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Old April 29th, 2010, 13:13   #40
The Saint
 
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Quebec
Quote:
Originally Posted by red_baroness View Post
Being a master misinformation I guess you'd know.
Let's see now....
Interviews with Canadian Firearms Program, check.
Consultation with CBSA, check.
Lived, breathed and dreamed Criminal Code and Firearms Act for 2 years, check.
Graduate paper based on airsoft-relevant legal research, check.
Said paper submitted to government think tank, check.
Regular cooperation with both above agencies, check.
Legal paperwork for everything I do, check.

Now, let's examine your original statement in detail.

Quote:
Actually, Airsoft guns are legal to own, buy, sell, and import. The Canadian Firearms center has declared them “not a firearm” under the firearms act. They still are firearms in the eyes of the law, of course, so are pellet guns, BB guns under 495 feet per second, paintball guns, starter pistols and even nerf guns. The real factor in determining legality seems to be intent. If your intent is to own, use, or sell Airsoft guns for the purpose of playing Airsoft, then it is perfectly legal. Conversely, if you use one of the above-mentioned guns as theatrical replicas; you would be breaking the law. Not only would that gun become a ‘prohibited firearm’ in the eyes of the law, you could also potentially be charged with a prohibited weapons crime. Scary. So, the trick seems to be to always use the term “Airsoft” when referring to the guns, and never use “replica” (even if it says so right on the box).
Let's break the above up a bit, dividing them where the trains of thought change lanes.

Quote:
Actually, Airsoft guns are legal to own, buy, sell, and import. The Canadian Firearms center has declared them “not a firearm” under the firearms act. They still are firearms in the eyes of the law, of course, so are pellet guns, BB guns under 495 feet per second, paintball guns, starter pistols and even nerf guns.
First of all, the law is two fold as far as airsofters are concerned. You must meet a minimum set of numbers and not exceed a maximum set of numbers. The people running Airsoft Canada seem to be exercising information control over the minimum number, so I'll leave it out. But only if you show the airsoft gun in question has met that legal number is it classified as uncontrolled firearm.

And that minimum number is very high and excludes all airsoft pistols. I can't make this clear enough, there is currently no legal opaque GBB possible.

The second component of the law is a muzzle energy and velocity limit, above which all firearms become controlled (and therefore illegal AND unsafe for airsoft use). This is where you left out muzzle energy. It's a combination of exceeding 500 feet per second and 5.7 Joules. You must meet one and exceed the other, minimum. For example, paintball regularly exceeds 5.7 Joules, but fall far short of 500 FPS.

Finally, neither starter pistols nor Nerf guns are "firearms" under Canadian law. The term "firearm" refers to a very specific set of conditions in Canada that no Nerf gun or starter pistol meets in their default state. Only if they have been specifically modified beyond their original state, then they may be a "firearm".

Quote:
The real factor in determining legality seems to be intent. If your intent is to own, use, or sell Airsoft guns for the purpose of playing Airsoft, then it is perfectly legal.
Here is where you're getting confused. The real factor in determining legality was in the previous paragraph, and it's an issue of classification. All else being equal, the problem with the legality of airsoft in Canada has always been an issue of what they are, not the legitimacy of the activity (barring criminal use).

Government crackdown on airsoft businesses have always been because they were illegally importing and selling prohibited devices. It did not matter what the intent of the seller and buyers were with regard to use (provided the activity itself wasn't illegal).

Now, airsoft the activity does apply as a defence against a number of use-related criminal offences, thanks to the precedence created by paintball.

However, airsoft guns are not recognized as "airsoft" guns in Canadian law. Operationally, they are merely part of the "Air, Spring or Gas" group. There is no statutory or regulatory differentiation between airsoft, pellet and paintball. Distinction is made at the implementation level based on the necessity of different ammunition types, but that's it.

Quote:
Conversely, if you use one of the above-mentioned guns as theatrical replicas; you would be breaking the law. Not only would that gun become a ‘prohibited firearm’ in the eyes of the law, you could also potentially be charged with a prohibited weapons crime.
And here is where you go really far off the track. I'm not even quite sure what you're getting at, unless you're somehow referring to s. 87 (Pointing a Firearm). But if that is the case, the fact that the setting is a theatrical production would provide a lawful excuse that is far more concrete than any airsoft or paintball intent.

Quote:
Scary. So, the trick seems to be to always use the term “Airsoft” when referring to the guns, and never use “replica” (even if it says so right on the box).
It is not a trick, and thinking and wording it as such is probably not good. When anything is worded as a "replica", it is flagged by the system as such, and goes back into the same classification issue as before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by red_baroness View Post
That's all well and good, but you didn't include a definition of "replica firearm" which can be found within the firearms act itself. Traditionally this includes the phrase "non-firing," or "theatrical."
So again it comes down to INTENT. Ever wonder why a store can sell bb guns, pellet, paintball, blank firing starter pistols, but CANNOT sell NON-FIRING REPLICAS. It's all intent.
Non-firing replicas are intended to simulate a real firearm and nothing else. Airsoft, BB, Pellet are intended for gaming and target shooting.
The former is illegal except for theatrical purposes (and then only with a wrangler's permit,) the latter is perfectly reasonable and lawful (so long as proper safety concerns are met.)
Ya digg?
It seems to me you are woefully under informed about the legal history of airsoft in Canada.

http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcpc/doc...009bcpc50.html

You may wish to consult the above court decision, which pretty clearly illustrates why there is no "intent to airsoft" defence. That, or the half dozen or so CBSA/CITT failed appeals of "intent to airsoft".
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Last edited by The Saint; April 29th, 2010 at 13:23..
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