely be shot, or tracked down by CO19 and arrested.

When packing guns and equipment, do so as if they were real weapons; do not carry loaded mags in the same compartment of a bag as the gun. Do not leave batteries plugged in or magazines inserted etc. Leave the gun on safety.

Generally speaking, if you observe the above; good gun safety discipline, awareness of a need to avoid causing a panic and a willingness to comply, most officers will check you out and send you on your way. In fact, most police, once they've finished with their official "duty" will ask you nicely if they can hold the gun and have a fiddle with it; they're usually really interested. You're under no obligation to do so, but I would always let them. It gives you an opportunity to make them more aware of something they're told to respond negatively to; you'll be doing a lot to help airsoft out as a whole, and may even get someone into the sport.

If they are not convinced, ask them if you may handle the gun and point out the differences, make sure you point the muzzle toward the floor and maintain good trigger discipline etc; if possible, turn the gun over etc without picking it up. Explain that it cannot be modified to fire real ammunition, show them the chamber (i.e. the bottom of the hopup).

If they are still not convinced, they will probably arrest you for an S.5. firearms offense. They will search you, cuff you, read you the caution and take you to a station, you'll be let out on bail, they will keep the gun and have a firearms expert examine it, after which the charges will be dropped (when they discover it's a toy) and they'll return it to you. It may go down slightly differently, but as horrible an experience as it would be, try to be compliant and helpful, it's much better for you.

The above case is extremely unlikely, but if it does occur, they are liable for any damages caused to the gun whilst they inspect it. I'm not sure about cost of bail, missed skirmish costs etc, but if they arrest you, you'll have access to a lawyer who knows firearms law extensively so he'd set you straight.


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