Wow. Some pretty strong and harsh reactions to this topic. Definitely a hot one. I am not sure how this thread got so mangled with nasty words being tossed at each other. People are allowed to believe whatever they want - you can agree or not.
And so... here's my two cents...
All I know is that I got mine before Dec. 1, 1998 so I'm ok
Whether or not it is LAW or not, I think the issue of Airsoft guns is well known to police around the country, federal or not, and it is a gray area that some do not know how to deal with. It is the idiots in this airsoft community, nation-wide, that cause issues for all of us and for them and we all get painted with that brush.
It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch. It is up to us to behave in a responsible manner, including on a forum, to change their opinions of us.
Either way, I feel that asking people to register these is one step towards them choosing to confiscate them and spoil our fun. You are welcome to go register them and your nerf guns if you wish if this by-law comes to your city, but that is the risk. And if you have enough coin to be able to replace your AEG, PTW, etc. no problem, then have at it.
They, the people who make the laws in the country, are likely not out on the weekends rolling in the dirt with us. If they are - then please ask them to help get the ball rolling on legitimizing this sport. I'm sure they'd have strong support of it. But I am guessing "They" do not like what we do or agree with it, and the fact that our AEGs, GBBRs, PTWs, ABCs... etc look like real firearms scares them I think. And they worry how the idiots in our community might use them. I'm sure you all know an idiot or two in airsoft who does not make a great name for our sport here in Canada.
When it comes to the police knocking on your door at the report of you brandishing supposed automatic weapons, I'm sure you are in your rights to refuse to let them in. They may not bother to ask. They can do what they wish and colour it in the way they like to make it happen for them and worry about it later. I'm sure the slap on their wrist will be less than the pain in the ass you will have to go through. If you are not in law enforcement, you likely have little idea what they deal with daily.
The fact is, with real firearms, unless you were grandfathered in with your automatic rifles before legislation made them prohibited, you cannot own one legally (or so I have been told by some people who own Thompson's and AK's). Unless you have a "prohibited" PAL, but I believe you must be in law enforcement of some kind for that and not even all of them can get it. If not, please let me know otherwise with some links on how to get it legally.
If you own a real AR, which you can legally purchase from most gun stores legally with a restricted PAL, your firearm will be registered with the police. So if someone sees you "cleaning it" through the window and calls the cops, they will know you have one. If I was a cop, I'd be checking to see if there are any registered firearms at a home before going to a call like that. The cops are legally obligated to check it out if someone makes a call like that. So if you have a pissy neighbor they can likely make your life miserable.
If you are dumb enough to clean or "play" with your airsoft gun in plain site of your neighbors to easily see them just by walking by your home on the sidewalk, then expect a visit from the po-po's at some point. How you behave at that point will determine if they feel you are a threat to the community. Any gun call, I would suspect they'd be a bit twitchy and any issues on your part aside from, "yes sir, no sir, I'm sorry officer but that is just not the case", will likely get their feathers ruffled.
I'm sure you can wag your tongue and argue with them all you like about the law and tell them off. You might even intimidate some of the inexperienced ones, but if you are a dick and treat them disrespectfully (especially if there is more than one of them) then I'd say you can plan on a trip to the station in cuffs with your AEGs in tow, and before you can cry wolf, these will be destroyed because you pissed them off. And then you can have fun with all of the legal costs associated with trying to get them back only to find it has been destroyed and then the legal costs of suing them for the costs and proving that you were in the right. Do you realize how much lawyers fees are? Why even put yourself in that kind of situation?
BTW - Are there any lawyers or cops on here than can put some of this stuff to rest? It would actually be nice if there were some police officers who enjoyed airsoft, in our community.
Some of this thread is really quite laughable. And I'm sure I will be a target of some mud tossed too, but whatever.
Point is, you are all welcome to do what you like and think what you like.
You can choose not to carry your airsoft guns in enclosed cases to and from games so that the public can see them.
You can choose to play with them in your home or backyard within view of the public.
You can also choose to give the police a hard time when they come a knocking (if they knock at all, depending on how the story was told they received from the "public").
You can choose to register them and risk confiscation from unclear legislation or however someone decides to interpret the law. You can choose not to register them and get fined or confiscated too possibly.
You can also choose to behave responsibly and case your weapons to and from games. Not clean them right in plain site for any to easily see. Play the game responsibly. And perhaps the police will not be knockin at your door.
These are not toys, just as a hockey stick is not a toy. If you shoot someone in the eye with these, regardless of the fps, you could cause seriously injury. There are tards in our communities doing things like this, whether it be in the airsoft community or the "cansoft" community. People need to take some responsibility first before anyone will listen to us to change the laws. And that is not going to happen anytime soon, especially based on what I have seen here. They need to get those "cansoft" guns off the shelves and out of the hands of children.
And guaranteed if the ones who determine the laws saw this thread, I think it would only make them feel more strongly that, in general, there are far too many immature individuals playing this sport to be considered responsible enough to own these "weapons" or for them to want to change the laws.
It is not the people who have registered firearms that are the problem and breaking the laws robbing people and such (I hope so anyway). It is the criminals who do not register their guns and do not get them legally in the first place.
Be that as it may, that does not change how our sport can be viewed by outsiders including the press. It is a long time before airsoft is legitimized in my opinion. In the meantime, act responsibly and enjoy the game while you can. And if you know any reporters or politicians or police who play this sport perhaps they might be able to help it become legitimized some day. Treat them well.
Just thought I'd try to add to the healthy discussion part of this thread...