Although I live in the Netherlands, the rules for playing airsoft (or to start) can be different in other countries. Realize that.
General Rules for playing Airs0ft
Below I describe some general rules which apply to the Netherlands. I know from other countries that We have many rules here in the Netherlands. Therefore it’s interesting to read the legislation for foreigners because then you know what kind of legislation might be apply in your country. UPDATE: I have also incluided the legislation of Belgium. More countries will follow!
Playing Airsoft in the Netherlands could be different than in other countries. Below I want to give you some information which can be helpful to start your own journey to become a Airsoftplayer!
The first requirement for playing Airsoft is the minimum age of 18. That’s because of the responsibility that a person needs to carry the weapon and use it wisely.
Second, before you can play Airsoft, it is necessary to arrange a membership by the NABV, The Dutch Airsoft association. Your membership is official when you received a pass from the NABV. With that pass, you are allowed to buy an airsoft weapon. It’s also allowed to store that Airsoftweapon at home. How do you safely store a Airsoftweapon? Read this article first! Click here to read the article
A membership of the NABV cost 78 EUR a year. With that you need a declaration of behaviour. You can ask for a declaration on the website from the NABV. That cost around 30 EURO. When signing in via the website you need a the original declaration and a passport photo. The original declaration has to be sent to the NABV.
With your original sign up you are ready to start with Airsoft!
Your Airsoftweapon is your most powerful tool. It is also very important to know what is allowed or not when using and owning an Airsoft weapon. Each country has his own rules but know there would be!
As a Dutch citizen you need to have a safe throw or safe that can be locked. If you don’t use your Airsoft weapon for an event, it’s mandatory to store your weapon safe and secure. It’s only allowed to carry a Airsoft weapon it you are on your way to an Airsoft event or a store.
Driving in your car with a Airsoft weapon is allowed if that weapon is unloaded and safe in a locked bag. It’s not allowed to stop without reason.
To start with airsoft you need to check if you meet the following standards to play Airsoft. Without some of them it is not possible to play Airsoft!
A mandatory minimum requirement is a safety glasses. There are many safety glasses but a general solutions is to buy a special Airsoft glasses. Click here if you want more info about airsoft glasses.
Of course a replica is necessary to play Airsoft otherwise you won’t be able to act within a team. If you play a special mission than it is also necessary to have camouflage clothes.
Note for Dutch Players: grenades, claymores and rocket launchers are forbidden in the Netherlands.
What do you need to be able to start with Airsoft?
This is a list I made before I started with Airsoft. I gathered information from the web and decided purchase these items. I think these are minimum requirements to start. I you want to try airsoft first than you are be able to rent a Airsoft package which include all those items.
Below a list for the serious Airsoft beginner!
1. Airsoft Safety glasses
2. A Replica (weapon)
3. Magazine for your Replica take a few extra magazines with you! I recommend 3 extra hicap and 6 exta midcap
4. Camouflage clothes: shirt and jacket, trousers, cap, helmet
5. Excellent high quality shoes. Very important!
6. A canteen which you can put on your vest so,
7. Vest which is very useful to carry all kinds of equipment!
So this is the “standard” equipment for a Airsoft beginner.
As we found out that Airsoft rules are different in other countries. The Dutch law is strict. In other countries you grab a Airsoft Replica and play!
The rules for playing Airsoft in foreign countries could be different because of different law around weapon possession and owners.
Airsoft Legislation in Belgium
What is the Belgium law saying about weapon possession? Very important is that the law decides when a object turns into a weapon when it’s used for violence. The Airsoft Replica will not be categorised as a weapon as long as it has been used for playing airsoft… So what about carrying a Replica?
So a according to the arms legislation of Belgium a Replica is not covered by the legal description of a real weapon. But using you Replica in the wrong way could have consequences. For example if you use your Replica on a violent way than according the law your Replica turns into a real weapon! That way you’re directly punishable.
If I buy a Replica I would like to know what is allowed an what not because each country semes to have his own legislation.
According the law we need to verify the follow questions:
1. Is an Airsoft Replica a imitation?
Acording the legislation a Replica is an imitation. Owning an imitation is allowed without having a license.
2. Is my Airsoft Replica a gun?
According the Belgium legislation a Replica is not a gun because fire mechanism is not working on a detonator or by some fuel like powder. Not any single Airsoft Replica with an electrical, spring or gas mechanism works that way.
3. Is my airsoft Replica available without Licence?
Airsoft weapons are available without having a licence so they don’t belong to the category weapons which is needed to have a licence.
4. When may I carry a Replica?
The legislation is suggesting that weapons without a licence are allowed to be carried without a valid reason. So the law suggests that carry a Replica is not allowed in public. That sounds quite reasonable. Replica’s look very similar to real guns. That makes it hard for the police to enforce the law. The police will judge every situation separately and decides if you have a good reason to carry that Replica on that moment.
5. May I carry a Replica?
The weapon legislation is not clear about carrying a Replica. Although the law is not clear about carrying a Replica we strongly recommend to stick to a couple of practical rules which will keep you out of trouble.
It is allowed to carry a Replica from your hometown to place to residence, from your hometown to an Airsoft Event and from you hometown to a Replica dealer for maintenance.
If you are going to travel and take your Replica, you then better be prepared:
Use you loading dock from your car to put that Replica in. Your Replica should be locked in a suitcase with a locker. Stay calm if you stopped by the police. You should always be able to show your membership of a Airsoft association!
When carrying a Replica prevent yourself from using any violence. If you do that than your Replica is not an imitation but a real weapon by the law! From that moment you are punishable for your actions! Don’t use your weapon the wrong way! Use it only for the sport!
6. Which parts and fittings may I use?
Sound absorbers which are also used with real fire guns are forbidden. A laser with a mounting system and hidden lasers are forbidden. Night vision goggles are also forbidden.
A replica including these fittings is not forbidden in the first place. Only the fittings that can be used for a real weapon are forbidden.
Till so far in short the Belgium legislation.
In the future I will expand this article with the legislation of other countries like Germany France and maybe the United States where it’s lot easier to begin and play.