UK Airsoft Representative Body

Posted by Unknown On Friday, June 08, 2012

News Archives

++Breaking News++
UK Airsofters to get NEW
Representative Body

Great news filtering through for UK Airsofters of a NEW representative body which will address ALL issues affecting airsoft in the UK, encompassing ALL aspects of the UK airsoft scene from sites-owners to players through to wholesalers, distributors, media owners AND retailers.

The new organisation will be known as ASIA - the Airsoft Industry Association and will be a united front for UK Airsoft issues, everything from FPS limits, rules, regulations, VCRA and even taxation issues (for those aware of our strangely mixed up definition of a firearm/toy when it comes to tax!). Invited to inaugural meetings of ASIA will be representatives from all the current governing bodies such as UKAPU (Players Union), UKARA (Retailers Association), UKASGB (sites governing body) as well as wholesalers, distributors & media interests.

Major Airsoft businesses who have pledged support for ASIA, include distributors Edgar Brothers, Armex (UK distributors for Umarex) and Redwolf Airsoft, plus retailers JD Airsoft, Badgertac, The Grange and Outdoor Pursuits, and skirmish organisers Lincolnshire Airsoft Club and Gunman Airsoft.

To enroll your business in ASIA and support the industry, please contact Hannah Benson or Wes Stanton via, call 01926 339808 or write to the Airsoft Industry Association (ASIA), Lawrence House, Morrell Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV32 5SZ, United Kingdom.

As pointed out below and requested in the comments section that it be made clear in this blog post - the ASIA organisation will be hosted on a tmporary basis ONLY by Blaze Publishing until such time that an elected committee and Chairman have been put in place.

Yosser says: "For too long the UK has had ONLY those views represented by UKARA (a single interest group representing retailers) to supposedly represent UK Airsoft to Govt and Law Enforcement. At last a truly representative group is being formed - THIS is GREAT NEWS indeed."

Don't forget check out the UKAPU interview here
- LINK to UKAPU Interview

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To find out more about this please see the latest edition of Airsoft Action Magazine on newsstands from 7th June.

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  1. Anonymous Said,

    This is a joke I hope?? A magazine running an airsoft body? I wonder what justifiable reason they have for this is :D Oh, advertising, money, encompassing their buddies into the new gang. What a laugh!

    Posted on June 8, 2012 at 3:10 PM

  2. Unknown Said,

    It will only be ran by the magazine UNTIL a properly elected committee is in place by the represented members etc - dont worry it will all be above board in order to counter those type of accusations!

    Posted on June 8, 2012 at 3:20 PM

  3. Nobody1111 Said,

    Why not have a magazine running an airsoft body?
    It's no more a conflict than having a retailers club controlling the registration of skirmishers, both are interested parties with a vested interest.

    However, Yosser's point in comment should be made clear in the post in my opinion, just to preempt this kind of criticism.

    Posted on June 8, 2012 at 9:34 PM

  4. Steve Madley Said,

    Actually, I have to disagree. UKARA does not control the registration of skirmishers, they REGISTER skirmishers to enable said skirmishers to buy RIF's whenever and wherever they want them. If the UKARA form is presented in full, they are registered, no question.
    There's a lot of sites who are UKARA members and have access to the database but do a very bad (or non-existent in some cases) job of registering their own players. We sometimes spend months (seriously!) chasing sites for confirmation that their player is registered because they themselves hold their UKARA form and can't be bothered putting them on the UKARA database.

    Of course retailers have a vested interest in UKARA, it's their business. So who better to guarantee that player registrations are input as soon as the form is received? Even when a retailer does register a player, that has no way of influencing or 'controlling' any player to purchase from them.

    So please explain to me, what is the problem with UKARA being run by retailers? The system in itself is purely non-profit and nobody gets paid for running it!

    The only retailer activity I would question are those running a private registration system, which is quite obviously a deliberate hurdle for any player on such a system to buy from anywhere else they wish.

    On a different note; I have nothing against other bodies forming, IF they improve what is already in place. If you can do it, great stuff. I seriously can't see how you can though, so please enlighten me :)

    Steve Madley
    Airsoft World Ltd.

    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 11:58 AM

  5. Unknown Said,

    Firstly Steve - I'll make it clear - UKARA as I've stated are a single interst group - for retailers by retailers, nothing per se wrong with that. However when they go it alone rattling cages that needn't be rattled over 'lethality' WITHOUT consulting the rest of the airsofters whom it affects - thats wrong.

    ASIA will hopefully bring together the parties and bring on a new era of unity between the groups. Thanks for the positivety over the forming of 'ASIA' - I'm looking forward to hearing more - even if it does upset ukara - and I for one hope it does!

    One last point - I DONT need to be UKARA registered to buy RIF's in the UK (although granted it may make it easier)- I just need to be a valid skirmisher which my regular site with insurance can prove. AW may not sell to me, but others who can be bothered checking will!

    Roll on the day we get a free system for retailers and players - not long I hope!

    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 12:24 PM

  6. Mike Said,

    Shame I dont trust Airsoft Action at all...
    And UKARA works fine, any problems I have encountered are to do with a lack of knowledge on the police/legal/customs and excise side.

    Still, I suppose drawing more attention to a sport that most MP's would love to rally against for more votes sounds like a great idea.

    And a free system? paid for by who? nothing is free.

    And why go with such a confusing name? At least UKARA has 'uk' and does not sound like a foreign country that wants to sell loads of cheap clones to anywhere that can buy them!

    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 5:14 PM

  7. Unknown Said,

    Yes things can be free - but surely you realise that - if ukara was really for the good of the sport access to the DB would be free and paid for by members fees to be part of the lobby group etc - cant see that happening though! And have AAMag been deserving of this mistrust! As already stated they are facilitating until elected reps are in place - I detect this has ukara running scared otherwise why be so anti - it must be stressed the ASIA organisation as proposed does NOT replace any existing org but brings them together - now surely thats a GOOD thing. Although I take your point on the name NOW lets work TOGETHER for UK airsoft rather than just our own agendas/cartels/single interest groups. Its not about ukara db or taking over/replacing it, the wider UK airsoft community has more issues than just that. (or are ukara scared this will be replaced!)

    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 5:51 PM

  8. Nige Said,

    Hi All.
    I just wanted to clear something up....
    Airsoft Action magazine is NOT running ASIA - in fact it will not even be represented on the Commitee, nor will I ever be Chairman unless voted in to be so.
    ASIA has been created by Wes Stanton, owner of Blaze Publishing (the company that publishes Airsoft Action) and Wes will be Chairperson until such time as is democratically decided otherwise.
    As Yosser says, ASIA is not going to replace anything, it exists purely to bring together all sections of the Airsoft Industry (the clue is in the name!) and everyone involved in the industry is welcome - including other media companies and publishers.
    ASIA will also have player representatives who, for the first time, will have a platform from which they can share their views and opinions with industry members.
    I do not know why "Mike" mistrusts AA but I do agree wholeheartedly with his ascertion that the majority of problems are caused by a lack of knowledge - compounded by a myriad of "interpretations" of the Law.
    As with all things new, there will be people who slag it off "just because"; there will be people who agree from the off and want to be a part of it and there will be those who wait to see what transpires and then make an informed decision as to whether to support it or not.
    The first scheduled meeting of ASIA is tomorrow (13th June) and I wait with everyone else to see what comes out of it.

    Editor - Airsoft Action.

    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 7:02 PM

  9. Andy Stevens Said,

    Another self elected governing body, how will I 'elect" who represents me and my business?

    Who put them in charge? Why should they govern me?

    Also sites can't add their members to The UKARA database, so don't blame us!

    Whole thing smells of a rat.

    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 7:24 PM

  10. Anonymous Said,

    Nigel Streeter @ Airsoft Action knows sod all about Airsoft. Go on, ask him how long he's been doing it. This idea is right up there with that stupid "Terrorsim" April Fool's "joke" he ran this year.

    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 7:29 PM

  11. Indi The Dog Said,

    dont think I havent noticed the links via your names advertising your shops/sites (doubt the arrangement would be reciprocal on your sites!)- Anyway your respresentative groups have been invited to form an initial committee - why not get involved yourselves - do you currently elect members to ukara? - ukapu does and produces minutes and has articles of assoc - when was the last time ukara did? anyway its off topic - each group still maintains its own orgs - this is just to help them get together on issues - WTF why do so many of you want to make it so difficult! How about supporting the effort and making it what we need!

    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 8:19 PM

  12. Unknown Said,

    ha ha ha i used the wrong acct on the above comment - anyway just because someone hasnt been airsofting long douesnt mean they cant see the problems and try to help sort things out in the industry - maybe that should be applauded rather than criticised.

    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 8:29 PM

  13. BAMF Said,

    Nigel knows "Sod all about airsoft because he hasn't been playing long?" Valid point there I feel. I mean, how long exactly does one have to be shooting plastic balls at opposing teams to be considereed an expert in the field? I'd imagine as a journo, he'd never have had the opportunity to research and study the subject he writes about so eloquently would he?

    Also, the "Distrust" of AA? Completely without foundation or any merit there Mike. Or is it because the letters "A-A" look like twin pyramids? We all know the pyramid is one of the symbols of the illuminati, so the magazine must in some way be connected to our lizard overlords? Ask David Icke, he'll no doubt confirm it.

    This article is meant to be about a conglomeration of UK airsoft representative bodies. A refreshing change for the sport we enjoy. Not a bashing of an individual airsoft publication or its staff.

    Mike says "UKARA works fine" I'd suggest it doesn't. Why is that? Well, I'm glad you asked. Ask anybody who is a registered skirmisher who doesn't subscribe to the scheme to try buying a RIF from a company such as "Fire-support" and you'll see they get an abrupt response and an outright refusal. Even though they can provide evidence that they skirmish at a site with 3rd party liability insurance, UKARA retailers, on the whole won't sell to them? A UKARA registration is not a requirement in law to purchase RIFs. Why do FS act like it is?

    If all the "Billy big spuds" could get over their own egos and appreciate that we merely play games with toy guns that look like real guns, then maybe organisations like ASIA could stand a chance, before being shot down because memebers haven't played long enough?!?!

    I'll concede that the acronym "ASIA" may possibly have been better thought out, but as a reminder, Asia is a continent, not a country!

    Why can't we all just get along?

    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 9:30 PM

  14. Nige Said,


    Read your comments above and think I need to clarify a point or two...

    ASIA is NOT a "governing body" and, to my knowledge, there has never been any intention for it to be so.

    So far as I am aware, it is simply an umbrella organisation, bringing together all sections of the airsoft industry to provide a central platform and unified representation.

    I say "so far as I am aware", as Airsoft Action Magazine has not been involved in the creation of ASIA, other than when my opinion and views have been sought. Neither I, nor Airsoft Action will be on the Founding Commitee but I will be supporting it in the magazine, as I believe it is the right way to go.

    As to the comment made above, regarding what I know about airsoft... It eloquently illustrates my earlier comment about how people react, for which I thank you!

    PS. Mr.Anonymous. If you really want to know how long I've been involved in airsoft, stop hiding behind anonymity, grow some and contact me. I'm not difficult to find.

    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 9:42 PM

  15. Anonymous Said,

    Can only be a good thing for airsoft if it's core values stay as a body to bring all 3 groups together (players, retailers, site owners). As for the UKARA thing, their intentions seemed to start good but the whole lethality thing and their meddling in that was quite out of order. Hopefully with ASIA we can all make life much easier for skirmishers, retailers and site owners.

    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 10:28 PM

  16. Anonymous Said,


    Ask him what he knows about the politics of Airsoft. Has he spoken to those who have tried in the past, people like Frenchie and Tim Wyborn,? has he spoken to various forum and site owners about what's gone before?

    Frankly, if he hasn't (which I suspect is the case) then ASIA has NO CHANCE WHATSOEVER of success.

    Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. But then again, you have to know your history first....

    Posted on June 13, 2012 at 6:43 PM

  17. Unknown Said,

    Maybe just what's needed is a fresh approach, with NO previous bagagge from any previous attempts etc - with negativity like your showing nothing would ever get off the ground - why bother trying in that case!

    I'm glad the attempt is being made we need this to work.

    Posted on June 13, 2012 at 11:39 PM

  18. BAMF Said,


    We really shouldn't make assumptions about what Nigel either knows or doesn't know should we? If I was put on the spot about what I know, I could tell you that batteries or gas go in my favoutite toy gun. That I also load a magazine with plastic beebs and when I'm safe to do so, I load it up and I fire them at the opposing force, hoping that I hit them before they hit me.

    I'm not an expert, nor am I a complete numpty (Though many would say I am!) in the sport. Would I attempt to front an airsoft representative body? No thanks. I'll leave that to the guys 'n' gals who wish to do so. Am I grateful for the likes of Matt Furey-King and Nigel Streeter and their ilk? Yes...yes I am. For without their efforts, we would all be playing paintball!

    It's nice to see the "Airsoft community" supporting each other so well while this new body is trying to establish itself. With statements such as "ASIA has NO CHANCE WHATSOEVER of success." then people are dooming it to failure before it's even had that chance.

    Let us all remember, ASIA is attempting to draw the current representative bodies together for the greater good. Or at least that's my understanding of it? If it's for the benefit of the player and not the retailer, then it can only be a good thing. It hopefully will curtail any monopolising of prices and access to toy guns. Which is, after all, what we "Play" with.

    It's nice to be nice.

    Posted on June 14, 2012 at 6:59 PM

  19. Anonymous Said,

    and edgar brothers and f&o are doing it for what ?

    Posted on June 20, 2012 at 8:33 PM

  20. Will Said,

    I support the concept in ASIA as a whole, however, I must admit this is the first time I have heard about, therefore pose a few questions:

    How do I elect who is to represent me as a player. At the moment, I am only seeing a new body, who is self appointed. UKAPU is elected, UKARA is not, both work. How will ASIA work this.

    What is the overall benefit of ASIA? Is it purely for players / retailers to have a voice, or will it allow people to purchase RIF's?

    My personal stand point on the UKARA situation is, that as a player of 11 years, I am not bothered by it, I am UKARA registered and free to purchase any RIF's I like. Infact I would go as far to say, I support it as, whilst it may annoy new players, if you are in for the long run, why worry about the 2 months. If you are not at a registered skirmish site, surely the question should be, why isnt the site registered with UKARA. Personally, anything like UKARA which has the intention of forcing supply to registered skirmishers can only protect our support. Those of you who say retailers in it for their own benefit, must be confused. As their own benefit would be to sell to any muppet that comes through the door.

    Unfortunately, we live in a world where we need legislation, its life, deal with.

    Rant Over. If ASIA works, great, it could be a benefit to us all. If it turns into a self elected group of people pushing their own agenda. Its another problem for a sport that has changed so much in the last decade.

    Posted on June 25, 2012 at 8:56 PM

  21. Nobody1111 Said,

    Hahaha, airsoft trolls really showing the online scene up for what it is here.

    Steve. UKARA control the database, hence, "controlling the registration of skirmishers,". My point regarding the magazine being "no more of a conflict" than UKARA is a valid statement as such. The original didn't denote a negative, just a fact.

    Posted on July 9, 2012 at 1:13 AM

  22. Nobody1111 Said,

    @ Steve

    You appear to have built an argument entirely from the phrasing of my initial sentence.

    UKARA controls the database on which the players are registered. I agree retailers have a vested interest. As does an airsoft magazine.

    This implied no criticism of UKARA.

    Posted on July 9, 2012 at 1:23 AM

  23. I must admit, we have concerns. In our, on average five years of playing each, have seen the good and bad and the ugly of Airsoft. When we heard of ASIA, we assumed that each retailer in the UK would be sent some sort of invitation to get involved and or vote, alongside player organisations we support, such as UKAPU, and any other interest groups. Sadly this was not the case. The only way we found out that it was going on was through an Airsoft Action magazine. As far as I know, no local business our way is involved. Therefore, who is going to make the decisions? Some people thought Parliament was democratic before the First Reform Act of 1832, but alas, few had the right to vote and make decisions for the many, and these were chosen by and wink and handshake from a small group or elite in society. Me thinks this is off to the same start. Lets hope lessons are learnt and it can meet the aspirations of the founder.

    From my reading of the initial members it is Airsoft Action, Edger Bros and major Edger Bros outlets. Why did you not simply contact all airsoft retailers? Surely they are all registered with UKARA (a body that has strict registration rules for retailers) or Companies House?

    Office Staff
    Mad Badger Group (Mad Badger Airsoft) and The Essex Range.

    Posted on July 30, 2012 at 10:43 PM

  24. Anonymous Said,

    Its far to say that since we were first approached ref. ASIA, we have not heard a dickey bird since. At no point has any further contact been made since we were initially asked to pledge support.


    Ian Lawrence
    Lincolnshire Airsoft Club

    Posted on November 13, 2012 at 10:13 PM

  25. Unknown Said,

    Cheers for the update Ian, it has all 'gone quiet over there' to use a footballing chant - maybe they have nothing to say or its falling apart - I have a suspicion that the ritish Airsofting Show may be an off-shoot. Have you noticed how UKARA have a new set of criterea to join as well! - that went under the radar!

    Posted on November 14, 2012 at 9:30 AM


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