Ok, so I know that as far the as USA is concerned (from TSA.gov) paintball markers are not considered "weapons/firearms" and you can put them in checked luggage. CO2 or compressed air tanks can even go in carry-on as long as you remove the regulator and the tank is visibly open.

However, my question is are these rules for paintball equipment the same internationally? I know in some countries, paintball is not widely popular. Where can I find out more information so I don't run into issues with security agents at the destination airport?

  • @hippietrail Just curious... why do you feel the tag firearms is more appropriate than what I had (paintball)? From wikipedia: "A firearm is a portable gun, being a barreled weapon that launches one or more projectiles often driven by the action of an explosive force." I think the key distinction for a firearm is the 'explosive' material used as propellant, which is not present in a paintball marker. Nov 30, 2014 at 0:06
  • Because paintball is not a travel topic and we already have a firearms tag. Tags are not about dictionary definitions, they are about semantically linking related concepts and questions. The fact that you go to the trouble to clarify that paintball markers are not considered firearms indicates that some might suppose they may be. Nov 30, 2014 at 3:41
  • Well yes... I was supposing you personally considered paintball markers firearms, since you changed the tags! Any paintball player will be quick to point out the fact there's a world of difference between the two though :) It looks like the rules vary from country to country, and even airlines to airline, as I am finding out... and sometimes the rules doesn't follow reality or even common sense! I know how tags work, and I'd think, however, that a paintball player searching this site for info on traveling with paintball gear wouldn't search by firearms, but that's just me... :) Dec 1, 2014 at 3:11
  • Generally you don't search by tags, you search by plain text, which would find this. Tags can be watched and ignored and are used to help link related articles. The questions is effectively "might some airlines classify paintball stuff in the same category as guns?". Which is a gun-related question. Our tag covering such things just happens to be "firearms". It's often really difficult to get a one- or two-word tag that covers an exact "kind of idea" anyway. Look in the meta for the discussion we once had on tagging castles vs palaces vs chateaux! (-: Dec 1, 2014 at 3:23
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    @hippietrail yeah, I think guns is way broader, and might fit better as a tag. Firearms, IMO, is quite specific. Thanks for updating that description! It's pretty good now actually :) Dec 1, 2014 at 3:37

1 Answer 1


The rules on paintball eqiupment is demonstratably not the same internationally. Here's some random examples that I could find information on:

Your best bet for information in each specific case is to contact either or both of the country's Customs and any local paintball organization that you can reach. The former will give you official information if paintball markers do not fall into any grey areas in the local laws (which they can do) while the latter are more likely to be able to answer your question in a practical sense.

  • Actually, the link about the magazines I think only applies to air (bb) guns. But yes, I've been also reading some airlines or governments consider a paintball marker a "firearm" (wtf...) and some don't let you carry a decompressed tank at all. Nov 27, 2014 at 2:59
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    @unknownprotocol From the initial site I linked for the UK: "The paintball industry uses the Air Weapons section of the firearms act to regulate the sport." It then goes on to detail how to ensure the paintball marker falls under the Air Weapons section instead of the general Firearms provisions, which would leave them prohibited. So yeah, it does apply to air guns but the UK considers paintball markers air guns.
    – dlanod
    Nov 27, 2014 at 4:46
  • Gotcha. Yeah... seems like it's a big a mess of legal mumbo-jumbo to travel internationally with paintball gear. :( The law seems to vary alot based on the country. Nov 29, 2014 at 23:44

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