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My friend is traveling to the states next week for a short time then he'll be back to England , I would love to ask him to get me this very unique xbox controller.

He doesn't have to carry it with him of course instead he will keep it in his luggage. Would it cause him any problems?

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closed as off-topic by Nean Der Thal, Willeke, Henning Makholm, blackbird, mindcorrosive May 1 '16 at 15:46

  • This question does not appear to be about traveling within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    What makes you believe it's "100% legal" in the UK? Per dan1111's answer, "imitation firearms" of all kinds are prohibited, regardless of whether it's intended to be a replica or a game controller. – jpatokal Apr 29 '16 at 7:23
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    In the US I can go to a shop and walk out in 15 minutes with a real AR-15 rifle, magazines and ammunition. I'm not sure about the UK, but something tells me it would be much more difficult there. – Michael Hampton Apr 29 '16 at 7:32
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    Hey you have asked previous questions on carrying replica unarmed explosives, children toy guns and now this replica, which looks like a real gun ? Are your sure about what you are trying to know ? – DumbCoder Apr 29 '16 at 9:11
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    Per the regulations stated in the answer below, this is easy enough to fix. Have it spray painted neon pink before trying to import it - $3.86 at Walmart. Problem solved. – HopelessN00b Apr 29 '16 at 15:02
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    The company that sells this controller has successfully shipped them internationally, (including AUS which has some very strict gun/fake-gun rules). They also have a policy that they will refund you if your controller isn't able to reach you because of Customs issues. Reach out to them directly and ask if they've had success shipping to the UK. It'd be better for them to take the heat of dealing with shipping to the UK rather than your friend. – BobbyScon Apr 29 '16 at 19:59
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IMHO the problem here is that the UK law forbids importing imitation firearms. Quoting from the Guide on Firearms Licensing Law found on Gov.uk:

Section 36 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 makes it an offence for a person to manufacture, sell, import or cause a realistic imitation firearm to be brought into Great Britain.

As it turns out, an imitation firearm is:

any thing which has the appearance of being a firearm (other than such a weapon as is mentioned in section 5(1) (b) of this Act), whether or not it is capable of discharging any shot, bullet or other missile

Taken together, these two statements would make me think that you cannot import a gun-shaped console controller into the UK.

For completeness sake, note that your friend is likely to be prosecuted under Section 170(2) of CEMA 1979:

Section 170(2) of CEMA 1979 covers the import "smuggling" offence in so far as a person knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion or attempted evasion relating to goods (namely firearms) that are subject to any "prohibition or restriction." The prohibition upon the importation of firearms is contained in Article 1 of the Import of Goods (Control) Order 1954 (SI 1954/23) which was made under section 1 of the Import, Export and Customs Powers (Defence) Act 1939.

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    Does the last bit you quoted concern imitation firearms? It mentions only firearms. Also it would seem to apply only if the object is not declared to customs ("fraudulent evasion") and only if the person was aware that the importation was restricted ("knowingly"). It can be hard to prove that someone "knows" something. – phoog Apr 29 '16 at 13:04
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    @phoog Import of imitation firearms is restricted so yes I'd say this applies. – JoErNanO Apr 29 '16 at 13:12
  • @phoog - in this case, not so hard. OP openly asked on a forum since he feels there may be some laws against it. Asking the question in a way eliminated any "I had no idea!" excuses if Customs Enforcement comes knocking. – BruceWayne Apr 30 '16 at 20:37
  • @BruceWayne that assumes that customs enforcement would be able to connect this question with the defendant. – phoog May 1 '16 at 2:36
  • @phoog - oh for sure, just thought to mention it though. – BruceWayne May 1 '16 at 2:46
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Realistic toy guns are banned in the UK. Based on the information on that page, it seems quite likely that this would qualify and therefore be banned. The penalty for trying to import it could be up to a £5000 fine or 6 month prison sentence.

This mainly hinges on whether this gun is considered "realistic". In the U.S. an orange tip on a gun is sufficient to mark something as a toy, but here is the relevant guideline from UK.gov (emphasis added):

an imitation is to be regarded as distinguishable if its size, shape or principal colour is unrealistic for a real firearm...

An imitation firearm which is principally coloured bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright pink, bright purple, bright blue, or which is transparent should...be regarded as unrealistic

In addition, the controller is styled similar to a real gun and is of sufficient size (longer than 70mm) to qualify as realistic under the regulations.

Beyond that, I would not ask a friend to bring something that is likely to attract the attention of security. Even if it were technically allowed, surely this is likely to attract attention and add extra hassle to travelling.

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    @Ulkoma, this is a toy that looks like a gun, and the law covers such toys. The fact that it works as a game controller is not relevant. The conditions for what make a fake gun "realistic" are listed in the link, and it seems quite clear that this would count as realistic. – user35890 Apr 29 '16 at 8:13
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    Relevant quote from the article: The basic test is to ask the question, “does the imitation gun look like a real firearm?”. If the answer is yes, then the item is likely to be a realistic imitation firearm and its sale, importation and manufacture is outlawed. – SGR Apr 29 '16 at 8:46
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    @dan1111 Don't hesitate to add relevant quotes from the linked page into your answer. This way if the link goes down/changes we still have the information here. – JoErNanO Apr 29 '16 at 9:38
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    @Lyall as per the link, airsoft is an exemption to the ban: "the organisation and holding of the acting out of military or law enforcement scenarios for the purpose of recreation, where the organiser holds public liability insurance for such events. This includes Airsoft skirmishing." However, in order to purchase airsoft guns you must be over 18 and have a valid defense (such as UKARA membership) - something to prove that you are an airsoft player, regularly skirmish and therefore have a reason to own it. :) – Luna Apr 29 '16 at 13:57
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    @Lyall And the kinetic energy of a 100 mph fastball is about the same as that of a pistol-fired .22, but, given the choice, I'd rather be hit by the baseball than shot with a .22. Of course, being hit by a 100 mph fastball will hurt a lot, but it's not likely to kill you. Total kinetic energy matters, but the area over which it's applied matters a lot more. – reirab Apr 29 '16 at 19:52

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