View Full Version : Airsoft question

11-17-2007, 8:06 PM
From my understanding, all current production Airsoft guns need to have an orange muzzle to show that they are not real guns. Does this apply to older models that didn't come from the factory with an orange tip(assuming there are such models)? Kinda like a pre-ban Airsoft :) If those do exist(I don't know how long Airsoft has been around or when that law came into affect) would you have to add an orange tip to it?

Do all gun-shaped toys need this tip, too? Things like water pistols and dart guns(do they still make dart guns)? Same question about older toys, would they need to have orange tips applied to make them legal?

I probably have a couple of old dart and squirt guns from when I was a kid and I know they don't have stupid orange tips on them.

Oh yeah, what about air guns?

Sorry for asking so many questions about this.

11-17-2007, 9:54 PM
Simple answer: Orange tips are not required for private ownership to my understanding, but are required for many toy firearms in any commercial transaction.

Per CA law, you may not alter, brandish, possess in a public area [maybe], or do anything commercially with imitation firearms (which include any non-brightly colored imitation firearm without an orange tip).

What is an imitation firearm?

(c) "Imitation firearm" means any BB device, toy gun, replica of a
firearm, or other device that is so substantially similar in
coloration and overall appearance to an existing firearm as to lead a
reasonable person to perceive that the device is a firearm.

There are certain statutory 'this section doesn't apply to this ____' exemptions.

Some CA exemptions:

(c) As used in this section, "imitation firearm" does not include
any of the following:
(1) A nonfiring collector's replica that is historically
significant, and is offered for sale in conjunction with a wall
plaque or presentation case.
(2) A BB device, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 12001.
(3) A device where the entire exterior surface of the device is
white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright
blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the
predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern, as
provided by federal regulations governing imitation firearms, or
where the entire device is constructed of transparent or translucent
materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device's
complete contents, as provided by federal regulations governing
imitation firearms.

There may be a technical exemption based on language in the CA law allowing for ones in compliance with the federal law, which has limited exemptions for

This part applies to toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms (“devices”) having the appearance, shape, and/or configuration of a firearm and produced or manufactured and entered into commerce on or after May 5, 1989, including devices modelled on real firearms manufactured, designed, and produced since 1898. This part does not apply to:

(a) Non-firing collector replica antique firearms, which look authentic and may be a scale model but are not intended as toys modelled on real firearms designed, manufactured, and produced prior to 1898;

(b) Traditional B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of compressed air, compressed gas or mechanical spring action, or any combination thereof, as described in American Society for Testing and Materials standard F 589–85, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Non-Powder Guns, June 28, 1985. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from the American Society for Testing and Materials, 1916 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Copies may be inspected at the office of the Associate Director for Industry and Standards, National Institute for Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html ; and

(c) Decorative, ornamental, and miniature objects having the appearance, shape and/or configuration of a firearm, including those intended to be displayed on a desk or worn on bracelets, necklaces, key chains, and so on, provided that the objects measure no more than thirty-eight (38) millimeters in height by seventy (70) millimeters in length, the length measurement excluding any gun stock length measurement.

[57 FR 48453, Oct. 26, 1992, as amended at 69 FR 18803, Apr. 9, 2004]

See why the simple answer was first ;)

Some things to consider:

-Is it realistic looking so that reasonable person might mistake it for a firearm?
-Is it brightly colored/clear?

There is a dimensional exemption and one in PC 12001(g) as well.

For further reference:

USC Title 15 Ch. 76 Sec. 5001 & 5001.1

P.C. 12550-12556

P.C. 403-420.1

P.C. 12001 (g)


11-17-2007, 9:58 PM
It is understood in the Airsoft community that for shipping purposes it should have an orange tip otherwise Customs will stop it.

Outside of that Airsofters don't brandish their guns and only use them on designated fields, which is why most Airsofters remove the orange tip.

11-17-2007, 10:02 PM
Wow, yet another area of legal mumbo jumbo that makes things plain as mud. Thank you for your response and all the citations. I won't worry about any of my old toys if I were to come across them. I'm in a heavy duty clean up mode right now and I'm sure to find some in an old box.

11-20-2007, 12:40 PM
Wow, yet another area of legal mumbo jumbo that makes things plain as mud. Thank you for your response and all the citations. I won't worry about any of my old toys if I were to come across them. I'm in a heavy duty clean up mode right now and I'm sure to find some in an old box.

If you're afraid of the Airsoft Police coming to get you, then I'll be glad to take all of those off your hands, just for your own piece of mind. :D

11-20-2007, 1:23 PM
I don't mind the orange tip rules. With my neighbors always climbing on the fence and shooting my dog with them, just think if I couldn't identify them as toys? Someone points an Uzi or MP5 over your fence at you what are you going to do? Wait and see what comes out of the muzzle end?


God Bless The Mauser
11-20-2007, 2:48 PM
what if the police officer is color blind?:)

11-20-2007, 3:02 PM
what if the police officer is color blind?:)

Then he somehow miraculously passed all the Ishihara tests (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishihara_color_test). Departments don't like color blind candidates.