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What is Airsoft?
Airsoft is essentially a sporting activity using replica firearms in which the ammunition is propelled using gas, electric or spring loaded mechanisms. The gaming side of Airsoft is Military Simulation in which you eliminate your opponents with direct hits. The ammunition used are small spherical plastic or non-metallic pellets.
Originally starting in Japan during the early 1970’s as “soft air guns" was designed to meet the needs of shooting enthusiasts whilst still conforming to Japan’s gun control laws. Airsoft as primarily created for target shooting but their plastic pellets can also be shot at humans without causing injury.
Airsoft guns spread to the UK during the late 1980s and early 1990s with a company called LS. The guns were sold in pieces and had to be assembled before they were capable of firing pellets. Airsoft closely emulates real gun functionality and appeals to players interested in causal war-games. Since then, airsoft guns have been adapted for pure recreational purposes, and the sport is enjoyed by all ages.
Airsoft replicas are produced globally, with the majority being manufactured in Asia. Many law enforcement agencies and military units within the United States now use Airsoft for force-on-force training drills. Airsoft weapons are currently illegal in Australia.
Why not Australia?
The main reason that airsoft is illegal is because of the definition of firearms. Each State in Australia has their own firearms laws and these laws must meet the NFA (National Firearms Agreement), which was brought in post Port Arthur.
For example, in Western Australia, the definition means that it is considered a firearm. Now that doesn’t make it illegal, yet still falls under a category definition. Such as a category A firearm. Unfortunately part of the definition for categories has an appearance component.
This means, if the firearm has a ‘design, function or appearance’ of a category D firearm, it is considered to be a category D firearm.
Category D are restricted/banned firearms, one such sub category are military firearms etc. Since most airsoft guns replicate the look of military weapons, this means they get categorised as a Category D firearm.
What that means is that a toy in essence, used in a game, gets classified as a firearm due to a very broad firearm definition. Now that it’s classed a firearm it is tested against the definitions for each category. Based on its appearance it meets the criteria of being a self loading centrefire rifle designed or adapted for military use.
Airsoft in Australia is only in it’s early stages of being recognised as a valid sport. Airsoft Sydney hopes to make an impact in the community and help further Airsoft to become Legal within all Australian States.
Where do we go from here?
Australians have to get behind Airsoft in Australia through their local council members to push legislation through Parliment. Airsoft Sydney want’s to be that push! Airsoft in Australia is only as good as the people behind it. Sign our petition today and we’ll do our best to show our local members just how serious Airsoft enthusiasts are in Australia.