PETALING JAYA: Airsoft guns are fast gaining popularity in Malaysia, especially among those who enjoy tactical wargames.
Airsoft weapons are new generation BB (bird bullet) guns, a type of air-powered gun designed to shoot projectiles.
The AEG (airsoft electric gun) and accessories are sold together with other military-like gears and tactical equipment that come complete with holsters and military-like outfits including boots.
They can be easily bought online although Malaysia and many other countries, including Britain have imposed tight controls over the sales of such “toy guns” that look like the real weapons.
A check on the Internet showed that there is a My Gear Centre Facebook page and at least one blogsite – Airgun AirRifles Malaysia Sport Club – offering such guns for sale.
Also, there is an Airsoft Malaysia website that promotes tactical combat games with participants using airsoft rifles or pistols.
However, while these guns are said to be relatively harmless, more dangerous weapons can be bought online from abroad.
There have been several such cases, with the latest being the Customs Department enforcement officers’ seizure of air rifles that a 15-year-old schoolboy had bought online.
Air rifles are lethal to birds and small animals because they fire metal projectiles, compared to airsoft guns that shoot plastic pellets at low velocities.
It could even be fatal to humans if the pellets hit vital organs.
However, according to the Customs, it is illegal to possess even toy guns that look like actual firearms.
It is an offence under Section 36 of the Arms Act 1960 to possess or import imitation firearms.
Those guilty of the offence can be imprisoned for up to a year, or fined not more than RM5,000.
Boy nabbed for buying air rifles
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