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    Legislation Airsoft Netherlands

    Weapons and Ammunition Act.

    Section 1, Article 4, paragraph 1 under e;
    Our Minister may grant exemption from regulations or prohibitions established by or pursuant to this Act or, upon request to that effect, grant dispensation for weapons or ammunition to be specified therein, belonging to one of the following groups:
    e. devices and objects for professional, emergency, training and sports purposes;

    Weapons and Ammunition Regulation

    Section 1, Article 1, paragraph 1 under h and i

    Definitions
    Article 1

    In these regulations, the following definitions shall apply:
    h. airsoft device: air, gas, or spring-loaded weapon with a maximum shot power of 3.5 joules, which weapon bears an expressive resemblance to firearms with respect to its shape and dimensions;

    i. airsoft association: the association which, according to the articles of association included in a notarial deed, has the purpose of offering its members the opportunity to practice the sport of airsoft.

    Section 6, article 8a, paragraph 1

    A permit holder who manufactures, transforms or exchanges, rents out or otherwise provides, repairs, tests or trades a category II or III firearm, ammunition or airsoft apparatus in the course of business, shall not employ any persons who are to be charged with work until a certificate of good conduct has been obtained in respect of these persons.

    Section 8, Article 12.10

    The approval holder or the administrator named in the certificate of approval who trades in category IV air, gas, or spring-loaded weapons, airsoft equipment, cartridge cases or magazines referred to in article 18, under g, of these regulations, electric shock weapons referred to in article 21, of these regulations or in emergency signal devices and related ammunition referred to in article 22, paragraphs 1 and 2, of these regulations, shall, with respect to the sale of those air, gas, or spring-loaded weapons, airsoft devices, cartridge holders or magazines, electric shock weapons or emergency signal devices, keep a register in which column by column and consecutively the following is recorded: the date of transfer, the number, make and type of the articles transferred, the name and address of the person to whom the transfer is made, as well as the type and number of his identification card. The data contained in this register will be kept for at least seven years.

    Paragraph 9a Exemption for Airsoft devices

    Article 17a

    An exemption from the prohibition in Section 13, subsection 1, of the Act is granted for the transfer, possession and transport of airsoft devices for the practice of airsoft sport in association to persons who have reached at least the age of eighteen years and can prove by proof of membership that they are members of an airsoft association recognized by the Minister.
    The exemption under subsection 1 applies to transportation only by the road and time frame reasonably provided for transportation for:
    a. transporting between the home and the shooting club;

    b. transporting between the home and meetings and fairs designated by the airsoft association referred to in the first paragraph as part of the airsoft sport or competition grounds to be used for the airsoft sport;

    c. transporting between the home and the licensed firearms dealer;

    d. transporting to and from the national border in order to enter or exit an airsoft device.

    Article 17b

    An exemption from the prohibition in Article 13, paragraph 1, of the Act is granted for the possession of airsoft devices for the practice of airsoft sport in an association context to persons who have reached at least the age of eighteen and by means of:
    a. a certificate of provisional membership can demonstrate that they are prospective members of the airsoft association referred to in Article 17a, Paragraph 1, or

    b. can prove that they have been designated as a guest by the airsoft association as referred to in article 17a, paragraph one.

    An exemption from the prohibition in Section 13, subsection 1, of the Act shall be granted to a person as referred to in Section 17a, subsection 1, for the transfer of airsoft devices to persons as referred to in subsections 1(a) and 1(b), and an exemption shall be granted to the latter persons for the transfer of airsoft devices to persons as referred to in Section 17a, subsection 1.
    Article 17c

    An exemption from the prohibition in Section 13, subsection 1, of the Act shall be granted for carrying airsoft devices in places accessible to the public, with the exception of public roads.
    The exemption pursuant to the first paragraph applies only:
    a. for persons as referred to in Article 17a, paragraph 1;

    b. to persons as referred to in Article 17b, paragraph one, under a and b, if and as long as they practice the airsoft sport together with a person as referred to in Article 17a, paragraph one;

    c. for the practice of airsoft sports organized by the airsoft association as referred to in Article 17a, paragraph 1, for which prior written permission has been granted by the Chief of Police, which permission will in any case be withheld or revoked if no reasonable measures have been taken to prevent threats and threats from the airsoft devices, or if abuse is to be feared;

    d. during the times when the sporting event takes place;

    e. on the premises of the event in the immediate vicinity of the place where the airsoft sport is actually practiced.

    Article 17d

    An exemption from the prohibition in Section 13, subsection 1, of the Act shall be granted to licensees and persons as referred to in Section 17a, subsection 1, for the entry or exit of airsoft devices that are packaged in such a way that they cannot be used for immediate use.
    An exemption from the prohibition in Section 13(1) of the Act shall be granted to recognition holders for the manufacture, transformation, repair for third parties, transfer, possession and transport of airsoft devices.
    Article 17e

    Exemption from the prohibition in Section 13, subsection 1, of the Act shall be granted to persons residing abroad, for the entry or exit of airsoft devices.
    The exemption under subsection 1 applies only:
    a. to persons who, according to a written invitation or statement from the airsoft association referred to in Article 17a, paragraph 1, are going to practice or have practiced the airsoft sport in the Netherlands for a period of time stated therein and who are authorized in the country of origin to have the airsoft devices brought with them on hand;

    b. from the second day before, up to and including the second day after the period referred to in subsection a.

    Section 17f

    An exemption from the prohibition in Section 13, subsection 1, of the Act shall be granted to persons transporting airsoft devices in the exercise of a profession or business.
    The exemption in the first paragraph applies only:
    a. to the extent that the transport takes place by order of the person authorized to possess and transport the airsoft device;

    b. if the consignee is authorized to have the airsoft device in his possession; and

    c. to the extent that the documents present during transport show that the conditions set forth in subsection 1 and in this subsection under a and b have been fulfilled.

    Article 17g

    An exemption from the prohibition of Section 13, subsection 1, of the Act shall be granted to persons employed by licensees for the transport of airsoft devices.
    The exemption in subsection 1 applies only if:
    a. it concerns airsoft devices to which the recognition relates;

    b. the transport takes place by order of the holder of the approval or the manager in the company to which the approval was granted;

    c. the transport is necessary for the proper performance of the operations to which the approval relates;

    d. the licensee or the manager respectively is authorised to transport the airsoft equipment; and

    e. documents present during transport show that the conditions referred to in the first paragraph and the conditions referred to in this paragraph under a through d have been met.

    Weapons and Ammunition Circular 2013

    In addition to the aforementioned adjustments, this CWM contains new provisions regarding the regulation of airsoft sport. In his letter to the House of Representatives dated January 25, 2012 (Parliamentary Documents II, session year 2011-2012, 33033 no. 6), the State Secretary announced the creation of a regulation for the use of airsoft devices. This will be implemented in the Weapons and Ammunition Regulation (RWM), which will also be amended on this point. The provisions included in this Circular regarding airsoft devices are an elaboration of what is included in the RWM on this point.

    General Part, Section 1, subsection 1.3 under 1.3.2 Exemptions

    - exemption airsoft devices for use in sports clubs (Article 17a to g RWM);

    sub 1.4.3 Category I weapons

    Article 13, first paragraph, of the WWM, prohibits the manufacture, transformation, repair for third parties, transfer, having at one's disposal, carrying, transporting, letting in or letting out of category I weapons.

    The law, in article 3a, paragraph one, WWM, makes an exception to this prohibition, namely for the armed forces and for persons who are part of it or working for it. However, that exception provision does not cover third parties - for example, arms dealers - who perform the actions listed in Article 13, paragraph one, with Category I weapons for use by the armed forces.

    In order to meet this need, the second paragraph of Article 13 gives the Minister of Security and Justice the option, without prejudice to the provisions of Article 9 WWM, to exceptionally grant exemption from one or more prohibitions listed in the first paragraph of Article 13 for use by the armed forces. Thus - for example - exemption can be granted to an arms dealer to bring in category I weapons in order to transfer them to the armed forces.

    Furthermore, on the basis of article 4, first paragraph, under e, WWM, an exception is created for airsoft devices, to the general prohibition that applies to Category I weapons. In this context, see also section B2.9. of this Circular.

    Except for these special situations, third parties are not allowed to perform actions that require recognition with respect to Category I weapons. In addition to the exemption - to be granted by the Minister of Security and Justice - an approval from the chief of police is also required.

    Special Section, Section 2, paragraph 2.1 General

    This section contains special rules for sport shooters, shooting club,shooting centers and airsoft sport. These rules include the use of club firearms (see B 2.2), the operation of a shooting center (see B 2.3) and the possession and use of private firearms (see B 2.4). Section B 2.5 contains an explanation regarding parts, fittings and ammunition. With regard to the different branches of shooting sports as well as prohibited/unwanted weapons, sections B 2.6 and B 2.7, respectively, contain further rules. Finally, section 2.8 contains
    2.8 contains two transitional regulations for firearms that are undesirable for sport shooting and for membership of the KNSA.

    Subsection B 2.9 refers purely to airsoft devices, as defined in Article 1(h) of the RWM.

    2.9 Airsoft sport

    Airsoft devices are weapons that fall under category I, part 7, of the WWM ("objects that can pose a serious threat to persons or that resemble a weapon in such a way that they are suitable for threat or depredation"). Such weapons are in principle prohibited. With the amendment of the Weapons and Ammunition Act on May 1, 2012, it has become possible to grant an exemption or dispensation for weapons (and ammunition) if they are used for (among other things) sports purposes on the basis of article 4, paragraph 1 of the law. It has been decided to exempt airsoft devices for members of associations recognized by the Minister of Security and Justice that specialize in practicing airsoft sports. Aspiring members and guests of members referred associations are also exempted from some of the prohibited acts listed in the WWM. The exemption does not apply to airsoft devices in the form of, among other things, explosives and similar other manifestations.

    Airsoft devices are spring, gas or air guns with a maximum shot power of 3.5 joules. Airsoft devices are distinguished in this sense from mostly more powerful Category I, sub 7 and Category IV spring, gas or air guns. In order to determine whether this is an airsoft device, however, the appearance of the object must primarily be examined: does it resemble a firearm that is suitable for
    The possessor of the object may also be asked for his/her proof of membership (provisional membership card for prospective members and a certificate of introduction for introductees) in an airsoft sports club recognized by the Minister. If this can be shown, it is an additional indication that the device is airsoft. Only as a last resort, if ambiguity remains about the nature of the object, will investigation
    will have to be done on the shooting power of the object.

    Projectiles fired with an air, gas or spring-loaded weapon do not constitute ammunition in the sense of the Weapons and Ammunition Act. Airsoft devices therefore do not use ammunition in the sense of the Weapons and Ammunition Act. Therefore, no (additional) rules are set regarding the "ammunition" of airsoft devices.

    2.9.1 Rules for airsoft sports clubs

    An airsoft sports association is defined as: the association which, according to the articles of association included in a notarial deed, has the purpose of giving its members the opportunity to practice sports activities using one or more airsoft devices (Article 1, paragraph 1, opening words and under h and i, RWM). Only members of the association(s) designated under section 17a, subsection 1, RWM are eligible for the exemption mentioned in this paragraph.

    An association may be designated by the Ministry of Security and Justice if the following, non-exhaustive, preconditions are met:

    - 1. There must be a reasonable interest in recognizing an association. The reasonable interest may be that the association to be designated is the only one dedicated to the airsoft sport or a specific aspect of the airsoft sport.

    - 2. Of importance is that the association and its board be trustworthy. The association must also aim to promote the trustworthiness of airsoft sport practitioners. Statutes or house rules of the association, for example, must show that board members and members are tested against this criterion. In addition to the obligation for owners of airsoft devices to submit a VOG (see below), the establishment of a ballotage committee and the termination of membership in case of proven doubts about reliability can be considered. Depending on the situation, more
    requirements of such purport, before an association is eligible for a designation by the Minister. In order to lay down these agreements, it may be decided, for example, to enter into a covenant with the association.

    - 3. The articles of association shall contain at least the following provisions:

    o a) a provision defining the term airsoft sport;

    o b) a provision setting the minimum age for board members (prospective) members and inductees to at least 18 years;

    o c) a provision stating that with respect to the board member and (prospective) member, there shall be no "fear of abuse" (see B 1.);

    o d) a provision stating that board members and prospective members must submit a certificate of good conduct;

    o e) a provision for introducers which states at least that such persons may participate in events as introducers no more than six times a year and further states that the introducer must always be in the company of a full member.

    o (f) a provision requiring members to submit to the association once a year a document showing the member's activities related to the sport of airsoft in the previous year. The provision further provides that on the basis of said document, the board of the association shall assess whether the member can still be considered an active and serious airsoft sport practitioner;

    o (g) a provision establishing requirements with respect to members for places where airsoft devices are to be stored both at the member's home and also elsewhere. The basic premise of the provision is that the storage place(s) for airsoft devices must offer sufficient guarantees to prevent airsoft devices from being used for threat and depredation, except for testing, (practice) and maintenance moments to be carried out at home;

    - 4. The association shall provide its members with the facilities to practice the airsoft sport seriously. To this end the association may organize competitions/events and other relevant meetings.

    - 5. The association shall be responsible for issuing introducer certificates, showing that said person is recognized as a guest in accordance with the regulations of the association. Furthermore, the Association shall keep a register of guests which shall be kept for at least three years.

    - 6. The association must be representative of its members and must present itself publicly as an interest group. Various aspects can play a role in judging how representative an association is. These may include the number of members of the association, the exclusivity and specialty of an association, the pooled knowledge present in an association, the way the interests of the constituency are raised in politics and with policy makers, the way the association's interests are represented, and so on.

    If the situation arises where a new association could be designated, it will be assessed on the basis of the WWM, RWM and these policy rules whether it is an association eligible for designation. On the basis of this assessment and further agreements to be made with the club to be designated (e.g. by means of a covenant), the recognition of the club can ultimately be proceeded with.
    recognition of the association.

    The association may lose the status of designated association if it demonstrably acts contrary to, among other things, the covenant, the conditions under which the designation took place, or if a situation as described in Article 7, second paragraph, of the WWM occurs. The association may also lose the status of designated association if the association ceases to exist,or merges into another legal entity, or for a period of more than one year it no longer has members with a permit or an exemption.

    2.9.2 Rules for non-residents of the Netherlands

    It appears that the airsoft sport is mostly practiced in an international context. It is therefore necessary to establish some rules regarding the possession and keeping of airsoft devices by non-residents of the Netherlands who participate in an activity organized by an airsoft club. The exemption described in Article 17e of the RWM applies to non-residents of the Netherlands participating in such an activity.

    2.9.3 Rules for trade in airsoft devices.

    The trade in airsoft devices is reserved for approval holders. See articles 8a and 10, sub d,of the RWM. See further 1.4.3 of this circular as well as the relevant articles from the WWM and RWM.

    2.9.4 Other rules

    Airsoft devices:

    - 1. may be transported between home and and a meeting/event/competition organized by a recognized airsoft club, the recognized firearms dealer or the shooting club along the road and time frame reasonably provided for transport;

    - 2. must be properly packed during transport in such a way that they cannot immediately be used for threat or diversion;

    - 3. shall be kept at the address of the member of the recognized airsoft association who owns the airsoft device;

    - 4. shall be carried only in places where the competition/event/meetings organized by a recognized airsoft association take place;

    - 5. may not be held/used in film or theater productions;

    The carrying of airsoft devices in places accessible to the public shall be permitted only if the Chief of Police in charge has granted written permission to the relevant association to hold the contest/event/meeting, excluding public roads.

    2.9.5 Guidelines for enforcers

    Airsoft sports are usually practiced in public areas (publicly accessible places). To do so requires prior written permission from the chief of police (Article 17c, second paragraph, under b, RWM). This permission will in any case be withheld or withdrawn if no reasonable measures have been taken to prevent threat and depredation by the airsoft devices, or if abuse can be expected.
    taken, or if abuse is to be feared. It is therefore possible that other situations may arise that may be grounds for the chief of police to withhold or revoke permission. However, these must be related to the safety or sense of safety of persons in the vicinity of the organized event.

    If objections are made by local residents to an event (to be organized), this is an indication to determine whether the sense of safety is at stake. In the extreme case, a concrete situation could be an event that should take place on May 4 (Remembrance of the Dead) in the vicinity of a memorial site. It may be that local residents do not want to be confronted with (simulated) combat operations on this specific day of the year and object to such an intention.

    The RWM stipulates in Article 17, paragraph 2, under b, that the transport of airsoft devices is permitted, among other things, if there is transport to and from meetings and fairs designated by the airsoft association within the framework of the airsoft sport or competition grounds to be used for the airsoft sport. A meeting may be designated as such if there is a reference to the meeting on the website of the recognized airsoft association. The same applies to meetings in public areas, for which Article 17c, Section 2 (c) stipulates that they are organized by the recognized airsoft association. These must also be listed as such on the website of the airsoft association. In the event that an enforcer stops someone for transporting an airsoft device, the enforcer can verify whether the event mentioned by the person stopped is indeed listed on the website of the recognized association as a meeting or fair organized by the recognized airsoft association in the context of the airsoft sport. In addition, of course, it must be determined whether the person in question is otherwise authorized to carry an airsoft device (membership in a recognized airsoft association).

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