The current federal laws that regulate airsoft are covered in Title 15 - Commerce and Foreign Trade, under "Subtitle A - OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE", in "SUBCHAPTER H - MAKING OF TOY, LOOK-ALIKE, AND IMITATION FIREARMS", in "PART 272 - MARKING OF TOY, LOOK-ALIKE AND IMITATION FIREARMS".
We have copied the exact laws below for your easy reference. This copy is current as of July 25, 2014. But you should always double check the links above to ensure no new laws are in place. If there is a change, please let us know and/or update this web page accordingly.
This part applies to toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms (“devices”) having the appearance, shape, and/or configuration of a firearm and produced or manufactured and entered into commerce on or after May 5, 1989, including devices modelled on real firearms manufactured, designed, and produced since 1898. This part does not apply to:
(a) Non-firing collector replica antique firearms, which look authentic and may be a scale model but are not intended as toys modelled on real firearms designed, manufactured, and produced prior to 1898;
(b) Traditional B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of compressed air, compressed gas or mechanical spring action, or any combination thereof, as described in American Society for Testing and Materials standard F 589-85, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Non-Powder Guns, June 28, 1985. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from the IHS Inc., 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112, www.global.ihs.com, Phone: 800.854.7179 or 303.397.7956, Fax: 303.397.2740, Email: [email protected] A copy is available for inspection in the Office of the Chief Counsel for NIST, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Telephone: (301) 975-2803, or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.
(c) Decorative, ornamental, and miniature objects having the appearance, shape and/or configuration of a firearm, including those intended to be displayed on a desk or worn on bracelets, necklaces, key chains, and so on, provided that the objects measure no more than thirty-eight (38) millimeters in height by seventy (70) millimeters in length, the length measurement excluding any gun stock length measurement.
[57 FR 48453, Oct. 26, 1992, as amended at 69 FR 18803, Apr. 9, 2004. Redesignated and amended at 78 FR 4765, Jan. 23, 2013]
No person shall manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm (“device”) covered by this part as set forth in §272.1 unless such device contains, or has affixed to it, one of the markings set forth in §272.3, or unless this prohibition has been waived by §272.4.
[78 FR 4765, Jan. 23, 2013]
§272.3 Approved markings.
The following markings are approved by the Secretary of Commerce:
(a) A blaze orange (Fed-Std-595B 12199) or orange color brighter than that specified by the federal standard color number, solid plug permanently affixed to the muzzle end of the barrel as an integral part of the entire device and recessed no more than 6 millimeters from the muzzle end of the barrel.
(b) A blaze orange (Fed-Std-595B 12199) or orange color brighter than that specified by the Federal Standard color number, marking permanently affixed to the exterior surface of the barrel, covering the circumference of the barrel from the muzzle end for a depth of at least 6 millimeters.
(c) Construction of the device entirely of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device's complete contents.
(d) Coloration of the entire exterior surface of the device in white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern.
(e) This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of Federal Standard 595B, December 1989, color number 12199 (Fed-Std-595B 12199), may be obtained from the General Services Administration at General Services Administration, Federal Acquisition Service, FAS Office of General Supplies and Services, Engineering and Cataloging Division (QSDEC) Arlington, VA 22202 or at the General Services Administration Web site at: http://apps.fas.gsa.gov/pub/fedspecs/. A copy may be inspected in the Office of the Chief Counsel for NIST, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Telephone: (301) 975-2803 or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.
[54 FR 19358, May 5, 1989, as amended at 57 FR 48454, Oct. 26, 1992; 69 FR 18803, Apr. 9, 2004. Redesignated and amended at 78 FR 4765, Jan. 23, 2013]
The prohibitions set forth in §272.2 may be waived for any toy, look-alike or imitation firearm that will be used only in the theatrical, movie or television industry. A request for such a waiver should be made, in writing, to the Chief Counsel for NIST, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1052, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-1052. The request must include a sworn affidavit which states that the toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm will be used only in the theatrical, movie or television industry. A sample of the item must be included with the request.
[78 FR 4765, Jan. 23, 2013]
In accordance with section 4(g) of the Federal Energy Management Improvement Act of 1988 (15 U.S.C. 5001(g)), the provisions of section 4(a) of that Act and the provisions of this part supersede any provision of State or local laws or ordinances which provides for markings or identification inconsistent with the provisions of section 4 of that Act or the provisions of this part.
[54 FR 19358, May 5, 1989. Redesignated at 78 FR 4765, Jan. 23, 2013]