Shooting BB guns is a fun hobby which is perfectly safe so long as the basics are followed and common sense is used. Safety should always based on simple common sense and is always very logical, it requires you to think about what you’re doing and be aware of people and situations around you. Any responsible person with common sense will have no problems operating BB guns safely, but we recommend you read this guide to ensure that you are aware of the most important aspects.
Although BB Guns are regarded as toys in the eye’s of the law and are relatively safe if used and owned responsibly there are several issues that requires us to have a minimum age limit. These issues are talked about in some detail below.
We do not sell BB Guns to anyone under the age of 18, anyone under the age of 18 can of course purchase accessories and everything else except a BB Gun. A BB Gun (also classed as an airsoft gun) is anything that projects BB pellets so items such as grenade launchers and gas grenades are also covered in this category.
BB guns are high quality replica’s capable of firing 6mm plastic BB pellets at safe velocities. The velocities at which the pellets can be fired at are very low compared to many other similar activities. This means that under normal circumstances they are unable to penetrate the skin and are therefore very safe. This does not mean that in some cases they can’t be dangerous; your eyes are an extremely vulnerable part of your body. This means it is possible for your eyes to be damaged by a pellet hitting them. It is therefore absolutely necessary to wear eye protection at all times when using and around people using BB guns.
The eye protection used must be built to ballistic standards for Airsoft so that it is known to stop a BB easily at the highest possible velocities. All Airsoft skirmish sites require you to wear eye protection; it is recommended that you use a full face mask as eye protection in most gaming situations, especially if you play in close quarters as it gives a great deal of protection not just for your eyes but for your entire face. A face mask also protects your mouth, which can stop your teeth being damaged. Although rare, teeth can be and have been chipped by BB’s.
Area of Use
It is very important to only use BB guns on either private land you have full permission to be on or a proper airsoft skirmish site. You should never use them on public land, such as woods, parks, this could lead to the police being called, including the deployment of police armed response units. It is also an offence to carry a BB gun in public without a good reason (which is now under the new Anti Social Behaviour Orders, ASBO’s) and therefore such activities on public land will lead to arrests.
While on private land you have permission to be on, ensure that everyone is aware of the boundaries so that no one strays on to public land. When using BB guns on your own property, such as in your garden, be sure neighbour’s whose houses over look your garden are aware of what you are doing and are informed that they are not real and are replica’s. You should also make sure that no pets or people can walk through your line of fire to the target when shooting in your garden. No pellets whether from a direct shot or rebound should be able to stray out of your property into or to hit other houses. You should also be aware that it is a criminal offence to fire a BB gun within 15m (50ft) of a road or street.
Storage and Transportation
You always have to be aware that BB guns are often based on real firearms. Under closer inspection it is easy to see that they are not actual firearms, but from a distance and under observation from the public’s untrained eye they can look like real guns. When using, transporting and storing BB guns you must be aware of this and take measures to insure you and your weapons safety. If you do not take these measures a member of the public could see the gun and think it is real, then call the police. This could result in your arrest or cause a dangerous situation with armed police.
When storing weapons in your house they should be stored unloaded and unpowered which means magazine removed, chamber empty and the battery removed if an Automatic Electric Gun. All replicas should be kept out of children’s reach and out of sight, especially from any people walking past windows and doors.
It is very important that when you take your gun outside your house in to the public’s view that they are fully covered in a gun bag or similar equipment carrying bag. They should not be carried in pockets, belts, holsters or any other manner in which they could be seen and identified as weapons. You should also not leave guns in cars covered or not, as there is a risk of them being seen and/or stolen. You should also not unnecessarily transport BB guns around; the police will make arrests if you are found carrying one and do not have good reason for having such an item on your person.
The Safety Briefing
At all well organized airsoft skirmish sites you will be given a safety briefing. Although this briefing varies from site to site the main points will be the same and it is useful for you know them before hand. The first is that eye protection should be on at all times when playing and a player should not take it off unless they are in the safezone or outside the gaming area. Before entering the safezone the magazine of the gun should be removed and a few shots should be fired to ensure that the gun is empty and safe. Safety catches should also be used when the weapon is not in use.
Although this safety guide does not cover everything it does cover the main points you should be aware of. You should be aware of safety at all times, but please remember to enjoy the fun hobby that is Airsoft.