Airsoft guns are not toys and they are controlled by laws in parts of Utah. You must know the law in your location or you risk serious penalties.
Airsoft and the Law
Airsoft guns use compressed gas to fire plastic pellets. Although made of plastic, some Airsoft guns look exactly like real guns. That can be a real problem in a dark alley when a cop is facing a 14-year-old kid who has one in his hands. The purchase of an Airsoft gun is completely unregulated. A felon who cannot buy a real gun can purchase an Airsoft gun to use in a robbery, without any check on his identity or paper trail showing who he is. An Airsoft gun with the plastic tip removed looks exactly like a real gun to a convenience store clerk.
United States Law
Federal law requires that each Airsoft gun be manufactured with an orange tip measuring 6 mm (.24 inches). However, there is no requirement that the owner of the gun keep the orange tip on the gun. In addition, there are no laws governing the sale or use of Airsoft guns. Federal law allows anyone of any age to carry one anywhere and show it in any situation without any proof of identity.
Utah has no state laws governing Airsoft guns other than the federal law requiring the orange tip and the lack of any law requiring the tip to remain on the gun. However, the cities of North Ogden, Ogden, Centerville, South Jordan and South Ogden have laws prohibiting ownership of Airsoft guns. These laws have been uniformly enforced by law enforcement after an incident of mistaken identity by a police officer who faced an Airsoft gun without the orange tip and thought it was a real gun. Other cities throughout the country have laws ranging from New York City’s requirement that the entire gun be made of bright colored plastic, to the perverse law in some Illinois cities that prohibit the sale or transportation of Airsoft guns but allow the removal of the orange tips.
- replica airsoft image by MelenaVerde from Fotolia.com