Air guns are one of the most commonly used types of guns throughout the globe. In most countries, air gun acquisition is really simple, but the question still remains: Do you need qualifications to buy an air rifle?
UK Air Gun Licensing
It’s legal to have possession of all types of air guns, but the restrictions are slightly different for different criteria and types of air guns. If you are over 18 years of age, owning an air rifle or an air pistol is allowed, as long as, the air pistol doesn’t project a missile that has greater than 6 foot-pounds of kinetic energy, and an air rifle isn’t supposed to project a missile with energy levels north of 12 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. If your desired best air rifle is within this spectrum, then there is no need for licensing or any type of qualifications. However, you cannot get an air pistol that produces more than 6 foot-pounds of energy, but an air rifle that has an energy level that is above 12 foot-pounds of energy can be attained, even though, a firearms certificate [FAC] is required to get it. All this then put people who do not have a FAC in a tricky position, if they use a pre-charged pneumatic air rifle, this is because if the energy produced by this type goes north of 12 foot-pounds; even if it’s a manufacturing fault, they will be regarded to as owners of a firearm without a FAC ,which is illegal.
Canada Air Gun Licensing
Air guns which are manufactured to have a muzzle velocity of 500ft/s and a maximum muzzle energy of 4,2 ftlbs do not need any certification or qualifications whatsoever to own, besides the age limit of 18. The case is different for air guns that have specs that are over the above spectrum, these air guns will be treated as firearms, and they will require certification for ownership.
Australia Air Gun Licensing
In Australia, all air guns are considered as firearms, so in order to get your hands on one, you are required to have a license for the specific class the air gun you want falls under.
Air pistols fall under the class H firearms: they are regarded to be the same as handguns
Air rifles are considered as class A firearms, so licenses for class A firearms is required before you can legally purchase an air rifle.
For Australia, you need to get a license for the firearms category fall under before you are able to legally on that air rifle.
USA Air Gun Licensing
Within the US the regulation of air guns is mostly nonchalant, simply because they do not fall under the same category as with firearms since they are propelled by air rather than explosive material. Even though the regulation is a bit low-key, the degree of regulation varies from state to state. The state of New Jersey and Rhodes lsland define all non-powder guns as firearms, hence they are subjected to licensing before ownership in these states. Connecticut, Delaware and North Dakota refer to non-powder guns as dangerous weapons, but not as firearms. Most of the states regulate the acquisition of air guns using age restrictions. Anyone who is under the age of 16 is not allowed to own an air gun.
The European Union Air Gun Licensing
There aren’t any hard-core air gun regulations within the European Union, however, the countries within the European Union have nearly similar regulations in place to control the purchasing of air guns.
In Sweden, air guns are generally perceived as firearms. However, air guns which have energy that falls short of 10 joules per 13 feet can be acquired license free. Full automatic airguns cannot exceed 3 joules. Any air gun that has specs which are over these ranges will require some sort of licensing so as to acquire it legally. Only a person who is 18 and above can indulge in air guns.
In other countries the conditions for air gun issuing varies from country to country.