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Imitation Firearms

Under Etsy’s Prohibited Items Policy, weapons are not allowed to be sold on Etsy. This policy also applies to certain imitation firearms.

Please note that in addition to Etsy’s policies, there are many laws and regulations surrounding the sale of firearms and imitation firearms. These Help articles are therefore not meant to be comprehensive, but we hope they help point affected sellers to more detailed resources. Etsy cannot advise on how to comply with the law. We recommend you speak with a qualified expert for advice about your specific items.

What types of imitation firearms are affected by this policy?

Imitation firearms that are prohibited or restricted on Etsy include:

  • Air guns which fire metal BBs

  • Fantasy guns

  • Replica guns

  • Toy guns

  • Cap guns

  • Water guns

  • Airsoft guns

What does Etsy consider "imitation firearms" and what does Etsy require to sell them?

Etsy considers ‘imitation firearms’ to include (but not necessarily be limited to):

  • Replica or look-alike guns. These are items made to resemble actual firearms. Any item depicted in such a way that an average person could reasonably mistake it for a real gun will not be allowed.

  • Toy guns, such as cap guns. In most cases, these will be treated like replica or look-alike guns. If it is clear to an average person that they are not real, and they otherwise qualify in one of our categories, then they are allowed. Please check your national and local laws for any additional restrictions on cap guns and newly made toy guns.

  • BB guns and Airsoft Guns. Etsy does not allow the sale of BB guns, which fire metal projectiles, regardless of how they are listed. Airsoft guns, which fire plastic projectiles, must have permanent blaze orange barrel markings or a permanent blaze orange barrel plug. Again, please check your local laws for any additional restrictions on the sale of BB or airsoft guns.

Etsy’s policies regarding weapons, firearms, and imitation firearms are based primarily on US federal law. It is each seller’s responsibility to research any and all applicable laws regarding the sale of weapons, including firearms and imitation firearms.

Etsy reserves the right to remove any listing that violates our policies. If Etsy removes an item listing for violating Etsy policy, the seller is still obligated to pay the listing fee for that item, according to our Terms of Use.

Where can I find information on how to legally comply?

Sellers in the US can refer to US federal code.

Outside of the US, sellers must check their own local laws. Requirements vary based on the specific item and location. We recommend speaking to an expert or lawyer to ensure that you are following the appropriate laws.

Can I ship my items overseas?

Etsy is unable advise whether you may ship your item internationally. By using Etsy, sellers agree to follow all local laws. Please check with your local post office or carrier, as well as the local laws of your buyer, for any applicable laws or restrictions on shipping weapons or firearms (including imitation firearms).

Other countries in which Etsy has a presence may have more stringent laws surrounding imitation firearms than the US.

If it is on Etsy, does that mean it's legal for me to buy it?

Potential buyers must also take into account their own local laws when considering a purchase. Etsy is unable to advise about the legality of specific items in specific locations.

My imitation firearm does not look realistic at all; may I still sell it?

If a non-firing imitation firearm is unlikely to be mistaken for a real firing weapon by an average person, then it may be allowed on Etsy as long as it otherwise qualifies (handmade or vintage) and is not prohibited for other reasons. Since each case is unique, please contact Etsy Support to see if your item can be sold on Etsy. Click the link at the bottom of this page to get in touch with us.

Can I sell my BB gun even if it is not intended to be used as a BB gun?

No. We prohibit guns that are capable of firing metal BBs.

I don't live in the US or ship to the US. Does this apply to me?

Yes. This policy is global. Keep in mind that many countries have far stricter laws regarding imitation firearms and it is important that all sellers, in every location, are aware of and follow the laws applicable to them.

What are the requirements for airsoft?

At a minimum, airsoft weapons must have permanently affixed blaze orange markings on the barrel, or a permanent blaze orange plug in the barrel. For more details, consult the US federal code regarding imitation firearms.

Please note that there may be additional requirements from different authorities regarding the sale of airsoft items.

Can I modify my imitation firearm to comply?

It depends on the item, but it might be possible as long is it isn’t a fully prohibited firearm or a BB gun. Please contact us with your specific question and we'll be happy to help.

What happens if I list a non-qualifying item?

Etsy reserves the right to remove listings that we determine are not in line with our policies or are not within the spirit of Etsy. Such listings will be removed from the site, and the member's selling privileges may be suspended and/or terminated. If Etsy removes an item listing for violating Etsy policy, the seller is still obligated to pay the listing fee for that item, according to our Terms of Use.

If you are unsure whether an item qualifies, please contact us.

 

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