Text and Photos: Simon "Tank" Jameson
Airsoft in Ireland became legal in 2006 when a change to the criminal justice act now classified anything with a muzzle velocity of less than 1 Joule as no longer being considered a firearm, in the beginning the sport existed in a grey area and was somewhat tedious at times but with the change to the law in 2009/10 Airsoft guns now became somewhat more Legitimate as being classed as Replica imitation firearms, while currently ownership and usage on airsoft sites is not restricted, public display and the muzzle velocity are.
Recently the new UFC world Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor was spotted posting some pictures and a video up on his social media page of a recent purchase, this however has caused a bit of a stir as what he did was outside the lines of expected and acceptable behaviour and is being investigated by the police (an Garda Siochana).
Under Irish Law once the Muzzle velocity is below 1 Joule and not brandished in public and or used in a threatening manner then it’s Legal to own and Use Airsoft guns. However if over the Joule or brandished in public or felt that it is being used in a threatening manner, It is classed as a firearm... Which then comes under the remit of firearms offences which holds a minimum of 5-10 years imprisonment if convicted… but thankfully nothing like that has occurred since the Sport became legal in 2006.
With the new proposed EU Directive however the sport may not be safe for much longer, Local retails and sites have been pushing Airsofter’s to Join in arms (figuratively) with their EU counterparts and Fight this ridiculous knee jerk reaction to the tragic events in Paris Last year, I hope that common sense prevails and that this is squashed before it gains momentum!”