Are you a parent or guardian and do your kids have an interest in playing airsoft? Then at some point or the other, you must have thought about what the ideal age would be for them to get on the field and start playing.
Due to the uncanny resemblance between airsoft guns and actual firearms, there have been various laws and regulations that have been put in place to ensure safety and to distinguish these two from each other.
Popular amongst these laws is the age restriction laws placed by countries to regulate those who can purchase and use airsoft guns, then the law that enforces the use of orange plastic tips for airsoft guns to easily distinguish it from an actual firearm.
The ideal age to start playing airsoft is 15 to 16 years of age. Kids ages 10 to 12 may be permitted to play in some states provided they have proper supervision because it is believed that they may not have the maturity to play the game yet. Each state and province in the US and Canada have different rules which are summarized in this article.
The United States and Canada both adopt the same laws as regards airsoft guns having an orange 6mm tip on the muzzle of the gun. They also adopt the same laws when it comes to the required age for the purchase of airsoft guns.
No federal law explicitly states that airsoft guns need to be equipped with orange tips after purchase. However, the orange tips must be present upon importation and as when sold by the retailer. Although, there are some states and provinces that have laws that require airsoft guns to always have the orange tips attached to make it easy to distinguish.
Various countries have different laws about airsoft guns and some countries have banned the use of these guns. Examples of countries that have prohibited the use of airsoft guns include Singapore, North Korea, Australia, and Honduras.
It is quite understandable why these countries banned the use of airsoft guns because there have been various misinterpreted cases of the police shooting youths in possession of airsoft guns thinking they were carrying a real firearm. In the year 2015, the Center for Disease Control in the United States recorded an increase in medical incidents that were caused by airsoft guns.
Airsoft is a beautiful game, but without these rules, various issues may arise which could cause harm to the player.
We will be looking at the laws and regulations surrounding the age at which people can play and purchase airsoft in the United States and Canada.
Each state has slightly different laws related to the use of airsoft guns for adults and minors, therefore I will provide details for each state in alphabetical order. Read them all, if you wish, or scroll down to the state that's appropriate for you!
In the state of Alabama, airsoft guns are not considered as firearms and they can be purchased only by people over the age of 18.
However, this age restriction does not mean that people under 18 cannot play, provided they have permission from a parent or guardian.
In Alaska, state laws do not treat airsoft guns the same way they treat actual firearms. Therefore, no state law puts a restriction on where airsoft can be shot and the age of purchase.
The only regulated area are the state parks and shooting can only be carried here, in areas where hunting is allowed.
However, in Anchorage (a Municipal in Alaska), airsoft guns are treated the same firearms. Thereby prohibiting its use in the whole Municipal area except for places that are meant for hunting and shooting ranges.
Here, age will be a major factor to play airsoft
There are two aspects to the criminal code laws in Arizona when it comes to the use of firearms. One talks about possession/use of firearms and this aspect defines states that firearms are discharged using an explosive.
It is quite arguable that airsoft guns do not fall under this category since they discharged using either gas, spring, or electric motor.
The second aspect talks about firearms being used in criminal offenses. This aspect states that firearms are discharged using expanding gases and not explosives. Here, airsoft guns would qualify as firearms and would mean that its use is prohibited.
Overall, the argument for the use of airsoft guns in Arizona could be a dicey one, so it is advisable to avoid it.
However, in Phoenix, the law permits the use of airsoft guns on shooting ranges operated by qualified personnel. It also permits the use of airsoft guns on private properties provided that the area is enclosed to prevent the projectiles from getting out.
The area must also be designated as a hunting area by the state and there must always be adult supervision.
The sale of airsoft guns is banned in Arkansas. According to the laws and regulations, airsoft guns fall under the category of ‘imitation firearms’ and the sale of any kind of imitation firearm is prohibited.
This often begs the question that, since the law only talks about the sale of airsoft guns being prohibited, what then is the law surrounding possession or use of airsoft guns?
In California, airsoft guns are considered firearms but can be used only by those over the age of 18 and must be used in controlled environments. Minors can use airsoft guns but provided they are supervised by an adult. Selling airsoft guns to minors is illegal.
In California, airsoft guns are required to have a 6mm orange tip and a fluorescent covering on the handguard and the trigger. Using an airsoft gun without these features is illegal
The use of airsoft guns in Colorado is legal. However, you must be 18 or older to buy it from the store.
Minors who want to make use of airsoft guns need to have adult supervision before doing so.
However, in Boulder county, the use of airsoft guns is prohibited and an infringement on this law could attract a $300 fine.
Airsoft guns can only be purchased in Connecticut if you are above the age of 18. Minors can make use of these guns only with adult permission.
Although, no state law clearly states the age at which airsoft guns can be sold. However, airsoft gun stores usually have their policies which do not allow sales to a minor.
It is also strongly advised to have an orange tip at the muzzle of your gun, so it is not mistaken for a real firearm.
Airsoft guns are legal in Delaware and can be purchased by only those above the age of 18. Those who are younger than 16 years of age need to have adult supervision to operate airsoft guns.
However, Delaware prohibits the use of dangerous weapons and some high-powered airsoft guns do fall into this category.
Therefore, it is crucial to stay cautious when using these guns. It is also important to include the orange tip at the muzzle to avoid any misunderstanding.
Airsoft guns in Florida are legal but the law prevents minors under the age of 16 to purchase or use them without supervision from an adult.
The law states that any minor caught using an airsoft gun without the supervision of their parents or guardian would be punishable by law.
For first time offenders, the law subjects the minor to 3 days in kids jail and 100 hours of community service. The law would also delay their driver’s license by a year.
For recurring offenders, the minor gets 15 days in kids’ jail, 250 hours of community service, and a 2-year delay before getting their driver’s license.
The parents or guardians are also punishable by the law and are subject to mandatory classes for first-time offenders, then community service for recurring offenders.
There are no state laws or rules that ban the use of airsoft guns in Georgia. Airsoft guns are not regarded as firearms in the state of Georgia.
However, the law prevents the use of these guns in historic sites, state parks, or any recreational area without appropriate approval.
Although, the federal states that airsoft rifles can only be purchased by someone over the age of 18, the state laws in Georgia permits its usage by all ages.
In Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, the use of airsoft guns is prohibited.
In Hawaii, you must be older than 18 to buy an airsoft gun. Airsoft guns can only be shot in specifically approved places with the proper protection to prevent the pellets from living the environment.
Minors can shoot airsoft guns provided they are being supervised by an adult. There are a lot of restrictions and laws concerning the age of use and location at which airsoft guns can be shot.
Therefore, it is vital to know what laws apply to your region.
It is legal to shoot airsoft guns in Idaho. However, restrictions may vary according to counties and municipalities. According to the laws in Idaho, airsoft guns do not fall under the definition of firearms and are therefore legal for use.
Airsoft guns in Idaho may be purchased by someone older than the age of 18 or by a minor accompanied by an adult.
Minors may use airsoft guns provided they have permission from their parent or guardian and the shooting is done in authorized areas.
In Coeur d’Alene -a city in Idaho- airsoft guns are firearms according to the law and are prohibited.
It is legal to use airsoft guns in Illinois and the guns can be sold to anyone above the age of 13.
Those below the age of 13 may shoot airsoft guns but with limited access and it must be done on a target range or private property.
Air guns below 700 FPS are not regarded as firearms in Idaho.
It is legal to use airsoft guns in Indiana. No state regulations exist on the use of airsoft guns but federal laws state that an individual must be 18 years old or older to buy an airsoft gun.
Though, the federal law does not state that the shooter must be 18 or older to use.
Therefore, minors of any age may use airsoft guns in Indiana provided they have adult supervision.
Airsoft is legal in Iowa and there isn’t any age restriction for purchase or use. However, local laws and retail regulations may affect this.
In Iowa, they operate a preemption law on firearms (meaning that the law of the state will outweigh the law of local authorities on conflicting matters).
However, since the definition of firearms under the regulations does not include airsoft guns, local authorities and retailers have the power to enact their laws and rules on the purchase and use of airsoft guns.
In Des Moines, only those older than 18 years can purchase an airsoft gun. Minors are only permitted to use airsoft guns when supervised by an adult and when shot in specific approved areas.
Airsoft guns are legal to use in Kansas state and the legal age for purchase is 18. When it comes to the required age for ownership or use, there are no laws that regulate it.
Therefore, an adult can buy it and gift it to a minor and it would still be legal.
There are no laws as regards age for purchase or use of airsoft guns in Kentucky.
However, federal law states that the age of purchase is 18 years.
Since airsoft guns are not considered firearms, all ages are free to use it.
No state laws are regulating the buying and use of airsoft guns. The federal laws on the age of purchase being 18 will then hold.
In New Orleans, local law clearly states that those under the age of 18 are not allowed to purchase airsoft guns.
There are no laws concerning the age of use and purchase of airsoft guns in Maine. Airsoft guns are not treated as actual firearms, so they are legal regardless of the age of the shooter.
A local retailer might have regulations on how old you need to be before purchasing an airsoft gun. However, once purchased by an adult, minors can use it.
Airsoft guns are not considered to be firearms under the laws in Maryland. However, there is an age restriction (18 years or older) when buying airsoft guns.
Different counties in Maryland have different laws on the required age for use of airsoft guns.
The laws in Maryland also require that airsoft guns must have an orange tip to help differentiate them from actual firearms.
In Massachusetts, minors are not allowed to purchase or have an airsoft gun except they are supervised by an adult or unless the minor has acquired a sporting or hunting permit.
Minors under the age of 18 must not be caught with possession of an airsoft gun in public without these requirements.
Although, these laws do not hold when shooting on private property. There is no need for a license if the gun is being shot on private property.
Up until 2015, you were breaking the law if you owned an airsoft gun. That is not the case now though. Airsoft guns are now legal in Michigan. However, the law prohibits the sale of airsoft guns to minors.
The law also prohibits transporting airsoft guns with metal pellets loaded. Breaking this law can lead to a 90-day jail sentence or a $100 fine.
Taking an airsoft gun onto school premises is also punishable by the law. breaking this law can lead to a 93-day jail sentence, 100 hours of community service, or a $2000 fine.
Airsoft is legal in Minnesota and the required age for purchase is 18. For minors, it is important to have parental supervision to use airsoft guns.
Emphasis should be placed on the word ‘supervision’ because a minor operating an airsoft gun with only the permission and not the supervision of a parent or guardian is still against the law.
Airsoft guns are not regarded as firearms under the laws of the state of Mississippi. Therefore, they are completely legal.
There are also no laws that enact age limitations to buy or use airsoft guns.
However, airsoft guns and any other type of firearm are prohibited from school premises.
Some retail stores may also have age restrictions for purchasing airsoft guns, but minors can shoot airsoft guns purchased by adults.
The Missouri state laws do not classify airsoft guns as firearms. Therefore, the use and purchase of airsoft guns are completely legal.
There are no state laws that dictate the required age for use and purchase, but the federal law requires that anyone purchasing an airsoft gun must be over the age of 18.
Airsoft guns are legal in Montana and can be purchased by only those above the age of 18.
Minors can use airsoft guns provided they have parental supervision.
Nebraska state law treats airsoft guns more as a toy than a firearm.
They are legal and no state law enacts restriction in terms of age for both purchasing and use.
Therefore, according to the state laws of Nebraska, airsoft guns can be purchased by anyone and can be shot by anyone.
Airsoft guns are legal in Nevada and can be used purchased by anybody that is 18 years old or older. Minors can shoot airsoft guns provided there is adult supervision.
Airsoft guns and any other type of pneumatic gun are prohibited from entering school premises.
Airsoft guns are legal in New Hampshire but selling to minors without the consent of a guardian or parent is against the law.
Airsoft guns can only be shot by minors in their homes or at an authorized target range under the supervision of an adult or a coach in gun safety.
Airsoft guns and firearms are treated the same way according to the laws of New Jersey. Therefore, owning an airsoft gun without proper documentation is an offense.
To own an airsoft gun in New Jersey, you must be 18 years or older and possess a firearms purchaser ID issued by the local police department.
Illegal custody of an airsoft gun is a 3rd-degree offense in New Jersey.
There are no state laws that prohibit the use or purchase of airsoft guns in New Mexico.
However, fairgrounds are off-limits. Using airsoft guns in a violent act is also subject to a sentence by the law.
In the state of New York, it is illegal for anyone below the age of 16 to be found with possession of an airsoft gun.
Minors between the ages of 12-16 may only use airsoft guns provided there is parental supervision.
It is illegal for those under the age of 12 to be found with possession of an airsoft gun even with parental consent.
There are no laws concerning the use and purchase of airsoft guns in North Carolina.
However, there are laws which concern the use of any dangerous firearms which includes airsoft guns and BB guns.
Under this law, it is illegal to permit a child below the age of 12 to own an airsoft gun. It is also unlawful to have an airsoft gun on school premises.
Airsoft guns are treated as deadly weapons in North Dakota and they can only be purchased by those above the age of 18.
Anyone below the age of 15 years will need parental supervision to use airsoft guns.
Shooting and possession of airsoft guns in North Dakota is legal.
Although, it is illegal to shoot airsoft guns in public gatherings like schools, bars, churches, and libraries.
Airsoft guns are legal in Ohio but may not be shot within the city. Airsoft guns cannot also be sold to individuals below the age of 18.
There are hardly any laws that regulate the use and possession of airsoft guns in Ohio, so most regulations are made at local levels at each municipal.
Only individuals above the age of 18 can purchase airsoft guns in the state of Oklahoma. Minors may use these guns provided they have parental supervision.
There are no rules as to where airsoft guns can be shot in Oklahoma. However, the town you live in may have some restrictions and laws prohibiting the shooting of guns in certain locations.
It is also illegal for ex-convicts or juvenile delinquents to be found with possession of an airsoft gun. Whether or not it is found in the person’s vehicle or home, it is still illegal.
Airsoft guns are legal in the state of Oregon but there are no state laws that regulate the possession and use of these guns. The state law only regulates the use of powder guns and not airsoft guns.
However, federal law states that individuals must be 18 years or older to buy an airsoft gun.
Even though there are no state laws that regulate use and possession, localities may have their own rules and regulations.
Airsoft guns are legal in Pennsylvania. However, they cannot be sold to those littler than 18 years of age.
A retailer is not allowed to sell an airsoft gun to an underaged. It is also illegal to lend an airsoft pistol or rifle to a minor without the consent and supervision of the parent or caretaker.
Minors may shoot guns bought for them by an adult.
However, the gun may only be used within their private residence or it may be used outdoors when said minor, has written permission allowing the shooting of airsoft guns under the supervision of a responsible adult.
Airsoft guns are legal in Rhode Island and can only be bought by those above the age of 18.
Minors can shoot airsoft guns provided they have proper supervision from an adult, airsoft operator, or other qualified adults older than the age of 21.
Airsoft guns may only be shot on private properties or in airsoft arenas.
No state regulations directly control the use of airsoft rifles and pistols.
The only laws about airsoft guns talk about it being used as an accessory in a criminal act and prohibiting its use in state parks.
Federal laws do apply though, prohibiting the sale of an airsoft gun to anyone below the age of 18.
South Dakota does not have any state laws governing the use and purchase of airsoft guns.
However, federal laws state that retailers may only sell to those above the age of 18. Airsoft guns are prohibited from being used in state parks.
Airsoft guns are legal in Tennessee. There are no state-specific rules that govern the age at which airsoft guns may be bought or used.
However, federal law states that airsoft guns may not be sold to anyone under the age of 18 and that these guns must always have an orange tip attached to the muzzle.
Airsoft guns are legal in Texas. Some laws regulate the place where airsoft guns can be shot but no law that talks about the required age of purchase or use. Federal laws apply in this situation.
State laws prohibit airsoft guns from being shot anywhere within city limits except at approved shooting ranges.
Utah has no state laws that govern the use or purchase of airsoft guns.
However, federal law states that airsoft guns may only be purchased by those above the age of 18 and that these guns must have an orange tip to help distinguish them from actual firearms.
Airsoft guns are not regarded as firearms in the state laws of Vermont. Therefore, the sale and use of airsoft guns are legal.
No specific state laws are governing the use of airsoft guns. There are no laws that dictate where they can be shot and there are no laws that specify the required age for purchase or use.
However, retailers may have the required age for purchase.
Airsoft guns are legal in Virginia. However, state law prevents the use of airsoft guns on school property. Students found with possession of an airsoft gun are liable to get expelled.
Local authorities have the power to prohibit the use of airsoft guns. Minors in localities that permit the use of airsoft guns will require supervision from an adult.
Airsoft guns are legal in Washington. They may only be bought by individuals above the age of 18. For minors to use airsoft guns, an adult must be present.
Minors may purchase airsoft guns but only if accompanied by a parent, guardian, or any responsible adult above the age of 21.
Airsoft guns are prohibited from being used on state parks, school premises, or any public space.
Airsoft guns are legal in West Virginia and individuals must be at least 18 years old to purchase airsoft guns.
Airsoft guns are legal in Wisconsin. There are no laws that directly regulate the use and purchase of airsoft guns within the state, but federal law states that you must be 18 years old or older to purchase an airsoft gun.
However, there is no age restriction for use. Therefore, a minor may shoot a gun bought by an adult.
Even though airsoft guns are not treated as actual firearms, it is illegal to be found with possession of an airsoft gun on school premises.
No state laws exist that ban the use of airsoft guns in Wyoming. Though, federal regulations state that one should be at least 18 years to buy one.
Since there are no laws as regards the age of use, minors may use airsoft guns legally but with the supervision of an adult.
Even though the use of airsoft guns is legal in some states, their localities may still prohibit their use. So, it is always vital to know what your town laws are about the use of airsoft guns.
Some parts of the United States that have prohibited the use of airsoft guns include San Francisco, Chicago, Arkansas, parts of Michigan, and the New York City Metro.
The common law in most states in the United States where airsoft is legal is that you need to be at least 18 years old to buy an airsoft gun. However, the age and requirements for use vary according to state.
Most states in the United States permit minors to shoot airsoft guns provided they are under the supervision of a guardian or parent.
In Canada, as in other countries, the laws related to adults and minors using and owning airsoft guns is different for each province. Here is a summary for each province and territory.
In Ontario, you need to be at least 18 years old to be allowed to purchase an airsoft gun.
Minors within the age range of 12-17 can fire airsoft only with the supervision of an adult.
Just like in Ontario, airsoft enthusiasts may only purchase a gun if they are older than the age of 18.
Minors within the age range of 12-17 can fire airsoft guns provided they are supervised by an adult.
In Alberta, only individuals that are older than 18, who also have a Firearms Possession & Acquisition License can purchase.
Those who are younger than 18 need the minor’s license by passing the Canadian firearms safety course.
You must be 18 or older to be permitted to buy airsoft guns in Saskatchewan.
Ages 12-17 can fire airsoft with the supervision of an adult.
Only those that are 18 years old or older are permitted to buy airsoft guns in Manitoba.
Minors within the age range of 12-17 may fire an airsoft gun only with the supervision of an adult.
Airsoft is forbidden in this part of Canada except approval has been received from the City and on a range
In New Brunswick, you need to be 18 years old or older to be allowed to purchase and/or fire airsoft.
In Quebec, only those that are 18 years old or older are allowed to buy airsoft guns.
Minors within the age range of 12-17 are allowed to fire airsoft guns only with the supervision of an adult.
Minors between the age of 12 and 17 may shoot airsoft guns provided they are supervised by an adult while purchase may only be made by those that are 18 years old or older.
Airsoft is also prohibited in this part of Canada.
Punishment for breaking the law can range anywhere from a suspended sentence, a fine or time in prison.
A suspended sentence is a punishment issued by the court which is not enforced unless a further offense is committed within a specific timeframe.
Airsoft laws in Canada are quite like those practiced in the United States. Federal law requires that an individual needs to be 18 years or older to be able to purchase an airsoft gun while minors that are older than 12 years would need supervision from a guardian or parent.
Kids below the age of 10 may not be mature enough to play airsoft. Therefore, it is not advisable for kids that are younger to handle an airsoft gun.
In the United States, there is not exactly any rule that sets a minimum age requirement to play airsoft, but localities and airsoft fields may have their own laid down rules regarding the appropriate age to play.
However, it is legal for a kid under 10 to play airsoft in the United States provided they have proper supervision from an adult.
However, in Canada, kids that are younger than 12 years are not allowed to play airsoft.
In the United States, it is legal for kids that are 10-12 years of age to play airsoft. Although, localities may have different rules that prohibit this from happening.
In Canada, kids within the age range of 10-12 are not allowed to play airsoft. However, 12 years may play the game provided they have proper supervision from an adult.
In both the United States and Canada, kids within the age range of 13-16 years can shoot airsoft guns, provided they have proper supervision from their parents or guardian.
Playing airsoft has a 13-16 year-old in the United States and Canada is legal, although some states and provinces may prohibit airsoft play for kids under 16.
Knowing the airsoft laws that apply to your state or province is very important because breaking these rules in some states or provinces may attract punishments that range from as little as a fine to as much as being sentenced to jail.
In some states in the United States, parents or guardians may also be liable to punishment for negligence if their child/ward breaks any of these rules. So, it is important to know the rules and pay quality attention to your kids if they are airsoft enthusiasts.
You may check the tables above to know the airsoft rules that apply to your state or province. Knowing and following the rules allow you to enjoy playing airsoft with no hassle.