Airsoft guns were Japan's answer to a 1970s gun ban. The replica guns shoot small plastic pellets propelled by compressed air. The guns have a history of use to train military personnel, security guards and police officers. Children use the guns as toys to play shooting games with friends or target practice for hunting. You must be 18 years of age or older to buy an airsoft gun, but you don't need to be that old to shoot one.
From State to State
Minnesota is the only state where there's a minimum age for kids to have an airsoft gun. In other states, a child of any age may own and shoot one. The determination of whether a child is mature enough to handle the gun gets left up to the parents. The airsoft guns are similar in appearance to real models of firearms. When the tell-tale orange tip is disguised or removed, the gun is easily mistaken for a real firearm. This could result in an unsupervised child getting shot by police or an armed citizen if the child points the airsoft gun at someone who doesn't realize it's a toy.
Not at Any Age
Some municipalities with a history of replica guns used in crimes have banished owning the guns altogether. In New York City, Washington DC, Chicago and San Francisco, any replica gun is illegal to possess within city limits. The state of Arkansas prohibits owning or possessing an airsoft gun anywhere within the state, no matter how old you are. Cities in Texas and Minnesota prohibit firing the guns within city limits.