Prop Store

UK Law - buying a replica/screen used gun

Discussion in 'Production Made Costumes and Props' started by Cave_Troll, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Cave_Troll

    Cave_Troll Active Member

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    I was wondering if anyone knows the law in terms of buying a screen used replica gun? Propstore have loads of nice screen used weapons but their sites states that the Crime Reduction Act prevents them from selling many of the items unless you are a member of NARES (a re-enactment society) or a couple of other possibilities, none of which apply to me. I simply want to put it on the wall but any clarification of the law would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. VaultUK

    VaultUK Well-Known Member

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    If it looks like a real gun then you can't buy in uk.

    What gun are you interested on there I wanted to get the Harvey dent from TDK but moved on to blade
     
  3. Eagle

    Eagle Sr Member

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    The acid test is: 'if it appears to be a real firearm at first glance (whether it's a replica of a real or fictional firearm) then you must have a defence under the VCRA to purchase it*. Even someone with a Section 5 firearms licence can't buy a realistic imitation firearm made of resin. Search here or Google for 'VCRA'.

    *Actually, not quite. The seller should check whether you have a defence or not - it is not an offence (if you're over 18) to buy or attempt to buy a RIF without a defence.
     
  4. NuRF

    NuRF Well-Known Member

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    It's a difficult area full of complicated definitions. First you have to establish if it's an immitation firearm, or a realistic immitation firearm. Then, is it being imported into the UK or is it already here. The easiest way to look at it is...does it look like a real gun? If yes, then it's REALLY difficult to circumvent the requirements. as an example, I brought a replica Walther P99 on eBay for a James Bond display at home. I COULD buy it because it was BRIGHT BLUE and already in the UK. The problem though with that is if you then re-spray it, you then make it realistic and you commit a seperate offence. If its just to display, you might want to look at airsoft replicas. You can be 'gifted' a realistic one by a member of a club, without having to join.
     
  5. Dpp1978

    Dpp1978 Well-Known Member

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    The strangest part is it is still perfectly legal to buy real deactivated firearms without any sort of licence, including many which would be illegal to own in the US.

    It makes a bit of a mockery of the whole system.
     
  6. Cave_Troll

    Cave_Troll Active Member

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    Thanks for the info. I didn't have anything in particular in mind but they have loads of great stuff. It is quite interesting as I didn't have a clue so went to the local police station. They didn't know the intricacies of the law so they referred me to the firearms expert for the whole county. I gave him a call and asked him his interpretation of the law and how he enforces it. He said that you can buy any replica as long as it is kept in the home. It becomes an offence when you walk down the street waving it around in the air. I completely understand the logic about how a replica can, in a split second, be mistaken for a real fire-ar but the logic of keeping it in your home and not in a public place also seemed true, especially given that it was from the legal fire-arms expert in the county.
     
  7. Eagle

    Eagle Sr Member

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    'Expert'? Clearly, he doesn't know anything. That was terrible advice. :thumbsdown
     
  8. Cave_Troll

    Cave_Troll Active Member

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    The thing is he is a serving police officer, specialising in fire-arms. He enforces the law on a daily basis so I'm not sure whose opinion to believe. I asked him if the county had a legal expert and he said that any legal queries would be referred to him. Are there any precedents?
     
  9. Eagle

    Eagle Sr Member

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    Well, I can categorically state that his advice is [dangerously] wrong. You can't just buy a replica 'as long as you keep it at home'; the law is quite clear in that respect. I've been in and around the VCRA relating to RIFs since 2007 so I'm betting I could run rings around him by the sound of it.

    Re precident, there have been no prosecutions to date but it's only a matter of time!
     
  10. Cave_Troll

    Cave_Troll Active Member

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    Thanks again for the info. If I wanted to purchase something from Propstore, such as one of the Blade guns that wasn't even a modified gun but just something created to resemble a gun for the film, what processes would I need to go through?
     
  11. LDR

    LDR Sr Member

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    If it looks like a real gun then you'd have to be a member of a Re-enactment group.
    Prop store will not sell you replica guns without proof that you are in a group.

    If it doesnt look like a real gun, then prop store will sell it to you no problems.

    I think any guns they can sell (without having to be in a group) will not have the info about being illegal etc. They were selling pulse rifles not so long ago, and those were fine.
     
  12. Eagle

    Eagle Sr Member

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    And yet Airsoft shops in the UK require a defence for a Pulse Rifle.... what a dumb law it is.
     
  13. LDR

    LDR Sr Member

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    yep...mad.

    You can't buy a replica gun that looks like a real gun, but you can buy a real gun that looks like a real gun if its de-activated.

    Must be to do with all those old MPs who collect de-activated guns!
     
  14. abaddon1974

    abaddon1974 Active Member

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    Or perhaps the law was introduced because of kids running around with cheap plastic guns taking up Police time and holding up shops with them.

    I can't see many people with deactivated vickers machine guns taking their £2000 gun out to cause problems.

    I find the membership of NARES strange though, the organisation isn't held very highly in the re-enactment world.
     
  15. lurtz001

    lurtz001 Active Member

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    Dax, as you've stated the advice that you have been given , is the officers' interpretation of the law.
    If you want to settle your mind, then my advice would be to contact your local Crown Prosecution Service office in writing, or alternatively, contact the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC. At the end of the day, it is the CPS who would be responsible for the prosecution.
    The confusion in this matter is that there is very recent legislation which governs the purchase of these replica prop firearms , and then you have the legislation governing the actual physical possession of the props. Both are separate entities.
    At least if you raise it with the CPS or the DPP, then you will recieve a solid response in WRITING .
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  16. Cave_Troll

    Cave_Troll Active Member

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    Thanks for that. I thought of getting something in writing but didn't think of contacting CPS. Cheers for the advice.
     
  17. lurtz001

    lurtz001 Active Member

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    No problem at all. Would you mind letting me know how you get on :thumbsup
     
  18. Scapey

    Scapey Sr Member

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    It's pretty simple.
    If it could be mistaken for a genuine firearm by a reasonable member of the public, then it's illegal to sell it to someone who is not over 18 and a member of a legitimate, insured, Airsoft skirmish site, re-enactment society or theatre/production company.
    It's also illegal to import, or manufacture such an item by either assembling parts, or spraying a 2-tone/clear I.F. in realistic colours.


     
  19. Scapey

    Scapey Sr Member

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    [Dupe post]
     
  20. Eagle

    Eagle Sr Member

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    Simples! :D
     
  21. Alric

    Alric Well-Known Member

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    Time we had an RPF costume group so we can all buy any guns we want :)
     
  22. Cave_Troll

    Cave_Troll Active Member

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    Thanks for that. My confusion can be highlighted by these items below. I can buy this:

    Lara Crofts (Angelina Jolie) Stunt P11 Gadget Gun

    but not this:

    Blade (Wesley Snipes) Stunt Pistol

    Does one look any more/less realistic than the other?
     
  23. abaddon1974

    abaddon1974 Active Member

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    I would not sell either to anyone without checking their credentials.
    I am still not sure where the NARES thing comes from though, that is nothing to do with UK law at all.

    NARES tried to corner the UK re-enactment firearms market a few years ago, failed because they are unneccessary and now have a handful of re-enactment groups and one James Bond group as their members.

    Without reading the act I seem to recall that a re-enactment group is defined as such by having insurance.

    But by having the NARES stipulation even if you are in a proper registered and insured group you could not buy the props.

    Strange.
     
  24. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I love how laws have stupid names that sometimes have no relation to what they actually do. I mean, how "violent" can the crime be if you use a plastic or rubber firearm reproduction?
     
  25. Eagle

    Eagle Sr Member

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  26. Eagle

    Eagle Sr Member

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    The VCRA had wider-reaching implications that just replica guns. The prop and airsoft market just got caught up in it.
     
  27. Scapey

    Scapey Sr Member

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    The law is absurd.

    And no, neither of those guns could be sold to someone without a "specific defense". as it's called. And yes, it's stupidly ironic that if either were a de-activated REAL gun... You COULD buy them simply by being over 18.


    It's NOT a licence - It's the same as boxing. TECHNICALLY, you're comitting assault when you box, but you won't be charged with it because there's a specific defense in place to allow that level of assault under those controlled conditions.

    TECHNICALLY, you may mot manufacture a RIF, but if you can prove that you're a legitimate skirmisher/re-enactor then you won't be charged either.
     
  28. Eagle

    Eagle Sr Member

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    Absolutely. :)

    You can still be charged and taken to court as it's still illegal to manufacture even if you're a skirmisher/re-enactor etc etc. The 'defence' gives you just that; a defence which you can use in a court of law if charged. In reality, the Police or CPS should realise you'd get off with the charge and so wouldn't waste time sending you to court.

    :)
     
  29. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So if I'm a firearm manufacturer, instead of scrapping defects I should deactivate it and sell it regular or higher price for display purposes?
     
  30. Scapey

    Scapey Sr Member

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    Pretty much, yeah!
     
  31. abaddon1974

    abaddon1974 Active Member

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    It depends what the firearm is of course, a lot with defects would be scrap value if de-activated, but some historic guns are worth more de-activated than live firing.
    Of course guns covered as section 5 prohibited weapons are not usually available live and most people will never own a live one at all so you can only really obtain them de-activated.

    Craig
     
  32. Atlanthia

    Atlanthia Sr Member

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    @ Scapey:

    So if, after reading ALL of this (I have to say) fascinating thread, if I go out into my shed and make a screen accurate E11 Stormtrooper Blaster and spray it all up black etc. or a bang on copy of Ripley's flame thrower machine gun from Aliens, purely for display in my home in a locked cabinet, I am liable to be prosecuted? Have I fully understood what the ridiculous state of the law is in the U.K. at present, or am I a thicky that has totally missed the point here? :lol
     
  33. terminator68

    terminator68 Active Member

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    After reading all the comments on this topic, i cant understand how i was able to import from the US, a fully painted solid resin colt 1911. Which i checed with customs house and the fire arms licenseing, both told me the same thing. I was able to import because it was made off solid resin and didn't have any moving parts.
     
  34. Bobtherocker

    Bobtherocker Well-Known Member

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    The trouble is, nobody is really sure how to enforce this silly act.
    It's a lottery with the customs guys. Evidently, judging from a previous post about a so called police expert saying it's okay to own a replica as long as it stays at home the police aren't too sure either.

    At a UKGarrison event a few years ago one of my stormtrooper buddies had a resin MG-34 and along came a pair of armed policemen who took an interest in it.
    All they wanted to do was hold it and get a photo. The funny thing is one of them handed over his real firearm to the stormtrooper to hold while the photo was taken.

    I'm pretty sure the act is there purely for the numpties that hold up banks with plastic toy guns and the collectors will be left alone.
     
  35. Canobi

    Canobi Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I was thinking the same thing as I was reading through this thread, counte me in :thumbsup
     
  36. Atlanthia

    Atlanthia Sr Member

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    I'm on board.....:)
     
  37. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sounds like a law here in Florida: You get a minimum sentence of ten years if you have a firearm while you are committing a crime. Twenty if you shoot it.
     
  38. Eagle

    Eagle Sr Member

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    It's actually a poorly thought out law as far as guns are concerned - a lot of airsoft replicas these days cost twice / three times the price of an under the counter real shooter or even a deac so why would Mr Crim even bother?
     
  39. Scapey

    Scapey Sr Member

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    By the letter of the law - You are correct. You've just commited a criminal act by manufacturing a Realistic Imitation Firearm.

    Bobtherocker - Were you there for this incident?
     
  40. ReproMan

    ReproMan Well-Known Member

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    heres another vote for a uk rpf re enactment society. would help everyone in uk but logistics would be a nightmare me thinks
     
  41. tango

    tango New Member

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    Thats bloody crazy!
     
  42. Eagle

    Eagle Sr Member

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    Crazy but true. What's worse is we can't even defend ourselves in our own home. We have to let our attackers bludgeon us to death first before we can even retaliate with a wet tea towel. Even then we'd be on a serious 'assault with intent to cause grevious bodily harm' charge - and the home invader would win in court.
     
  43. Nobby

    Nobby Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The above statement is not quite accurate.


    See also this article about a recent home invasion:

    Express.co.uk - Home of the Daily and Sunday Express | Columnists :: The right to defend your home and family

    It doesn't just extend to defending your (or others') life. Defence of property can be justified, too:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...rights-victims-protecting-homes-burglars.html

    The only key phrase to consider is "reasonable force", which we can all perceive differently.
     
  44. ZellCendo

    ZellCendo New Member

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    Hey Guys im trying to Purchase an M1 Garand Springfield Rifle, cant find any in the UK, all pretty realistic looking and only place i can find them.eithet being, Deactivated, Replica (wood and metal) or Resin cast Pieces it seems nobody will ship to the UK, due to UK posting laws now is there anyway i could get this piece Shipped in without Hassle after reading previous post im pressuming the only way is to make it a super bright crazy colour before shipping think this would work, say getting the seller to spray the whole rifle barrel orange or bright green??

    Thoughts please people
     
  45. Scapey

    Scapey Sr Member

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    What do you plan to do with it once you get it, if it is 51% brightly coloured?
     
  46. ZellCendo

    ZellCendo New Member

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    Well sadly do what they dont want me to do and either strip the paint or repaint whatever seems easier.

    I just cannot find a Single seller in the UK been looking for MONTHS!!! And can only find international which wont post because itll most likely be returned.

    Its to go as Part of a Costume ive got together, and the Rifle is the Final Piece of the Puzzle literally the only things i need, Costume has been Ready since March Last Year but i wont wear it without the Rifle, its too incomplete.

    But i have already purchased a Rifle Bag so i can Carry it round no problems its not on show so I can transport to the Convention Floor then home no issues, a Resin cast model would me find if i had to settle for it as some cons dont alloe wood or metal props on the floor but would rather have closer to the real thing.. none the less cannot find Either of the 2 Available in the UK.
     
  47. Birdie

    Birdie Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    http://www.medieval-shop.co.uk/rifl...tates-1932.html?search_query=garand&results=3

    I spoke to these guys a few weeks ago about buying a Denix Mare's Leg, and they were quite happy to ship it to me, despite falling outside the VCRA cutoff for antique weapons. The lady I spoke didn't seem to know the UK even has replica firearms restrictions.

    Now, I've no clue if this would get through customs, but I think they would ship it to you if you were prepared to take the risk.

    3 deacs here:http://www.milweb.net/classifieds.php?search_term=garand&type=&x=6&y=3

    And another: https://www.chelmsfordmilitaria.com/index.php?ix=136&iw=6&iz=0&e_cat=1&s_e_cat=&pv=1158

    You're not looking hard enough :lol

    Edit: A few mods and a decent paintjob? https://bbguns4less.co.uk/products/Dboys-BY101A-WWII-Replica-Shell-Ejecting-Sniper-Rifle.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  48. ZellCendo

    ZellCendo New Member

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    Tbh having acrually been looking for a Deac because There minimum £500 and atm only have about £250 to hand for the weapon,

    Also the BB 1 could work as a cheaper model but really want the qood finish the metal i can let off but need the woodstock.

    I have recently found someone selling Denix replicas which are quite cheap but unleas i work in a museum, gallery, work in theatre or film, drive military vehicles, am a crown servant or member of a reenactment group which ivnot had any luck finding in manchester yet then they wont send it but i have to have signed document from my superior from any of the above to prove im elligble a d donr fancy forging the letter HAHA
     
  49. RogueTrooper

    RogueTrooper Well-Known Member

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    So you can buy realistic looking firing weapons in the UK (airsoft) but you can't buy a resin replica blaster??:confused

    You UK peeps are lucky if you can buy airsoft...the gun laws here in OZ are very strict...no airsoft, no real guns. You can buy real weapons, but you have to join a gun club, take a course, have the correct storage etc....
     
  50. Birdie

    Birdie Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The laws here are weird and randomly enforced :wacko

    Theoretically you can't import or buy what they cal a RIF (realistic imitation firearm). That means if it is based on any realworld gun made post 1870, you can only buy it if a certain percentage is painted a bright colour, hence the two-tone and transparent airsoft guns that are all over UK airsoft shops. If you play airsoft regularly, you get an exception code which allows you to buy any airsoft.

    Theoretically, if it isn't based on a real-world weapon it's okay. But what about Solo Blasters, Pulse Rifles, and any other props that incorporate real guns? Grey area, dependent on the customs guy who opens your package. These guys are not going on comprehensive courses that allow them to recognise any real-world firearms, so the only truly safe method is the paint-it-green thing.

    Generally speaking, you are fairly safe sending anything internally, since Royal Mail would only x-ray something if it was suspect. Try and export, it's a different story. I sold a RIF to a US member a few years ago, at the UK international terminal, it just disappeared off the tracking. No explanation. I had to wait a month for it to be declared lost, then fill in a form.

    Several weeks later I was informed by RM that it had been put on a boat, since it was not allowed on a plane. Around 2 months later it finally arrived with the buyer, in a battered and broken condition.

    As a result of this and a few other horror stories on here, I am now extremely reluctant to sell any weapon props outside of the UK unless they are in parts.

    The VCRA gives the final middle finger to us by allowing ANY real gun to be sold to anyone so long as it is deactivated. So, theoretically, I can buy a real Desert Eagle, but be prosecuted for a buying or selling a resin Mauser or Mal Pistol.

    The other exception for RIFs is theatrical use, museum use or re-enactors.

    Zellcendo, it may be worth contacting the company in the first link I posted to the Denix and ask them if they would paint the metal parts Orange, or whatever for an extra fee, or if they could dissemble it and send the parts.

    I would suggested playing a few games of airsoft and joining UKARA so you could legitimately buy the ICS M1, but at that price you might as well hold out for a deac.
     

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