In an unprecedented case, several Tanaka Works manufactured airsoft guns have been ruled real firearms, and so their possession and sale are subject to immediate ban. Tanaka Works themselves, now apparently an illegal arsenal, have been raided by police with a view to prosecuting.
The ruling, based on tests carried out by police, means that the guns now fall fully under the remit of the stringent Japanese Sword and Firearms Control Law, which essentially restricts weapon possession to all but criminals and police, and as a result owners are being ordered to immediately turn in their now illegal firearms.
Some one thousand of the models have already been sold, all as toys and so unregistered, so recovering them all may prove difficult. 800 of the now weapons were seized from the premises of Tanaka in addition.
Police investigations established that two of the models made by Tanaka Works, their S&W M500 CASYOPEA and Colt SAA .45 CASYOPEA, each available in long and short barrel versions, possess the capability of firing a 0.2 gram ball bearing using explosive propellant, without any modifications whatsoever.
This is deemed to have the potential to wound, and thus police hold it can no longer be considered a toy.
It seems difficult to ascertain whether this is a case of the manufacturer being fools for creating low power handguns, or of the police suddenly altering their criteria for evaluating these toys as handguns or not.
Odd that an airsoft manufacturer would knowingly manufacture and sell firearms, and by the looks of things their models are not too dissimilar from other models?
Airsoft manufacturers will doubtless be having a very nervous look at their designs…