Airsoft guns, both pistols and rifles, are toys that fire small, soft pellets using springs or an electronic winding mechanism. These toys are used to competitively play war games, but due to the very realistic nature of some of the airsoft weapons there are a lot of state laws, including in the state of Ohio, that apply to these toys.
It is illegal in the state of Ohio to have an airsoft gun that doesn't have an orange blaze tip. This tip is a plastic strip no shorter than 6 mm wide, and it marks out that an airsoft rifle is in fact a toy and not an actual firearm. These tips are important because they allow law enforcement officers to recognize the difference between an airsoft gun and a real one, which helps cut down on misunderstandings between airsoft players who may be transporting harmless toys that happen to be firearm replicas.
An airsoft gun, under Ohio firearm law, is not considered to be a firearm. This means that the laws that apply to firearms, such as concealed carry and permit requirements, don't apply to airsoft weapons. Additionally, you could be under the age of 18 and legally purchase an airsoft rifle while you couldn't do the same for a real rifle. The same is true for airsoft pistols. However, merchants do hold the right to not sell airsoft weapons to customers if they choose not to, meaning that you may need to be a certain age as decided by the store's proprietor. Some towns and cities ban the use of airsoft guns within city limits.
There are no laws against carrying airsoft guns, however players do recommend that you use common sense when transporting your airsoft rifles. For instance, there's no law against carrying a toy through a crowded street. If you stop and realize that you have a replica of an AK-47 in your hands, and that it may look real if people don't notice the orange blaze strip on the tip, you could create a very bad situation that might involve law enforcement officers, fines and potential charges for creating a threatening environment. So if you're transporting your airsoft rifles, keep them in a case and out of sight to cause as few problems as possible.
- Airsoft Scene image by DanielC from Fotolia.com