-Firearm (firearms act and criminal code)
Airguns or airsoft guns must exceed 152.4 meters or 500 feet per second, "AND" 5.7 joules or 4.2 foot pounds. Both of these criteria must be met or exceeded to be classified as a firearm. All guns that meet these two requirements are subject to "all" firearms related laws and regulations. Things like ownership, transport, acquisition, storage, etc will all be subject to firearms laws.
-Airgun (firearms act and criminal code)
Airgun or airsoft guns that exceed 152.4 meters or 500 feet per second "OR" 5.7 joules or 4.2 foot pounds is considered a firearm for the sake of the criminal code, but not for all purposes of the firearms act. It only has to exceed one of these (either velocity or energy) to fall into this category. These airguns are not subject to the same firearms act laws as firearms. Things like storage, ownership, transport, acquisition are not subject to the same laws; however, all criminal code still applies. If you commit a crime with one it's the same as commiting a crime with a real firearm.
If anyone is ever confused by the reclassification, consider this; your airsoft gun shoots over 500 FPS with a 0.25g BB. (With the old laws this would classify it as a firearm). Now you put 0.30g BBs in it, and it's FPS drops under 500 FPS making it not a firearm, but increasing the danger. A heavier projectile increases energy or force. Not all airgun ammunition is the same either. Metal is more dangerous than plastic for instance. This system simply covers all bases.
-Replica (firearms act, criminal code)
Airguns that replicate a real firearm with near precision or with reasonable detail is considered a replica, and replicas are prohibited. Prohibited to own, import, etc. A replica however is "not" capable of hurting someone. If you can injure or kill someone with it, it's real and not replica. 366 FPS with a 0.20g BB is the mark where the legal system has decided serious injury can occur thus changing your airsoft gun from a replica that looks like a firearm to a gun that looks like a firearm. So if you want an airsoft gun that shoots under 366 FPS it must look like an obvious toy (clear receiver), no an orange tip does not count. That law only exists in some states, and it cannot be something you can easily do to a real gun i.e. paint it orange. These airguns still fall under tge criminal code of firearms. You will be charged with a full firearms related offense if used criminally.
The CBSA is not necessarily subject to the same laws as you are. Although things are changing, they do have the ability to seize or withhold anything from getting into the country, so take care in what you import.
This is only a basic guide, and there are much more detailed posts on ASC about these issues. There are many links to legislation if anyone is ever curious.
- never use airsoft unsafely
- never use airsoft criminally
- never ever smuggle
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