Governing Paintballing in the UK: What’s the Law?

PaintballingPaintballing is a fun and adrenaline-filled support, however due to the ‘guns’ we have been asked on occasion whether equipment is legal or regulated.

Here we answer some frequently asked questions, give a brief overview of the UK law in regards to paintball guns, and provide a brief history of the sport’s governing body: The UK Paintball Sports Federation.

Are Paintball Guns Legal in the UK?

In short, yes.


The paintball industry uses the air weapons section of the Firearms Act 1968 to regulate the sport. Therefore, 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.

However, there are a few rules paintball guns (also known as markers) must abide by, including:

  • You should only fire approved paintballs.
  • They must not be fully-automatic i.e. should not discharge more than on ball at a time.
  • Air cylinders and Co2 bottles must be tested regularly.
  • Tournament guns should be restricted to 300fps (roughly 9.9ft/lbs).

Do You Need a Licence to Use a Paintball Gun?


Paintball guns do not require a license if they do not fire above 12ft/lbs for a rifle-style (the typical style of most paintball guns) or not above 6ft/lbs for pistol types.

Although most paintball guns fall with the above criteria, some do fire above these limits and therefore require a licence under the Firearms Act or be considered ‘a prohibited weapon’.

Is There a Paintballing Governing Body in the UK?

The United Kingdom Paintball Sports Federation (UKPSF) is the governing body in the UK. This is a voluntary body which exists to promote the sport and make it as safe and fun to play as possible.

Originally known as the European Paintball Sports Federation (EPSF), the UKPSF’s was born in 1990 when a number of players and those who worked in the industry came together in a time when the sport was getting bad press and was facing scrutiny due to the wording of the Firearms Act.

The wording in the Act has since been changed and the UKPSF has introduced a number of guidelines and rule books in the years that have followed.

Learn More About Paintballing in South Wales

Find out more about paintballing in South Wales with Adventure Britain or learn more about the sport in general by getting in touch with our friendly team.


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