Crossbows are powerful weapons which are used in some sporting or pest control activities.

In Summary:

  • It is illegal to sell or let for hire a crossbow to any person under 18 years of age.
  • It is also illegal to sell or let for hire parts for crossbows, including arrows, to any person under 18 years of age.
  • It is illegal for a person under 18 years of age to buy or hire a crossbow or parts for a crossbow.
  • It is illegal for a person under 18 years of age to possess a crossbow or parts for a crossbow unless they are accompanied by a person over 21 years of age.
  • The rules do not apply to crossbows with a draw weight of less than 1.4 Kg (this covers some 'toy' cross bows that are generally available but not considered powerful enough to cause injury)
  • It is a defence for a person who sold or let for hire a crossbow to demonstrate that they reasonably believed the buyer or hirer to be over 18 years of age.
  • The penalty for a breach by a seller is an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment for up to six months. The maximum penalty for a buyer or hirer is a maximum £1,000 fine.
  • A court may order the forfeiture of the crossbow, but has no powers to prevent a shop from continuing to sell crossbows in the future.