Cannon Fodder take a looksie at this from from the UKPSF website...
The UKPSF is an organisation that represents paintball in the UK when it comes to legal matters, they know their stuff.
The Firearms Act and Paintball |
The Home Office does not consider paintball markers to be firearms because they fire frangible ammunition which breaks up on contact rather than inflicting a penetrating injury. The paintball industry uses the Air Weapons section of the firearms act to regulate the sport. Air weapons do not need a license if they fall within the following criteria, outside this criteria a licence is required. (This is a brief summary of the main points)
For a paintball marker to be classed as an "Air Weapon" and therefore not require a licence it must not be fired above 12 ft/lbs for a "rifle" type and 6 ft/lbs for a "pistol" type. Nearly all paintball markers come under the "rifle" type, only markers like the "splatmaster" come into the "pistol" category. If a marker fires above these limits they will then come under the Firearms Act and require a licence or be classed as a prohibited weapon. The recent amendment included carbon dioxide as an approved propellant previously only compressed air was allowed. Paintball markers must also only fire approved paintballs. Paintball markers must not be fully automatic i.e. when pulling the trigger once, two or more paintballs must not be discharged.
To stay within the law a paintball marker must not be fired above 330fps when using an average weight paintball, this equates to 12 ft/lbs. All tournament markers are restricted to a maximum velocity of 300fps, which equates to 9.9ft/lbs and site markers should be used at between 250-280fps to be safe for customers. This equates to 7ft/lbs-8.7ft/lbs.
As air weapons the fire arms act does not apply, but the VCRA and ASBA quoted earlier do.