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Old November 17th, 2014, 11:49   #57
Cameron SS
Join Date: Nov 2014
Originally Posted by Ricochet View Post
There are no restrictions on airsoft such ...
I looked up this morning and the sky seems to be right where it needs to be still.
Hi, thanks for your post. It hasn't really clarified anything.

When you get charged by the police, they do not charge with a post from an internet forum. You get charged with a violation of the law. If you can not provide a basis in law for your opinions, then they are of little value in the context of the current discussion.

The magazine restrictions set out in the regulations issued under the authority of the firearms act, apply to all firearms. The definition of 'cartridge magazine', 'ammunition' and 'firearms' under those regulations very easily apply to airsoft firearms. Contrary to what others here have suggested, nothing suggests these regulations apply only to centrefire, as the word is neither defined in law, nor does it appear in the subject regulations.

The term "uncontrolled firearm" does not appear in law, and carries no meaning.

The term "airsoft gun" does not appear in law either, and carries no meaning. There are no rules or regulations that were brought in specifically to handle them.

Would a 308 bolt action modified to look like an m16 be an illegal replica? No, but not because of what you said, but because a 308 bolt action is a FIREARM, and anything that is a firearm can not also be a replica. The definitions are mutually exclusive.

As a side note, Look at the prohibited weapons list. The Tactical Macmillan 50 cal sniper rifle is prohibited AND ALL VARIANTS AND MODIFIED VERSIONS. Based on the case law interpretations, variant means anything with similar function or operation, has common types of components, visually looks similar, etc. regardless of the history of manufacture, actual interchangeability of parts, differences in size or dimensional characteristics, etc. These interpretations have been used to confiscated guns that existed prior to the named prohibited gun, as well as guns that have not a single interchangeable part. This interpretation, correctly applied, prohibits ALL BOLT ACTION RIFLES as variants of the Tac Macmillan 50. For the time being the RCMP is dealing with this inconsistency by ignoring it.

As aside note, in the regulations which prohibit many things already reference, included are prohibitions on certain ammunition. SPecifically is anything that is capable of penetrating body armour and can be fired out of commonly available handguns. There are many types of conventional jacketed ammo that meets this description, and again, the RCMP simply ignores the inconsistency, for now.

What makes a firearm a firearm in the safety act? The ability to cause bodily harm is one part of clarification, and that has been neatly applied to airsoft to exempt them from replica status. So forget the 366 FPS guideline, as long as they can cause severe bodily harm, then they are legal.

On the far, far, far other end you have what makes a firearm a firearm for the sake of the criminal code and other legislation.
What is the safety act?
The ability to cause bodily harm was not applied to airsoft to make them legal. The ability to cause harm has caused airsoft guns to be captured under the regulation of the criminal code and other legislation.
It is because they can cause severe bodily harm that they are FIREARMS, and subject to all of the laws and regulations that affect them.

There is only one definition of firearm as far as the criminal code goes. Many provincial and municipal governments include their own definition in various statutes and by laws, but any judge would easily rule that such definition was intended to reflect, and not diverge, from the entire body of Canadian Legal Jurisprudence regarding firearms.

Sling shots could never be a firearm, because they do not have a barrel.

Lastly, as for your conclusion as to where we are now:
For the instances of commiting a crime with an airsoft gun, you can be charged as if it is a real firearm (1). As an uncontrolled firearm, it isn't subject to the same control laws, hence the title, as a controlled firearm. (2) [U]Things like storage and magazine capacity don't apply here (3).
There are other, non-firearm related crimes, that they could charge you with if they saw fit, but because for the purpose and intent on the gun side of the crime is not there (4), this whole 214 FPS ruling is totally irrelevant and can serve no purpose nor precedent.
1. You can be charged BECAUSE it is a real firearm under the law.
2. This term does not appear to exist in law.
3. Actually, many people on this forum have disagreed with you, and suggested that airsoft IS subject to storage and transportation regulations as airsoft firearms are not exempt from 86 (2) of the criminal code. "(2) Every person commits an offence who contravenes a regulation made under paragraph 117(h) of the Firearms Act respecting the storage, handling, transportation, shipping, display, advertising and mail-order sales of firearms and restricted weapons." As for magazine limits, no one here has provided a basis for why they don't apply to airsoft, except to requote non legally binding information from the RCMP.
4. I think you need to re-read the legal decision, if you haven't done so already. The Court of Appeal came to the exact opposite conclusion.
At para 66. To conclude, in my view, there is no ambiguity in the definition of firearm in s. 2 when regard is had to the legislative history and the context and scheme of the legislation. Barrelled objects that meet the definition of firearm in s. 2 need not also meet the definition in para. (a) or (b) of weapon to be deemed to be firearms and hence weapons for the various weapons offences in the Code.
Therefore, intent to commit a criminal act is no longer required for any of the offences listed in the criminal code. Airsoft guns are ONLY exempt from those sections of the criminal code set out in 84(3), being sections 91 to 95, 99 to 101, 103 to 107 and 117.03.

Many people here have indicated quite readily that they dislike my interpretation. Drake caught my error about section 99 applying to airsoft. Asides from that, I have not yet seen anything in law to suggest that you can legally point an airsoft gun at someone (s. 87), or that the regulations for mag limits don't apply.

Simply because the RCMP has not yet decided to enforce these things is not evidence to the contrary. In fact the RCMP routinely does not take action on certain things when they know it is before the supreme court. Now that the supreme court has ruled, you can expect the RCMP is looking at this very closely.

Last edited by Cameron SS; November 17th, 2014 at 14:24..
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