Please note this information is only relevant for sales to people in the U.K:
From 01st October 2007 a new law was introduced in the U.K (VCR-Act) restricting sales of all types of replica guns (but not banning them or making them illegal).
You can purchase as per normal for film, theatre T.V, living history or if you are registered with a re-enactment group (other exemptions exist from the new law, please read on)
Purchases of replica guns for re-enactors and for film, theatrical performances, or rehearsals and for skirmishing are permitted and confirmed so by the Home Office.
Other exemptions also include for use in museum, galleries and for public displays.
Replicas that are at least 51% in a bright colour specified as either red, purple, blue, orange, pink and yellow are exempt from the new UK laws. Therefore, if you do not fall within the above categories then you can still purchase a replica but 51% of it will have to be painted in a bright colour as indicated above. (we offer a painting service to make 51% your replica a bright colour if you do not fall within the above categories - Please ask). The reason behind bright colour is because the replica goes from being a Realistic Imitation Firearm (RIF) to a imitation firearm (in bright colour) which is exempt from the VCRA laws. You have to be over 18yrs old to purchase/own. No replica would be sold to anyone under 18 years old.
If you are registered with an insured skirmishing group you are also exempt and can also purchase under the new laws. Proof of exemption has to be provided.
In order to purchase you will have to confirm you are registered with a re-enactment group or living history group / skirmishing group or the purchase is for film / theatre or re-enacting purposes. This could be done via your re-enactment/living history membership card, your UKARA registered, letter from film/TV company. If you cannot provide proof of your defence then 51% of the replica would have to be painted in a bright colour (as specified in the UK-VCRA) in order to make it a imitation firearm. We offer a painting service for people who do not have a defence.
Additional (extracts taken from the Home Office site and various other government sites):
Realistic Imitation Firearms Exemptions from the VCRA:
•the organisation and holding of permitted activities for which public liability insurance is held in relation to liabilities to third parties arising from or in connection with the organisation and holding of those activities;
•the purposes of display at a "permitted event", which means a commercial event at which realistic imitation firearms are offered for sale or displayed, this relates to certain exhibition events and arms
•the purposes of a museum or gallery;
•the purposes of theatrical performances or rehearsals;
•the production of films or television programmes;
•the organisation or holding of historical re-enactments;
•the purposes of functions that a person has in his capacity as a person in the service of Her Majesty
"museum or gallery" includes institutions which are open to the public and whose purpose includes the preservation, display and interpretation of material of historical, artistic or scientific interest. (B) And gives the public access to it.
Historical re-enactment is defined as "any presentation or other event held for the purpose of re-enacting an event from the past or of illustrating conduct from a particular time or period in the past". This is intended to include a range of re-enactment activities, including the display of military vehicles at shows and presentations to school children by war veterans.
"Imitation Firearms" are exempt from the VCRA.
What distinguishes an imitation from a realistic imitation firearm?
An ‘imitation firearm’ is regarded to be unrealistic if it is made of transparent material or
has a principal colour of:
• bright red
• bright orange
• bright yellow
• bright green
• bright pink
• bright purple
• bright blue
Note:‘Principal colour’ means that the bright colour has to be foremost regardless of how many colours the imitation has. So, for instance, if the imitation has two colours, the bright colour must cover at least 51% of the gun in order to conform to the regulations
like the images below :
The regulations also prescribe dimensions that distinguish between ‘imitation’ and ‘realistic imitation firearms’. Imitation firearms are not deemed to be realistic if they measure less than 38mm in height and 70mm in length (regardless of colour); they are simply imitations and may be sold freely to persons aged 18 or over..
Note: It is an offence to modify an imitation firearm so that it becomes a realistic imitation firearm, i.e. to remove the colouring or enhance its appearance in any way to resemble a real firearm.
The actual law can be found here : http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/38/part/2
Section : 36s
37Specific defences applying to the offence under s. 36E+W+S
(1)It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under section 36 in respect of any conduct to show that the conduct was for the purpose only of making the imitation firearm in question available for one or more of the purposes specified in subsection (2).
(2)Those purposes are—
(a)the purposes of a museum or gallery;
(b)the purposes of theatrical performances and of rehearsals for such performances;
(c)the production of films (within the meaning of Part 1 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48)_see section 5B of that Act);
(d)the production of television programmes (within the meaning of the Communications Act 2003 (c. 21)_see section 405(1) of that Act);
(e)the organisation and holding of historical re-enactments organised and held by persons specified or described for the purposes of this section by regulations made by the Secretary of State;
(f)the purposes of functions that a person has in his capacity as a person in the service of Her Majesty.
(3)It shall also be a defence for a person charged with an offence under section 36 in respect of conduct falling within subsection (1)(d) of that section to show that the conduct—
(a)was in the course of carrying on any trade or business; and
(b)was for the purpose of making the imitation firearm in question available to be modified in a way which would result in its ceasing to be a realistic imitation firearm.
(4)For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to have shown a matter specified in subsection (1) or (3) if—
(a)sufficient evidence of that matter is adduced to raise an issue with respect to it; and
(b)the contrary is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
(5)The power of the Secretary of State to make regulations under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
(6)That power includes power—
(a)to make different provision for different cases;
(b)to make provision subject to such exemptions and exceptions as the Secretary of State thinks fit; and
(c)to make such incidental, supplemental, consequential and transitional provision as he thinks fit.
(7)In this section—
“historical re-enactment” means any presentation or other event held for the purpose of re-enacting an event from the past or of illustrating conduct from a particular time or period in the past;
“museum or gallery” includes any institution which—
has as its purpose, or one of its purposes, the preservation, display and interpretation of material of historical, artistic or scientific interest; and
gives the public access to it.