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UKARA - What is UKARA?

UKARA, or the United Kingdom Airsoft Retailers Association, is a database of all registered Airsoft players throughout the UK that retailers such as BZ use to check if an individual is eligible to purchase Replica Imitation Firearms (RIF). UKARA was formed in 2006 as a response to the ‘Violent Crime Reduction’ Act (VCRA) (click here for more info), which states that to replica firearms may only be purchased by individuals with a valid defence.

A UKARA Registration or relevant Airsoft Defence is required for purchasing any of our Replica Airsoft guns. UKARA is not required for purchase of non-replica or two-tone, non-military colour guns.

If you require a UKARA registration number, you must visit an Airsoft Skirmish Site three or more times every eight weeks, at which point the site can stamp your paperwork which must be handed into a Retailer to be entered onto the database.

If you're not interested in Skirmish and wish to purchase a replica for other uses, there are alternative defences for purchasing a replica gun that we accept:


Why is a UKARA Number/Airsoft Defence Required?

The sale of replica weapons is restricted here in the UK as a precautionary measure to prevent them from being misused for illegal or harmful purposes. By requiring a UKARA number or alternative valid reason for purchase, we can massively reduce the risk of problematic activity in and outside of the Airsoft community.

If you're not interested in Skirmish and wish to purchase a replica for other uses, there are alternative defences for purchasing a replica gun that we accept on a case-by-case basis:

  • Member of a Recognised Airsoft Club/Society
  • Member of a Film/TV Production Team that Intends Requires a Replica Gun for Their Production
  • Civil Service Use
  • Member of an Established Reenactment Society.
  • Curator of a Relevant Museum

If you don't have a UKARA number but believe you have a valid defence as outlined above and you wish to purchase a replica gun from BZ Tactical, please contact our team beforehand to discuss your reason.



Do You Require Photo ID for Gun Purchases?

Yes. This is not negotiable. A valid photo ID must include both a picture of you and your current address, e.g. a Drivers Licence or Passport.


Can I Still Purchase an Airsoft Gun Withought a UKARA/Defence?

You are legally able to purchase two-toned Airsoft guns if you are at least 18 years old. Photo ID will be required with any gun purchase.


How Do You Decide What Guns Require a UKARA?

To ensure public safety and to protect the reputation of Airsoft as both a sport and a community, we impose strict guidelines for all of the firearms that we have for sale. That means that if there is any chance of an Airsoft gun being mistaken for the genuine article, we will require a UKARA. This is not something that can be negotiated: we reserve the right to decline any purchase if our guidelines aren't met.


I'm Buying From Outside the UK: Do I Need a UKARA?

Current law states that UKARA numbers (and alternative defences) are only required for purchases within the UK. That being said, laws on the sale of Airsoft guns are different throughout the world so before making a purchase outside of the UK, please contact BZ to check if delivery to your country is achievable.


Can I Be Arrested/ Prosecuted Even With a Valid Defence?

Yes. What you do with your gun once you have purchased it is down to you, and as such you are responsible for your own actions.

Airsoft Guns should never be used with the intent of harming or intimidating members of the public. Carrying a realistic replica weapon in public is considered a Firearms Offence with a minimum of five years jail sentence or if you do not intend to harm or intimidate - never assume that others will be aware that the weapon you are carrying is non-lethal. 

Airsoft guns should only leave your home when travelling to a game site or to a store/repair centre such as BZ's. Please ensure your gun is kept safe inside a case in the boot of your car whenever you are travelling.

If you are ever stopped by police that discover a realistic-looking, replica weapon in your boot, never assume they are aware of what Airsoft is. Calmly explain the nature of the sport, why it is inside your car and present proof of a valid Airsoft defence (UKARA, site membership, etc) to the officers. 


Is a Firearms Certificate a Valid Defence for Airsoft Guns?

As the Firearms Act is different to the VCRA Act with different criterias, we are bound by law & unable to accept a Firearms Certificate for purchase of Airsoft Guns.


Do I Need a UKARA as a Member of the Police/Armed Forces?

For individual use, you are bound by the same laws as everybody else in the UK.

Replica guns can be purchased for training purposes on behalf of your unit as long as we receive valid proof, such as an email from a Superior. Any packages for training purposes cannot be sent to a residential address and must be delivered to the grounds which training will be taking place.


How Do I Prove I'm a Member of a Reenactment Society?

  • A scanned copy of your Membership Card next to a Photo ID (Such as driving License)

  • Your Society Must have a Website with your name listed on it, or a Contactable Representative


What Proof Do I Need as a Member of a Production Crew?

  • A copy of the Company’s Insurance Documents which state it is covered as a production company.

  • The items must be delivered to the relevant studio or an associated address


How Do I Purchase a Gun as Museum Curator?

  • A copy of the Museums insurance documents

  • The package must be delivered to the museum or associated building