Airsoft weapons are classified as recreational toys and not firearms, so few regulations are placed on the weapons. The regulations that do exist are important for the safety of the Airsoft user and everyone within shooting distance of the weapons. Care should always be taken when handling the Airsoft gun, and all laws and regulations should be followed.
Licensing and Age Requirements
In the United States, the minimum age requirement for purchasing an Airsoft weapon is 18. However, there are no restrictions on the age required to use an Airsoft gun. A license is not required to carry an Airsoft weapon in the United States.
Though the United States government does not require that owners of Airsoft guns have a license, there are regulations set by the government on a gun’s firepower. These requirements vary slightly from state to state. In general, if the Airsoft weapon is used indoors, it is limited to firepower of between 300 and 350 feet per second (fps); for outdoor use, the limit is 350 to 450 fps. This regulation is in place to prevent a fatal injury or accident.
To distinguish Airsoft guns from real firearms, the U.S. requires all Airsoft guns to have a 6mm orange tip on their barrels. Since some of the Airsoft weapons look very realistic, it is easy to understand the necessity of such a precaution. It is against the law to remove the tip once purchased. In addition to weapons with the orange tip, some manufacturers make clear Airsoft weapons. The Airsoft weapons are still designed or modeled after real firearms, but their clear plastic casing makes it easy to distinguish them from actual firearms.
Airsoft in Public
There are restrictions about where Airsoft weapons can be used or displayed. Since Airsoft guns are replicas of real firearms, you may not take one out in public unless it is in a glass case. Public schools do not allow Airsoft guns on school grounds. Some areas in the United States banned the use of Airsoft products entirely, these places include: New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C., and some parts of Michigan. California has a law in place making it illegal to display a firearm replica in public. Such displays lead to panic and fear. For this reason, If a person commits a crime using an Airsoft weapon, he can be prosecuted and punished as if he had used a real firearm.