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Airsoft legalised in The Netherlands

  • 20-12-2012 9:12pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,048 OzCam


    The Dutch airsoft association NAVB have announced that airsoft will be allowed in the Netherlands from 15th January 2013.

    Press release (in Dutch):

    Google Translate version:

    Today I present you all with immense pride and satisfaction to announce that by January 15, 2013 Airsoftapparaten and thus Airsoftsport regulated in the Netherlands! A simple sentence to write, but with a deep meaning for all involved. We have done our best to the core values ​​of the Airsoftsport possible to observe. Sometimes this was politics or law technically feasible. It was give and take, but know that we have done our best!
    The next time we will release small pieces of how regulation works, which all must meet and what Airsoftsport practitioners can and can not [do]. Keep an eye on our website and will wait patiently!
    Until then I report here a number of important points:
    1. Minimum age 18 years
    2. Certificate of Good Conduct
    3. Membership Dutch Airsoft Interests Association

    ...

    On behalf of the entire board and our entire organization, I wish you a Merry Christmas but a healthy and energetic Airsoftsport 2013 filled with lots of fun! Kind Airsoftgroet,
    J. Dekkers
    Chairman

    Congratulations to our Dutch airsoft comrades from everyone here!


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 984 CpcRc


    Just skimmed through it there. But is there any mention of a fps limit? And what the certificate of good conduct is? Or do you just get it when you sign up as a member of their airsoft association?
    Would like to get a game in january if I could before I finish up work at the end of that month.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,048 OzCam


    I suggest you ask the NABV directly.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 5,042 Mod ✭✭✭✭ spooky donkey


    its amazing to think that somthing is ilegal in holland :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,913 T4RGET


    its amazing to think that somthing is ilegal in holland :)

    ah now, it's not that bad :p


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,048 OzCam


    http://www.nlairsoft.com/en/
    The NABV today, published their second press-release concerning the legalisation and regulation of airsoft in The Netherlands.

    Part one already revealed the following rules concerning airsoft players:

    - Minimum age: 18 years
    - Declaration of good conduct with gunpermit classification ( Dutch: Verklaring Omtrent Gedrag - schietsport)
    - Membership of the NABV (equal to sportshooters needing a mandatory membership of the KNSA)

    Part two ads the following three rules, which are quite interesting:

    - Members must store their Airsoft Replicas in proper storage
    - Airsoft players that are not residents of The Netherlands can get a declaration from the NABV allowing entry and participation with their replicas.
    - Members of the NABV must transport their replicas securely (meaning: locked cases,bags).

    To us here at nlairsoft.com these rules are remarkably equal to laws and rules in other countries, and [we] are looking forward to seeing these implemented. The one exception being - naturally - the mandatory membership and VOG procedure, but in the light of our weapons and ammunition laws (WWM) this is hardly exceptional.

    My understanding is that the Certificate of Good Conduct (VOG) is similar to Police certificates available in many other countries, i.e. no criminal convictions and no outstanding warrants ;)

    There is no detail yet as to what constitutes "proper storage". A gun safe would seem to be fine, but an ordinary cupboard might suffice if it had a lock. We'll have to wait and see.

    I like the idea that players from outside the Netherlands can get a visitor permit from the NABV to go and play there. That's a nice touch.

    Official update from the NABV site (Google translation)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,913 T4RGET


    OzCam wrote: »
    http://www.nlairsoft.com/en/



    My understanding is that the Certificate of Good Conduct (VOG) is similar to Police certificates available in many other countries, i.e. no criminal convictions and no outstanding warrants ;)

    There is no detail yet as to what constitutes "proper storage". A gun safe would seem to be fine, but an ordinary cupboard might suffice if it had a lock. We'll have to wait and see.

    I like the idea that players from outside the Netherlands can get a visitor permit from the NABV to go and play there. That's a nice touch.

    Official update from the NABV site (Google translation)

    that visitor pass is a good idea. Still curious to see what the limit will be though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,086 ✭✭✭✭ TheDoc


    T4RGET wrote: »
    that visitor pass is a good idea. Still curious to see what the limit will be though.

    Have to say I got "over" the whole limit fiasco years ago, mostly after playing at higher limits and realising you lose out on alot of the close quarter stuff that we get here.

    Clearly alot of people still jizz buckets over limits going by Facebook, most likely by people who have never ever fired an airsoft rifle over a joule.

    Be definitely interesting to see what their legalised limit is, possibly some sick sites might pop up over the course of a few years and maybe worth a visit :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,913 T4RGET


    TheDoc wrote: »
    Have to say I got "over" the whole limit fiasco years ago, mostly after playing at higher limits and realising you lose out on alot of the close quarter stuff that we get here.

    Clearly alot of people still jizz buckets over limits going by Facebook, most likely by people who have never ever fired an airsoft rifle over a joule.

    Be definitely interesting to see what their legalised limit is, possibly some sick sites might pop up over the course of a few years and maybe worth a visit :)

    Oh I'm perfectly happy with our limit, just curious, perhaps more worried about their limit seeing one hasn't been set yet and it's probably the biggest thing needed to keep airsoft relatively safe.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,086 ✭✭✭✭ TheDoc


    T4RGET wrote: »
    Oh I'm perfectly happy with our limit, just curious, perhaps more worried about their limit seeing one hasn't been set yet and it's probably the biggest thing needed to keep airsoft relatively safe.

    A I know it wasn't directed at you, just as you posted your above post, I was reading something on Facebook on another screen


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,913 T4RGET


    TheDoc wrote: »
    A I know it wasn't directed at you, just as you posted your above post, I was reading something on Facebook on another screen

    oh fair enough. I do see were you're coming form though, a lot of Joule junkies whn you go airsofting :rolleyes:


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 984 CpcRc


    I would like to see them adopt the 1 Joule limit like us as it's the best limit which works for both cqb and woodland. The dutch law can be fair if you're willing to follow restrictions and regulations. For example, for new years, dec 29-31st (28th also if one of the days is a sunday) fireworks are legal and only for those days of the year and with regulations and restrictions on how much you can have, how much powder they can contain, etc. So lots of fireworks were set off over those days by my neighbours and nobody was hurt.
    That shows that they can find ways to legalise things and allow people to have fun without injuring themselves.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,048 OzCam


    I'd like to see the whole of Europe going to 1J. It would at least simplify things and we should get something useful out of the Single Market.

    Might as well wish for the moon though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,086 ✭✭✭✭ TheDoc


    OzCam wrote: »
    I'd like to see the whole of Europe going to 1J. It would at least simplify things and we should get something useful out of the Single Market.

    Might as well wish for the moon though.

    Its a fair idea,to streamline the limits across Europe.

    I know its something that drifts in and out of conversation with the central EU organisation.

    The issue being obviously some nations won't relinquish their higher limits, while others will struggle to get them raised.

    Having a centralised, European organisation run on a proffesional level, whereby proper proposals can be put forward to bring limits streamlined with the rest of Europe is the only way our country would see a higher limit, and that's assuming the proposal is for us to raise ours, and not others to drop theirs.

    But I think it would literally take something of that scale, to have our Government even consider it, if it was something on a European level. And then at that, it's not something an organisation here can achieve on their own, of their own accord : /


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 984 CpcRc


    Well I imagine that maybe a two tier system might work better. First tier would be regular skirmishing, indoors and woodland sites, and would have a limit about 1 Joule and the associated rules and regulations. Second tier would be for milsims, here there are the different limits and rules for the different classes of soldier. With minimum engagement being enforced higher limits could be carried out in a safe environment. It would also deal with the rules and regulations for milsims.

    I don't see the big advantage for more fps in a regular skirmish, but for a milsim it can add a bit more to it so long as it is regulated and you are responsible.
    That way countries get to maintain their higher limits where it matters more.
    That could be a rough idea. And sites or event organisers fill out a form for a milsim event to prove that it is one. This form would pretty much only need for them to copy and paste lines out of the rulebook for the event, and the letters to insurers and local authorities so it shouldn't be any real additional work to what they would be doing anyway.

    If central EU government backed it, ours would fall right in behind. They got the lisbon treaty didn't they?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,130 ✭✭✭✭ Lemming


    OzCam wrote: »
    I'd like to see the whole of Europe going to 1J. It would at least simplify things and we should get something useful out of the Single Market.

    We're wishing that the rest of Europe reshape itself to suit Ireland's legal interpretation of law concerning airsoft guns. The first response to that should be an emphatic "why your laws?".

    And then we open Pandora's box (summed up by Doc's quote immediately below) when the rest of the union engages that request.
    TheDoc wrote: »
    The issue being obviously some nations won't relinquish their higher limits, while others will struggle to get them raised.
    CpcRc wrote: »
    If central EU government backed it, ours would fall right in behind. They got the lisbon treaty didn't they?

    The above quote by Doc underscores the immediate issue faced upon posing the initial question; but pandora's box is the negotiation & compromise that would follow by various nation's vested interests - be they sympathetic or hostile interests.

    The EU is ultimately made up of compromise among nations; besides various state laws regarding age and/or power-output (where allowed for minors), you have to reconcile Ireland's rigid 1j and not a digit more law; the UK's 1j "guideline" with a 371fps hard-limit into firearms territory (exempt for non self-loading airsoft guns) & then the whole "skirmisher defense", Spain's requirement for dayglo, Italy's requirement for red tipped barrels, Greece's "legal uncertainty limbo", etc. etc. etc.

    And all of that ignores the elephant in the room; Germany.

    Be very, very, very careful what you wish for boys and girls; because you really may not like what comes out of such a scenario.

    TheDoc wrote: »
    Having a centralised, European organisation run on a proffesional level, whereby proper proposals can be put forward to bring limits streamlined with the rest of Europe is the only way our country would see a higher limit, and that's assuming the proposal is for us to raise ours, and not others to drop theirs.

    But I think it would literally take something of that scale, to have our Government even consider it, if it was something on a European level. And then at that, it's not something an organisation here can achieve on their own, of their own accord : /

    All of the above sounds like it will cost money & effort to maintain. But that's assuming that politicians & bureaucrats at EU level either give a toss, or can be convinced to give a toss, about airsoft in general. In any case, it is not the EU that writes the laws into national legislature; that would be individual countries responsibility to reconcile EU directives into national law. And as Irish government has shown in recent years when faced with directives that they don't like; "hey lets just ignore sh*t when we don't want to ....".

    Ultimately, I think that airsoft would come off second-best in any attempt to issue directives at EU level either through compromise between nations, or those nations with hang-ups about firearms in general really dragging their feet or throwing a spanner in the works.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,048 OzCam


    I don't generally believe in engineering things down to a lowest common denominator, but 1J has the advantage of being provably safe. That is an extremely rare thing.

    But it's a pipe dream lads, there's no point in arguing about it :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,130 ✭✭✭✭ Lemming


    OzCam wrote: »
    I don't generally believe in engineering things down to a lowest common denominator, but 1J has the advantage of being provably safe. That is an extremely rare thing.

    Not that I disagree with the viewpoint, but one could then put forward the argument that 0.5j with all airsoft guns fixed as semi-only is even better (to follow German law). Of course 1.34 j is theoretically still safe; albeit skirting the extreme limit of the human eyeballs tolerance.

    Whilst Italy follows 1j (although how rigidly I couldn't tell you), the UK has a 1j "guideline", combined with a hard-limit of 370fps for self-loading RIFs. But most UK sites use the "1j +/- 10%" rule of thumb to cater for inconsistent chrono-readings/altitude/air-pressure density, resulting in the much-mentioned figure of 350fps. Which of course seems like a sensible compromise. But trying to sell any increase on the 1j hard-line to the Irish government would be akin to p1ssing into the wind during a hurricane I suspect. Most other EU nations that allow for airsoft probably don't see much of an issue with their current laws anyway and would be reticent to go tinkering with them, other than to perhaps restrict airsoft.


  • Registered Users Posts: 176 ✭✭ T.w.a.T.


    I'm not sure why your think that over 1J is unsafe or whatever your think is it. I use to play in country with no limits/regulation set for any Airsoft RIFs etc. and haven't seen any injuries from BBs at all /liке tooth been broken or something worse/. How many injuries your have been seen and talkin about, I think quite a few, but that is not the case here. In my opinion, somewhere between 350-400 fps is ideal for any type of game scenario, but with strikt minimum engagement distance set for different type of RIFs

    Something like this:
    1. from 0 to 109 m/s.............1 meter ............. Single & Full Auto
    2. 110 to 130 m/s...........10 meters ............ Single & Full Auto
    3. 131 tо 140 m/s...........15 meters ............ Single & Bolt Action
    4. 0 tо 140 m/s...........15 meters ............ Full Auto for Machineguns only
    5. 141 tо 150 m/s...........20 meters ............ Single & Bolt Action
    6. 151 tо 160 m/s...........25 meters ............ Single & Bolt Action
    7. 161 to 180 m/s...........30 meters ............ Single & Bolt Action
    8. 181 to 199 m/s...........40 meters ............ Single & Bolt Action

    Thats is only an opinion from a foreigner airsofter living and playing here at the moment. Don't wana argueing with you, is just my thoughts on that. :):)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,913 T4RGET


    T.w.a.T. wrote: »
    I'm not sure why your think that over 1J is unsafe or whatever your think is it. I use to play in country with no limits/regulation set for any Airsoft RIFs etc. and haven't seen any injuries from BBs at all /liке tooth been broken or something worse/. How many injuries your have been seen and talkin about, I think quite a few, but that is not the case here. In my opinion, somewhere between 350-400 fps is ideal for any type of game scenario, but with strikt minimum engagement distance set for different type of RIFs

    Something like this:
    1. from 0 to 109 m/s.............1 meter ............. Single & Full Auto
    2. 110 to 130 m/s...........10 meters ............ Single & Full Auto
    3. 131 tо 140 m/s...........15 meters ............ Single & Bolt Action
    4. 0 tо 140 m/s...........15 meters ............ Full Auto for Machineguns only
    5. 141 tо 150 m/s...........20 meters ............ Single & Bolt Action
    6. 151 tо 160 m/s...........25 meters ............ Single & Bolt Action
    7. 161 to 180 m/s...........30 meters ............ Single & Bolt Action
    8. 181 to 199 m/s...........40 meters ............ Single & Bolt Action

    Thats is only an opinion from a foreigner airsofter living and playing here at the moment. Don't wana argueing with you, is just my thoughts on that. :):)

    one meter, full auto at 109 m/s? I may be mis-reading the chart, but.. really? I've had a tooth shot out at 4 meters on semi and seen plenty of people chipping teeth from 40 meters or further. 1J is perfect, if anything 350fps but allowing full auto at 1 meter is just not right, I'd feel bad for someone if I was the one dishing the shots, never mind if i was on the receiving end..


  • Registered Users Posts: 176 ✭✭ T.w.a.T.


    Obviosly your not gona shot someone from 1 meter in full auto, are you? Neither do we, it's up to the player. But don't get the numbers straight, it all varies. :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,048 OzCam


    I didn't say that over 1J is unsafe, I said that 1J is provably safe.

    The English language is not ideal for expressing ideas like this, but there is a huge difference. Proving that something is safe is very difficult, and very rare.

    Anyway, we need to get back on topic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,160 Inari


    I'll be blunt. What country was it? How long had airsoft been legal? What was the physical size of the sites like?

    Here in Ireland it has began in 2006 a whopping 7 years ago, where no one really knew it existed. There were next to no sites, official ones at least, and it was the dark days of complete and utter misinformation. Airsoft moved on, and it has really been from 2009 where things got solid. There is proper legal ground, an NGB (National Governing Body) with clout, legitimate retailers and a growing knowledge of airsoft's existence.

    It is however still in its infancy, and many people are completely and utterly irresponsible with sub 1 joule airsoft guns. I don't trust the vast majority of people with 1 joule rifles, let alone 2 joule. Someone said it best (I'm pretty sure it was Keegan) that if the legal limit was raised I would find a new hobby. I'm not interested in physical pain, pure and simple.

    In many mainland European countries there is proper gun culture; compulsory military service, most families have owned air guns etc, and the legal classification of airsoft is completely different. The people playing airsoft understand things like trigger control, engagement distances etc and show restraint. Here it's like letting a load of hyper dogs off of the leash - chaos.

    My own few cent on the matter, for what it's worth.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,120 ✭✭✭ sharpy2010


    I would echo alot of what inari has to say and also add on that point that not many people out there can just distance accurately, and I don't mean the difference with feet and metres ( yet people still get it wrong) but between yards and metres.
    As Airsoft is still in it's infancy stage we are trying hard to promote it and there is alot if kids taking it up whose judgement on fair use is pretty poor and couldn't judge safe distance.
    It's alot easier to control fps than it is to control safe distances.
    And to go back on topic im delighted another EU country has allowed this sport to flourish legally the more that take it up the better it may get around the EU even for Germany someday.
    ( maybe there is a reason they have a low limit!! Ha ha :-) )


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,913 ✭✭✭ S.E.A.L.s


    After reading this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_issues_in_airsoft and considering it took over 8 years of lobbying by the NABV, I'm a little happier with the legal state of Airsoft in Ireland :)

    Also, this is a positive change and congratulations to our Dutch Brothers in Arms :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,048 OzCam


    January 8
    Airsoft scheme was approved and signed!

    Written by R. Meeuwissen

    Best Airsoftsport practitioners and interested parties,
    We can report that the Minister and State Secretary of Security and Justice, the scheme has been approved and signed. This is placed in the Gazette:
    https://www.officielebekendmakingen.nl/stcrt-2013-610.html

    Regulation of the Minister of Security and Justice from 7 January 2013 No 332 642 amending the Regulations Weapons and ammunition in connection with the regulation of the use of airsoft devices


    According to the official Gazette notice amending the relevant firearms legislation,
    • the energy limit is 3.5J,
    • membership of a representative body recognised by the Ministry of Security & Justice is required,
    • the age limit is 18+,
    • you must carry your documents with you and
    • sites require the prior approval of the Chief Constable.


    I think I got most of that right.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,913 T4RGET


    was wondering when they were going to get around to setting a limit.
    3.5J. That's what 600 something FPS isn't it?

    Did notice that they didn't state the weight of the BB to be used for measuring the energy, unless I missed that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,023 ✭✭✭ sliabh


    T4RGET wrote: »
    Did notice that they didn't state the weight of the BB to be used for measuring the energy, unless I missed that.
    Because that doesn't matter. Energy is energy and that is what you need to set.

    Things like BB weights are just to do with metrology, which I doubt is specified in the legislation or regulations.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,048 OzCam


    Sliabh beat me to it.

    A Joule is a Joule. Specifying a particular weight is just a measuring protocol.

    For a 3.5J limit the velocities are
    .20g = 187m/s
    .25g = 167m/s
    .30g = 152m/s
    etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,130 ✭✭✭✭ Lemming


    I should also point out that just because a legal limit is in place, does not mean that sites will allow you to run airsoft guns at those limits, or at least not without restrictions around what you can or cannot do, engagement ranges and so on. Further, a site's insurance might not allow them to do so either. So whilst it's all great and well saying "sweet, 3.5j here I come", the reality may not allow you to do anything other than target-shoot at that power output.

    For example, in the UK, there is a hard legal limit of 370 (or 371, not sure which) FPS limit on any RIF that is self-loading*. Bolt-action sniper rifles & pistols exist in a bit of an accidental grey area where they can go higher; somewhere in the 500 fps range, although the exact figure eludes me.

    All that said and done, you will find sites that allow people to use AEGs or GBBRs pushing 370fps to be few and very far between. Most sites limit to 1j + 10%, or the familiar rounded figure of 350fps due to common sense, safety precautions, and insurance limitations. You are guaranteed to find almost all use of bolt actions limited to somewhere around 500fps, occasionally venturing as far as 525fps along with a) minimum engagement ranges, b) usually a requirement that any "snipers" must have a side-arm to use inside minimum engagement ranges, and sometimes c) players will only be allowed field 500fps RIFs once they have been vetted by a site to ensure they know which way is "up".

    So basically, reality ensures that it doesn't become a free-for-all "arms" race to hit 1fps below the legal limit with license to fire at point-blank without consequence.

    Of course, maybe for all I've written above, Dutch sites may well allow AEGs at 3.5j with no observed engagement ranges. Just pointing out that it's not necessarily an opening of proverbial flood-gates.

    * Self-loading: i.e. is not capable of firing more than one round when you pull the trigger. AEGs set to "semi" do not count because all AEG gearboxes default to fail-automatic, not fail-safe if the fire-selector goes tits up.


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