Licences and permissions Underage sales

Imitation firearms

Legislation is in force to control the sale of products that look like guns. These are often referred to as replica or imitation firearms, but can include BB guns and toy guns.

Imitation firearms can look so realistic that criminals will use them to commit crime.  Even if used innocently they can cause alarm if seen by a member of the public.

The manufacture, importation and sale of realistic imitation firearms is banned.  The sale of non-realistic imitation firearms is banned to people under 18 years of age.

If you are not sure that the customer is over 18 (or 21 if Challenge 21 policy is in place) ask for proof of age (passport/photo driving licence of PASS accredited proof of age card).

If you are still unsure refuse the sale. You may wish to record the details in a refusals register to show that you are refusing sales.

It is advisable to ensure that your staff are fully trained in order to prevent them making sales of age restricted products. Any training they receive should be documented within a record of training form.

You commit an offence if:

  • you sell an imitation firearm to anyone under 18

Reporting underage sales

If you suspect a retailer of selling any of these products to anyone under the minimum age, please report them via Citizens Advice Bureau. They manage the national Consumer Advice Service, and staff there assess each problem and pass it on to the relevant body, such as Trading Standards.

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