Archive for the ‘Sport News’ Category
Huge UK Airsoft Law News
UKAPU and UKARA bring about positive changes to Policing and Crime Bill
We finally are able to tell you some good news about the draft UK law affecting airsoft.
At the start of the year the government released the Policing and Crime Bill (PCB), which included a clause to set the lethal threshold at 1 Joule of muzzle energy. This would mean that a barrelled device would be essentially regarded as an air gun if it had muzzle energy of over 1J. In 2015 the law commission suggested (based on input from UKARA and UKAPU) that airsoft replicas should be allowed an exemption from the 1J lethal threshold, as 1J would be far too low for our needs. The government accepted this and wrote it into the PCB.
The first draft of the airsoft exemption was not that great. 8mm airsoft would not count and, arguably no airsoft device would have been able to use the proposed exemption because they are capable of firing non plastic BBs. The airsoft associations were invited to discuss the exemption with the Home Office firearms department in March, and the results of that meeting, plus 8 months of lobbying behind the scenes, have finally paid off.
Trying to get exemption through at all was a feat. Though the government supported the exemption it came under attack from a Labour MP and then later from a Conservative Lord. The anti-gun groups and even part of the gun lobby objected to it.
But through a combined effort from UKARA and UKAPU we’ve managed to not only get the exemption for airsoft through, but also convince the government to make some small changes to it, which have just been submitted in the form of amendments (these are yet to be voted on at time of writing but should be integrated during the Lords report stage). When the Bill is enacted in early 2017 we’ll have clear power limits for airsoft and a better definition of what an airsoft gun is. Not only will those limits reflect the realistic power output of airsoft replicas, but they will also not interfere with the normal power limits that we use for gaming. So instead of being limited to 1J, we’ll be able to play on mostly as normal.
The lion’s share of the Home Office lobbying work was done by Frank, John and Adrian at UKARA. Without some shrewd tactics and persistent lobbying from them we’d never have got the amendment on the table. UKAPU spent a lot of time rallying airsofters and lobbying MPs without them there may have been more objections from MPs and Lords. Though we’ve not been able to talk about it till now, it’s taken a constant barrage of letters, calls and meetings throughout 2016 to get to where we are. The guys from UKARA also commissioned expensive laboratory testing of the penetrative properties of 8mm BBs, so we could ask the Home Office to extend the exemption to 8mm airsoft replicas as well as 6mm. UKARA have spent close to £10000 fighting for the airsoft industry.
The Home Office also deserve thanks. Some people imagine they are anti-airsoft, but in reality the civil servants have invited the airsoft associations to comment on the bill and have taken those comments on board even though this created more work. They have done their utmost to ensure that the airsoft game and industry isn’t compromised by the new law. Government Ministers such as Mike Penning MP have spoken in defence of our right to play airsoft and supported us throughout.
The elephant in the room is, still, fully automatic replicas over 1.3J. If it is capable of more than 1.3J then your replica may be regarded as a section 5 firearm. This could mean that GBB and HPA replicas are prohibited weapons, and it could mean you might land a 5 year prison sentence for importing an AEG which is more powerful than advertised. We also need to ensure that airsoft replicas aren’t regarded as ‘readily convertible’ to firearms, as they can all be converted to exceed the new thresholds. UKARA and UKAPU have been raising this issue with the government for the last year, and it seems they have now taken it on board. We are due to see them early next year to discuss a solution, separate to the PCB.
For your convenience the amended clause 111 is below.
The status quo has been more or less maintained but only through a mammoth effort behind the scenes. Please spread the word, people need to understand that airsoft needs constant protection, and the only way we’ve achieved this win is by working together under the umbrella of airsoft associations.
Matt Furey-King Chair UKAPU and Frank Bothamley Chair UKARA
Policing and Crime Bill- http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2015-16/policingandcrime.html
The UKAPU will be holding their AGM this weekend:
UKAPU Annual General Meeting at StrikeForce CQB
United Kingdom: Matthew Furey-King, Chairman of United Kingdom Airsoft Players Union (UKAPU) and Vice-Chairman David Weston, today announced that UKAPU will host a private game open to all UKAPU members and the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at StrikeForce CQB.
The AGM will be an opportunity for all UKAPU members to raise subjects for the agenda, elect committee members, and shape the future of UKAPU for airsoft in the UK.
“The UKAPU AGM is the event we hold every year, at which we sit down with members and talk about the future direction of the association, and airsoft,” explained Chairman Matthew Furey-King “Many airsoft associations have come and gone but UKAPU has been the only one to hold an AGM every single year. That’s something I’m very proud of. It’s a very important part of maintaining transparency and democracy. It’s one of the reasons we are able to call ourselves representatives. “
“All committee positions are open for election, and anyone can raise a discussion point. We actually have some positions with no nominated candidates, so email our secretary if you are interested in helping us push UKAPU forward. This year we decided to combine the AGM with a private members’ day at StrikeForce CQB site in Gloucester. All UK airsoft players are welcome to join UKAPU for free on our website. We’ll hold the AGM in the safe zone. It’s looking like a really friendly fun game is shaping up, with a few airsoft celebrities coming too. I look forward to seeing you there.”
Any and all members of UKAPU can add an amendment to the AGM and put themselves forward to become a member of the committee, please submit any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
StrikeForce CQB, hosts of the private game, are located at:
Morelands Trading Estate
We have some great news for UK airsoft this morning. Lord Shrewsbury of the GTA has voluntarily decided to withdraw his amendment in regards to the airsoft exception from the Policing and Crime Bill 2015/16. This is the best possible outcome for UK airsoft. Lord Shrewsbury tells us he better understands airsoft now that he is properly informed, and that he is extremely keen to work with us and move forwards as a part of a unified firearms community. Please get word out and apply the brakes on this campaign, there’s nothing we need to counteract right now, the airsoft exception is not being questioned, and we certainly don’t want at this stage to create fruitless hassle for our valuable new ally. So to clarify, tweets emails and letters to Lords and Lord Shrewsbury should stop now.
When asked to contribute to this campaign the response from the UK airsoft was phenomenal. You should feel proud of the good work you’ve put in. There was a tiny element that was abusive and even threatening towards Lord Shrewsbury and needless to say, this is totally unacceptable behaviour and counterproductive, we condemn this behaviour unreservedly. Those individuals have been reported to the Police and we hope that such individuals are subject to the full weight of the law. But on the whole we saw an overwhelming positive response. I even saw some Mums writing to representatives to say tell them that airsoft had been a huge force for good in their children’s lives. I’d also like to make you aware that the 3 UK airsoft associations have done a colossal amount (most of it behind the scenes) to get us this far, and will continue to work for you over the coming months, so please keep supporting them in turn. Another group which gave us huge support was real firearms shooters, and grass roots shooting organisations such as Firearms UK. There wasn’t anything at stake for real firearms people and yet they leapt to the defence of airsofters. Bear that in mind should you see the firearms community facing hardship in the future.
Things are not finished with the PCB by any means. We still have concerns that, even with the exception in place, if you unwittingly import a slightly hot fully auto AEG, or have your HPA or GBB replicas are tested at maxed out pressure and heavy ammo you could face section 5 firearms charges (5 years mandatory sentence), which would be wildly disproportionate and unacceptable, even if it only ever happens to one of us.
So I ask everyone to keep up to date with this Bill for the next few months and keep discussing it.
If you are still receiving replies from MPs and Lords, please continue to post them on the group so we can ‘map the ground’. This group is very well informed and a useful asset in itself. https://www.facebook.com/groups/UKairsoftlobby/
Be sure to Like UK Airsoft Players Union to keep up to date https://www.facebook.com/UKAPU/ but more importantly players should join UKAPU, so we can keep doing what we do http://www.ukapu.org.uk/join/
Airsoft Trade Body will have its website online soon so get involved if you run an airsoft business and want to safeguard it http://www.atb.org.uk/
Retailer membership of old stalwart UKARA is of course available from their website http://www.ukara.org.uk/index.php
Please like, comment and share.
Edit: there is an update to this news here:
Save the Airsoft Exception
The Gun Trade Association is attacking our hard fought exception from 1J lethality
United Kingdom: The Policing and Crime Bill is now in the House of Lords. Part of the Bill will specify a 1 Joule threshold for barrelled weapon lethality. Through hard lobbying airsoft had secured an exemption, based on forensic lab testing, of 1.3J for full auto replicas and 2.5J for semi and single shot. The Law Commission and government recognised that this exception is essential for airsoft activities to continue. Shockingly, the head of the Gun Trade Association (a member of the House of Lords) has submitted an amendment to delete the airsoft exception.
Limiting airsoft to 1 Joule (330fps on a .20) will have many severe effects on the airsoft hobby including;
· An end to airsoft snipers- airsoft sniper rifles will be legally regarded as lethal air rifles
· Will become impossible for anyone to safely import AEGs- if found to be over 1J you could face 5 years imprisonment for possessing a section 5 firearm. It will not be legal to downgrade an AEG once it has become a section 5 firearm.
· Will become illegal to own fully auto GBB and HPA airsoft replicas- if they are tested they will be tested with maximum gas power and be found to exceed 1J. Again, they will be section 5 firearms.
Some registered firearms dealers (RFDs) aim to sell airsoft replicas as air rifles. Some have speculated that this is Lord Shrewsbury’s reason for submitting the amendment, to push airsoft sales to non-airsoft specialists that hold power in the GTA.
“There’s about 800 Lords and we’ve got till the 14th September to win over enough of them to defeat Lord Shrewsbury’s anti-airsoft amendment. Nothing else in UK airsoft matters right now compared to this.
Get the word out to absolutely everyone in the airsoft community. UKARA, ATB and UKAPU are doing all they can behind the scenes. However, if we lose this vote there is no coming back from the consequences, and we cannot win the vote without all of you writing in to a Lord. Together we beat the 2016 EU attack on airsoft, we beat the VCRA together in 2006, and we can win this too.
We are in the right and the evidence supports our position. We are up against people with vast wealth and power but if we can use the voice of every single one of the 60,000 UK airsoft players, we absolutely can win, so read the infographic, visit http://www.ukapu.org.uk/saveairsoft/ and get writing.
Matt Furey-King, Chair UK Airsoft Players Union”
About UKAPU: UKAPU is an unincorporated non-profit association formed by a dedicated group of Airsoft skirmishers to help protect and strengthen our hobby. By providing a united and official organisation that represents players, we can far more effectively engage in discussion with the government, other organisations, and the press when skirmishing comes under threat.
Here is an update from the European Airsoft Association regarding the EU Firearms Directive vote:
Hello, With my European Airsoft Association (EAA) hat on I’d like to relay to you some fantastic news from Joachim Dekkers, President of the European Airsoft Association. This concerns the future of airsoft in Europe and includes a letter from Vicky Ford MEP addressed to the airsoft community.
Matt Furey-King, EAA & UKAPU
Dear Airsoftsport enthusiasts,
As you know on July 13th there was an important vote on the Firearm Directive proposal 91/477, which also included Airsoft Devices (for example replicas and blank firing grenades).The part of the vote which actually dealt with our beloved sport, took approximately 1 minute. It was fast and hectic to say the least.
The result of the vote was in favour of the Airsoftsport, because a large majority of the IMCO Committee members, voted to have replicas placed outside the scope of the directive.
Still, it took us some time to actually confirm this, because the documents released on the vote are difficult to understand.
This result is a small victory but we are not there yet. More negotiations will follow after the EU Parliament recess (ends August 21st).
I know that many of you have been asking about the blank firing grenades. We are working on this and will give you an answer as soon as possible. Please be patient due to the holiday season and the much needed rest. We were not able to have achieved this if it was not for others too. The industry (http://www.airsoft-european-call.com/) who came together for this united cause, the IMCO Committee members who voted against having replicas placed inside the scope, colleagues from other sport shooting organizations and individual players.
I was in touch with Vicky Ford who is the chair of the IMCO committee and I thanked her and her team on behalf of the Airsoftsport community for the common sense and hard work. She send me an open letter for the Airsoftsport community;
Here is a last minute update on the EU firearms directive vote from the UKAPU:
On Wednesday the 13th July the IMCO committee will vote on the proposal 2015/0269 to amend the European firearms directive. Allot of work has been done by airsoft players, the airsoft industry and airsoft groups to get the proposal changed, notably by the European Airsoft Association (EAA, which UKAPU is a core member of). The first draft of the proposal would have stamped out airsoft in Europe by classing all replicas as firearms. The amendments that we have helped write will be voted on during Wednesday’s meeting, and should serve to remove the sections about classifying of replicas as firearms.
The airsoft community did a great job of lobbying and showing airsoft in a positive light, so our amendments have been well received and we are heading towards a win on Wednesday. We also hope BFGs aren’t banned (EAA did what they could to stop that happening) but that remains to be seen.
In November there will be a yes/no vote on accepting the finalised proposal. We can’t relax until then but if things go our way on Wednesday we will almost be out of the woods. Live shooting sports are still in danger of being devastated, quite intentionally, and there’s still very little focus on removing from circulation the weapons used by criminals and terrorists.
It wouldn’t hurt if everyone sent a last minute email to their MEPs asking them to vote in favour of the rapporteurs amendments to remove airsoft and replicas from the scope of the proposal.
Contact details for UK MEPs- https://www.mysociety.org/wehelpyou/contact-your-meps/
Courtesy of the EAA, here are links to the Agenda and live feed for the meeting.
Matt Furey-King, Chair UK Airsoft Players Union
UKARA are making some changes to their player registration system:
Dear Arnie, there has been a substantial update to the UKARA player system, we are now allowing players, as from nominally 05.07.16, to register their intent to join a UKARA affiliated airsoft game site in an on-line system which will automatically transfer the application to the appropriate game site, who can then deal directly with the registration requirements, and actually register appropriate player’s. The games site can also add a link to their own web site with a dedicated application form.
So although the original paper system will be there in parallel, it will become redundant to most players.
No more posting of forms and virtually no mistakes in email and other information which can causes problems in player registration and validation. The player will know exactly who is involved in their registration process.
The system has active monitoring by the database provider, to make sure the registration process is fulfilling the parameters, and checks are being made on and during the roll out.
UKARA retailers will no longer be directly involved in non paper applications, levelling the playing field and taking away the perception that a RiF order is a prerequisite to a registration being promptly dealt with, relieving Retailers of a great deal of extra responsibility, work and mail.
UKARA database is registered with the data protection agency Data Protection ICO Registration ZA031959
UKARA is used and signed up to by UK Boarder Agency who have their own portal with access only to verify players eligibility to import.
Operation Lion Claws have released a statement in response to an inflammatory meme currently circulating:
It has come to our attention that the attacks against our organization have started once again. We chose to ignore the propaganda in the recent past rather than feed into it, but unfortunately the attacks made against us earlier in the week in the form of a photoshopped meme was done in poor taste, and was something that we could not simply ignore. We pride ourselves in honoring our nations heroes of the armed forces, and do as much as we can to support them through our charitable donations generated from our events.
Although our organization is blessed to have men like Col.(RET) Danny McKnight, Ranger Hall of Fame inductee MSG.(RET) Howard "Mad Max” Mullen, Delta Force Command Sergeant Major (RET) Mark Collazos & many other staff members who are actual heroes of this great nation, we would never grant that title to airsofters who have never earned it, let alone create a meme saying that playing airsoft makes them heroes.
The worst part of this recent attack, is that just three weeks ago, our nation observed Memorial Day, a day that we remember our fallen men and women of the armed forces who are real heroes. The parties involved in creating this meme, and started circulating it should be ashamed of their actions, and should be condemned for their disrespect to our service members.
We do not condone this type of behavior and apologize that our name and logo was used to create this tasteless image, but we assure everyone that our organization had absolutely nothing to do with it, other than being the focus of the attacks.
We would like to thank our supporters and sponsors for recognizing what is fact, and what is not. We will continue doing all we can to help our service members, while hosting some of the nations best airsoft events.
Keep airsoft positive.
Our heroes at Op:LC-XV, Memorial Day Weekend 2016.
( Left to right) Delta Force Command Sergeant Major(RET) Mark Collazos, US Army Ranger Sean Menches, Col.(RET) Danny McKnight & Ranger Hall of Hame inductee MSG(RET) Howard "Mad Max" Mullen
UKAPU have appointed two regional representatives but they are still looking for more:
United Kingdom: Matthew Furey-King, Chairman of United Kingdom Airsoft Players Union (UKAPU), announced that UKAPU have filled two regional positions in the United Kingdom. The new representatives, alongside UKAPU’s committee, will allow the organisation to communicate more effectively with players around the country.
Paul Cook, owner of Armour Defence Group Ltd & Armour Tech Airsoft, has been named the UKAPU Representative for Scotland. A regular attendee at Section 8 Airsoft, Paul will be the voice of UKAPU in Scotland and is ready to answer any questions players have.
“I am looking forward to taking UKAPU in Scotland to the players, making sure they have the right representation for our sport,” said Paul Cook. “Bringing all the players into one organisation, as the more voices there are, the stronger we are as a group. Better that than individuals or small groups, it will be a challenge but I look forward to uniting Scottish players for one goal: keep airsoft our sport.”
Ben Simmons, of Bradford, West Yorkshire, has been named the UKAPU Representative for North England.
“I joined UKAPU to see if I could make a difference when it came to airsoft and player representation,” said Ben Simmons. “We have been a hugely underrepresented sport and that has shown in the legislative efforts of various bodies when it comes to our exemption.
“I am also hoping to bring university airsofters together and get them some real support, as they are some of the most persecuted of our players due to the nature of Students Unions. I came through the uni airsoft and I know how bad it can be for those students.”
Steven ‘Wallace’ Morley, owner of Skirmish the Stan, Skirmish Airsoft Sherwood Forest, and Skirmish Airsoft CQB, has also joined the organisation.
“I joined UKAPU as I firmly believe in what the organisation stands for,” said Steven Morley. “I also intend to help in any way possible to support their mission to strengthen and defend both the sport and its players from criticism and attack at every level. I hope to help move the organisation forward by helping raise its profile wherever possible.”
Positions still available in UKAPU:
UKAPU Representative for Wales
UKAPU Representative for Northern Ireland
UKAPU Representative for the Midlands
UKAPU Representative for East England
UKAPU Representative for the South West
UKAPU Representative for the South East
UKAPU have been updating their website including their membership system:
UKAPU Re-Launch Website & Membership System
United Kingdom: Matthew Furey-King, Chairman of United Kingdom Airsoft Players Union (UKAPU), today announced that UKAPU will introduce an enhanced and re-designed website. The new website, alongside UKAPU’s Facebook and Twitter, will allow the organisation to directly communicate with airsoft players around the United Kingdom.
The website will also include an updated membership system, allowing players to sign up for free and become a member of UKAPU. Included in the membership system is the ability to donate to UKAPU, giving players the chance to claim up to two UKAPU patches, as well as other membership benefits.
"I’m very proud to announce that UKAPU’s new membership system is now open,” said Chairman Matthew Furey-King. “Our volunteers have had to build a completely new membership system and website over the past month, and as you’ll see, they have done a cracking job. Membership is now free, so there’s no reason not to sign up, and tell your friends to do the same. Every extra member gives us a little more strength when we need to stand up for airsoft."
- Bronze UKAPU Membership is free, includes a UKAPU membership number.
- Silver UKAPU Membership has a donation fee of 5GBP, includes the choice of a tan or green patch.
- Gold UKAPU Membership has a donation fee of 10GBP, includes both the tan and green patches.
- Membership lasts for 12 months from the date of sign-up.
About UKAPU: UKAPU is an unincorporated non-profit association formed by a dedicated group of airsoft skirmishers to help protect and strengthen our hobby. By providing a united and official organisation that represents players, we can far more effectively engage in discussion with the government, other organisations, and the press when skirmishing comes under threat.
European Airsoft Association have some positive news from the EU:
As you should be aware, since November last year the EU has been considering a proposal to amend the firearms directive which would classify replicas, including airsoft devices, as real firearms. They also wanted to ban any firearm of ‘military appearance’.
The result would be that nearly all airsoft devices would fall foul of the law and be banned from use by the public, and the few types that would be allowed would be extremely difficult for people to obtain and had to be registered individually. The authors of the proposal set out to get rid of replicas and thereby wipe out airsoft in the whole of Europe. We were looking at airsoft Armageddon.
The European Airsoft Association was founded specifically to react to such a threat. Over the last 5 months we have done everything possible to save airsoft.
Our member associations have convened with their own ministers and governments. We have been working alongside people from the airsoft industry and manufacturers. We have energised thousands of players to write to their representatives through our ‘EU attack on airsoft’ campaign. We have attended many private meetings with members of parliament and members of the commission, as well as conferences and assemblies of the European Parliament.
At every meeting we have been raising positive awareness of our beloved sport, highlighting the ridiculousness and impracticality of the proposal, and trying to keep the airsoftsport out of the scope of the European Firearms directive.
Our representatives and in particular President Joachim, have been to Brussels many times including a recent 2 day symposium.
Before the community took action the EU were not even aware that there was a legitimate use for replica firearms. After the combined campaign, MEPs publicly mentioned the airsoft sport as a positive!
The initial proposal was officially reviewed by Vicky Ford MEP, and the EAA worked with her team to get the amendment we needed put in to her draft report. The report of the rapporteur carries enormous weight. The draft report has just been released this week, and it recommends the following amendment at the very start of the document;
(3b) The definition of the term "firearm" should continue to exclude objects which expel a shot, bullet or projectile by the action of a non-combustible propellant, for example through the operation of compressed air or other gas, including so-called airsoft guns, as well as objects which merely have the appearance of a firearm (replicas, imitations), provided in both cases that such objects cannot be converted to a firearm or do not contain an essential component which is capable of being used in a firearm. Member States should be able to regulate such objects under their national law.
Amendment 81 clarifies this and amendment 85 specifically defines and excludes airsoft devices by name a second time!
This is amazing news! The airsoft community has made its voice heard and defended itself!
It’s very important to understand that we have not won yet, as the Parliament still needs to vote to approve the amendment, but the finish line is in sight. If the amendments are approved, airsoft will be enshrined in European law as non-firearms! Our sport will be in a safer position than ever before.
Another thing we were concerned about is that ‘blank fire grenades’ would have be controlled as firearms, but after our lobbying to raise awareness of these devices, more sensible measures have been recommended and, if adopted, airsoft enthusiasts will be able to continue buying and using BFGs in game as normal.
The firearms community still look set to lose some categories of firearm so we stand with them, as fellow shooters. Likely adoption of the directive will be later in the year but the amendments to the proposal will certainly be discussed in the coming months. Please watch our website www.euroairsoft.org and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/europeanairsoft/ for updates.
The European Airsoft Association Team.
Matt Furey-King from the UKAPU has reported back on their meeting at the Home Office:
On Friday UK Airsoft Players Union, UK Airsoft Retailers Association and Airsoft Trade Body were invited to the Home Office HQ in Westminster to discuss the Police and Crime Bill and the airsoft exception. UKARA also brought along Police Chief Adrian Whiting, whose extensive political and legal experience was very helpful indeed.
All 3 bodies are on the same page and we have very similar concerns with the current draft of the bill which is primarily that;
1. 8mm airsoft replicas will not be defined as airsoft.
2. Airsoft replicas are defined as a device which can ‘only’ fire plastic BBs.
3. Fully automatic airsoft replicas could be defined as ‘readily convertible’ as you can push most of them over 1.3J easily enough.
4. Anyone importing or in possession of fully automatic replica that is found to be over 1.3J will be deemed to be in possession of a section 5 firearm (5 year prison sentence for most of us). This is of course very relevant to owners and traders of HPA and GBB models, whose equipment would be tested on the strongest gas pressure available.
Although this Bill is designed to clear up firearms law (amongst other things) we are now fully involved with Westminster politics. As such, there are allot of factors in play, such as party politics and also the anti-airsoft lobby (who are in staunch opposition to the airsoft exception). People will be watching what we airsofters say in public over the coming months. So things are pretty complicated and little can be taken at face value.
We presented some proposals to Government representatives and (without pre-empting the minutes) very little was accepted or rejected outright. This meeting was really the starting point for the process. What seems clear is that they will hold us to the 1.3J/2.5J recommendations of the ACPO testing. We will have more meetings with them over the next year, and if we present an amendment that the Home Office finds favourable they could present it to Parliament. However, there’s still a fair chance that this won’t happen but we live in a democracy and the airsoft community may need to write to their MPs and the House of Lords in order to get our amendments sponsored and voted in.
If you’ve looked at the PCB you’ll notice that airsoft and lethality make up a very small part of it which is why we won’t be permitted the opportunity to submit evidence to the parliamentary committee.
So what’s the next phase? We need to all agree on the amendments that we are going to push for. We need to collect some more evidence. And we need to bolster support for the airsoft associations. The only viable option is for us all to work together and be one strong voice asking for the same thing through representatives and a well-coordinated lobbying campaign. Anything less will be fruitless. If we fail to clear this Bill up, airsoft players and traders could end up in prison in the future for holding normal airsoft equipment.
The Bill is in the committee stage of the House of Commons and the Home Office project it will be enacted in law before the end of the year.
Players should like UKAPUs Facebook page and then we can keep you in the loop. https://www.facebook.com/UKAPU/
If you are in the airsoft industry you should keep in touch with ATB and UKARA
The guys from the UKAPU along with other airsoft representatives will be discussing the Police and Crime Bill with the Home Office tomorrow:
Tomorrow morning we will be meeting with the Home Office to discuss the Police and Crime Bill. We will be bringing your concerns forward in relation to 8mm replicas being discluded from the definition of airsoft, airsoft replicas being defined as ‘only’ being able to fire plastic ammunition, readily convertible definitions and the issue of automatic replicas potentially being defined as section 5 firearms (5 year prison sentence for the owner) if they creep over 1.3J.
The meeting was convened by the Home Office and they have invited UKAPU, UKARA and ATB as stakeholders. ATB is one you have likely not heard of. The Airsoft Trade Body was formed only a few weeks ago by a collective of retailers and sites. They have been in contact with UKAPU from square one, and are democratic and open. They haven’t had chance to put a website together but will do soon, so you will be able to find out about them on http://atb.org.uk/ UKAPU is really looking forward to working with them,
The Police and Crime Bill has had its second reading and is now moving to the committee stage. There is still ample opportunity for amendments.
In other news we have elected a new committee, consisting of;
Matt Furey-King- Chairman
David Weston- Vice Chairman
William Kei Ho- Press Officer
Lee Dempsey- General Secretary
James Williams- Treasurer
The minutes of that AGM can be found on our website http://ukapu.org.uk/wp/?p=1459
Matt Furey-King, Chairman
Frank from the UKARA has sent over an update on the proposed changes to the Firearms Act following the law commission report:
Just an update about the Law Commission review of Firearms Act.
The law commission firearms law report was released two months ago, the Policing and Crime Bill 2015-16 has had its first reading in the UK parliament recently.
UKARA then got to see what had been written in the first draft of the Policing and Crime Bill 2016 by the Home Office and were very surprised that the airsoft rif definition only included 6mm diameter bbs.
UKARA had worked with the Law Commission and a highly regarded firearms consultant (who was paid for by ukara) .
The consultant is a ex Deputy Chief Constable and ex ACPO FLWG Chairman.
We attended several meetings in London and the consultant represented airsoft on the panel of speakers that were speaking at the Law Commission Symposium.
UKARA also wrote a detailed 3 page report explaining about airsoft and the affects of the lethality wording changes.
For some unknown reason the Home Office chose only to include part of the definition that was supplied to them.
As a result of the wording in the new Bill only mentioning 6mm, UKARA has arranged a meeting with the Home Office to talk about the possibility of amending the wording.
We are looking to put a case for getting 8mm diameter bbs included in the definition.
Along with UKARA the Firearms consultant will also be paid to attend.
We will keep you posted about the progress of the Bill and the results of the meeting.
Elite Force have awarded their second honor patch:
Airsoft is about Honor and Integrity and this nominee has shown these characteristics both on and off the field. Blake, JP and Rick from American MilSim have nominated Frank G Yuk for an Elite Force Honor Patch based on two standout acts of honor.