Indeed, airsoft guns are not as harmful as firearms. They have a velocity range of 400 to 700 fps, which means they can potentially injure the body but aren’t lethal.
However, as it is a gun nonetheless you cannot legally buy an airsoft gun before the age of 18. You might be thinking, so I cannot buy the gun unless I’m 18, but I can play with it if I’m under 18? It’s unclear for sure but generally how old would you need to be to play with airsoft? The answer depends on a lot of factors and this article explores those to answer the question.
How old do you have to be to own an airsoft gun?
As discussed above, there are different circumstances around owning and buying an airsoft gun. Owning an airsoft gun does not have to be after the age of 18. While there is no legal age to do that, there is still an airsoft age requirement. You need to be at least 12 years of age to be able to play with an airsoft rifle. Many experts believe that at 12 years of age a person starts assuming responsibility to follow the ways of elders.
Can a 12-year-old have an airsoft gun?
Anyone who is 12 years of age can play airsoft as they will be able to handle the gun. However, it is recommended to have adult supervision when they do play and most people advise buying a replica gun instead of a real gun for children. This way you won’t be breaking the law or be compromising on the child’s safety.
But there is a catch. The age restrictions differ across different states and countries so you must check those before you decide to allow your 12-year-old to play with airsoft guns. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not mention a safe age for this sport. Meanwhile, airsoft players and experts believe that above the age of 12 is the ideal age.
That brings us to our next question:
Can 13-year-old play airsoft?
Airsoft veterans think that at 13 years of age a child is well-equipped to be playing with an airsoft gun. They think that 13-year-olds understand the dangers that come with the gun. Most airsoft players fall into the age bracket of 15 – 25 years of age, and so learning at 13 would be useful. Although if you are playing for an organization, then they will have an age limit so it depends on their rules and regulations (discussed down below).
How old do you have to be to buy an airsoft gun?
In the section above we discussed how old do you have to be to play airsoft, but now we look at the age at which you have to be to own airsoft guns. This differs across countries and states, for instance, the legal age in the US is 18 while they are illegal to buy in Australia at any age. In Egypt, you require permission from the government, while in China the guns are completely banned. However, most countries have a legal age requirement of 18 years.
If you go play in an arena then you don’t need to buy an airsoft gun, you can simply rent them. Most airsoft arenas allow ages above 13 to play but this can vary according to local laws. However, if you wish to buy one then you most likely need to be 18 and above, for both in-store and online purchasing.
Airsoft guns come with their legalities, although you do not have to fill piles of documents before purchasing an airsoft gun as you have to before buying firearms. Let’s see some of the rules that can come in handy if you are buying an airsoft gun for your kid.
Rules about the Airsoft Gun Outside of the Field
- Consider your airsoft gun as if it’s a real gun (safely hide in the house).
- Treat the airsoft gun as a loaded gun.
- Enable the safety of the gun until you go out in the airsoft field and are about to fire it.
- Do not place the finger on the trigger if you are not ready to shoot the target.
- Know the laws that exist in your locality.
- We recommend to always keep the gun in its case once you leave the airsoft store.
Why 13 years is the best age to start playing Airsoft?
Since the game is pretty straightforward and does not require kids to think of strategies to play, 13 is considered to be a good age to play. Most people believe 13 is a good age because the child has entered his/her teenage years and has begun to take on responsibilities. Here is a list of reasons why 13 might be a good age for a child to start playing with airsoft guns.
- They are mentally mature enough to understand that even though it is not a real gun, it can still be harmful and dangerous.
- With protective gear and adult supervision, there is not much that can go wrong.
- A child at 13 is old enough to understand the rules that he has to follow when they play with an airsoft gun.
While it is true most 13-year-olds have mental maturity, but this does not apply to all 13-year-olds. You have to be able to assess your child’s mental maturity before you consider letting them play with airsoft guns.
Can a kid play airsoft? (The Laws for Airsoft for Kids)
In many states, it is illegal to play airsoft on private property and you can only engage in the activity in public areas. This is especially true for airsoft wars. They should not be played on private property, but instead in open fields, parks, or designated areas. Legal restrictions aside, all airsoft fields have their own rules for kids.
To answer the question, yes kids are allowed to play airsoft. But the age requirements differ in different states and countries, so the answer depends on that.
Useful airsoft rules for kids
Once you have decided that your child can play airsoft, you should convey the following rules to him or her:
- Eye Protection is critical, the pellets of the gun can damage the eye. So your kid should never play without safety goggles and face masks.
- The mouth and nose should also be protected, mesh masks are usually a good investment.
- They should not play in half sleeves, full sleeves clothing is a must.
- The kid with airsoft should not be standing less than 15 feet from anyone. Your kid should know they are to yell “bang-bang” if someone is less than 15 feet apart.
- Never look inside the barrel.
Playing with airsoft guns is quite a popular sport now and while it may be banned in some countries, with the proper gear and by following the rules and regulations it can be quite a good bonding experience with your child. Knowing the laws of your locality is a must before investing in an airsoft gun
It can be a good form of physical activity, mental and social development for kids. Nevertheless, if your child is less than 18 years of age, you should not take it lightly. Now it is up to you if you want this for your child.