IANSA - Replica Firearms

Several countries recognise the need that replica firearms need to be treated in almost the same manner as other guns.


The import, manufacture and sale of replica firearms is illegal. (Firearms Act, 1997)

This regulation is aimed at precision models made of wood, metals or moulded rubber that are made to look identical to the firearm they represent.


  • replicas of antique firearms
  • most toys, when they are made of brightly coloured plastic and cannot be mistaken for real firearms
  • replicas are allowed for certain uses eg for police training

Owners of replicas bought before the Act came into force do not need to register the replica, nor get a license, nor store safely.



To import a replica firearm, written police permission must be obtained. (Customs Regulations, 1956)

The definition of replica includes ornaments and computer game controllers that resemble firearms.

Penalty: up to $275,000 or 10-year imprisonment, or both.

But this law does not apply to sale or ownership.

Deactivated guns are not treated as replicas for import, instead being considered as ’normal’ guns ie must pass safety requirements, but it is not clear that police permission required.

New South Wales

All imitation and replica firearms are prohibited unless approved by the Police Commissioner (New South Wales Firearm Act 1996)

Includes replica pistols, blank fire pistols and shortened firearms.

Western Australia

Imitation firearms are controlled weapons, ie prohibited to possess or carry (WA Weapons Act 1999, WA Weapons Regulation 1999)

Penalty: $4000 or 1 year imprisonment or both.

An imitation firearm is an article that has the appearance of being firearm but is not capable of discharging a missile – unless it is clearly a toy.


Manufacture, import, and sale of a ‘realistic imitation firearm’ is illegal. (Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006)

A ‘realistic imitation firearm’ means an imitation firearm which has an appearance that is so realistic as to make it indistinguishable, for all practical purposes, from a real firearm.

Exception: Deactivated guns are not included within the gun law, although on 10 January 2008 the home Office announced it would seek to ban all deactivated guns by the end of 2008.


New York City

Sale and possession of replica firearms is illegal. (New York City Administrative Code)


  • brightly coloured or transparent replicas
  • marked clearly with label of a recognised toy manufacturer
  • sales made only to customers outside New York City
  • non-firing antiques of pre-1898 firearms
  • miniature jewellery (within strict size limits)

Penalty: $1,000 or 1-year imprisonment.

Iansa (International Action Network on Small Arms)