Shooting in the UK is taboo to the majority, it’s an uncomfortable truth but a truth nonetheless and one gun owners must be comfortable with.

That being said this has been achieved over a few decades and by putting shooting or gun ownership into the minds of the public as dangerous or something in need of banning. With every madman that commits crime there are more restrictions put on the legal owners.

Don’t believe me?

A few decades ago you could buy air rifles from your local Argos, does that sound unreal to you? If so that’s how far the propaganda has conditioned you. It was done however over time slowly like taking off a sticking plaster for those unenclined to a little discomfort.

£2.99 for an air pistol doesn’t seem too bad

Air rifles and pistols have long been under scrutiny in England and Wales by those that have a fetish for banning things. You can still purchase a low powered Air gun there with no licence and campaigners have been trying to get them put on license for years stripping yet another little freedom from the law abiding citizen.

The issue for me is shooting air guns used to be the main way of getting people into taking aim, a low impact, low recoil and easy to get into form of the sport and a great gateway.

Well with new consultations on banning property coming up in government once again this issue has arisen and it left me thinking about the future of shooting.

How can we keep that level of accesabilty to the general public or “normies” and keep that gateway open if they do what NI and Scotland have done and license them.

Well I think that’s easy, Airsoft.

I’ve been playing around with some “Realistic Imitation Firearms”, airsoft or “BB guns” lately and have been astonished at how much fun they can be just to plink with in the back yard.

Sam getting to grips with a full metal bodied CYMA M1A1 Thompson

They can be very accurate toys and definitely look the part, they have weight to them and some even have recoil. As training aids I think they can be incredibly useful if utilised correctly and to me seem like the new gateway into gun ownership as law abiding shooters.

There are already restrictions in place to stop you getting anything that looks realistic of course, the British government took a real dislike to them in the 00’s and put in place legislation requiring replicas to be garish 2 tone, you can however buy RIFs (or “realistic imitation firearms”) legally by attending 3 skirmishes and obtain UKARA certification.

Or like me you could be in media, film etc and have a reason to own one such as to review or for productions. Yes writing reviews classes as a valid defense, happy days.

My WE P14 Airsoft replica with gas blowback.

It’s just I can see where shooting is going in the UK and our future could depend on getting more people into pulling a trigger. Numbers are the key when it comes to politics and as gun owners whether you like it or not you are involved in a polititical to and fro that’s been going on for quite some time – And unfortunately it’s been mostly fro.

Normalisation of shooting sport is the strategy needed to keep live fire going, airsoft I feel is the pro active approach needed to get young shooters interested. My kids for example love firing my airsoft replicas, my friends kids love firing them, my nieces love them. And the beauty of it is I’m teaching them safe handing and range etiquette and they never point them at anyone.

Surely that’s a win?

He can handle that pistol better than some adults I’ve seen

Perhaps you don’t agree, and that’s OK. But I’m utilising toys to teach my kids responsibility and respect for anything that even resembles a firearm. I’ve seen them telling off visitors for muzzle sweeping or bad trigger safety.

Proud as hell of those boys.

And that’s a win in my book.

-Mike

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