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Old November 17th, 2014, 15:34   #66
Cameron SS
Join Date: Nov 2014
Originally Posted by Skeletor View Post
Please provide proof that an airsoft magazine is a prohibited device. It does not follow that a component of an airsoft gun, which is not a prohibited device or even a firearm according to the actual codified laws of Canada, would itself be a prohibited device.

You're making the assumption that the magazine is a prohibited device.

Legal magazine capacity in Canada is determined by the type of firearm for which the magazine is intended. Since airsoft guns are not legally firearms, I'm not seeing how there can be a legal limit for their capacity.

Moreover, the legal definition of a firearm is still based upon the CCC, not case law and precedent. Until and if the Criminal Code itself is amended to comply with the findings of this particular case, airsoft guns and their accessories are still perfectly legal.
Actually, the whole purpose of this thread is to discuss the recent ruling which said that Airsoft guns ARE in fact firearms for the purposes of the criminal law, subject to certain exemptions allowed for firearms that shoot below 500 FPS.

You seem to be unclear as to how law generally works in Canada.

Parliament passes legislation, courts interpret the meaning of that legislation, or strike it down as unconstitutional as the case may be. The criminal code definition of firearm does not need to be amended to comply with anything. The courts ruling is immediately in effect and provides guidance for the words already written into law. Both the legislation and the case law TOGETHER make up what the final word of the law is on any given issue.

Before we begin, the law doesn't have to make sense. There are many examples of where it doesn't, yet the law stands.

So, lets begin. First, as a general rule, words not expressly defined in law are taken to have their commonly accepted dictionary meaning. Judges are often called upon to turn an implied definition, into an express one.

Criminal Code, s. 2. Where we find some of the definitions relevant to Firearms.

“firearm” means a barrelled weapon from which any shot, bullet or other projectile can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death to a person, and includes any frame or receiver of such a barrelled weapon and anything that can be adapted for use as a firearm;

Note that the definition of firearm includes the word 'weapon', another word defined in S.2 of the Code.

"weapon" means any thing used, designed to be used or intended for use

(a) in causing death or injury to any person, or
(b) for the purpose of threatening or intimidating any person
and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, includes a firearm;

Note that the definition of weapon includes use of the word firearm. This is circular, and there are at least half a dozen cases that have had to sort out this mess. The ruling in R v. Dunn forms part of the law.

66. "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."

So lets take as a random example the C-Tac CT4 Sportline. Average velocity is 396 FPS.

Barrel? Check.
Fires a projectile? Check
Capable of causing serious bodily injury or death? Check.
Therefore its a firearm.

Section 84(3) of the criminal code exempts firearms which shoot less than 500 FPS from certain sections of the criminal code, but that exemption only applies to firearms, and not their attachments or any other devices, because a magazine does not have a barrel, while a malfunction or mishandling COULD cause a round to pop out, it will not be capable on its own of causing serious bodily injury or death.

What IS a magazine. Over to section 84(1) of the criminal code. The word magazine is not defined on its own, however:

“cartridge magazine” means a device or container from which ammunition may be fed into the firing chamber of a firearm;

"ammunition" means a cartridge containing a projectile designed to be discharged from a firearm and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, includes a caseless cartridge and a shot shell;

Now the question here is does a bb fall under the definition of a caseless catridge? Can't find any case law that offers guidance on this issue, and it may never have gone to trial. Given the intent of the law generally to regulate firearms, and that regulations includes magazines for those firearms, its perfectly logical for a judge to decide that if airsoft firearms are regulated, so too should their magazines. Determining that a bb is in fact ammunition, is a perfectly reasonable way to do so, especially given the wide latitude offered by the words "and without restricting the generality of the foregoing." I admit this is MY opinion, but other than sheer hopefulness, there is reason to believe that a judge asked to rule on the issue, would rule otherwise. The fact that this question essentially remains unanswered by law is a terrible state of affairs.

We turn now to the regulations for magazines.
Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted (SOR/98-462)

3. (1) Any cartridge magazine
(a) that is capable of containing more than five cartridges of the type for which the magazine was originally designed and that is designed or manufactured for use in
(i) a semi-automatic handgun that is not commonly available in Canada,
(ii) a semi-automatic firearm other than a semi-automatic handgun,
(iii) an automatic firearm whether or not it has been altered to discharge only one projectile with one pressure of the trigger; or

(b) that is capable of containing more than 10 cartridges of the type for which the magazine was originally designed and that is designed or manufactured for use in a semi-automatic handgun that is commonly available in Canada.
(2) Paragraph (1)(a) does not include any cartridge magazine that
(a) was originally designed or manufactured for use in a firearm that
(i) is chambered for, or designed to use, rimfire cartridges...

There is a long list of firearms exempted by name, which aren't relevant here so I didn't include them.

If a device, is a cartridge magazine, is designed for use in a semi automatic firearm other than a semi auto handgun, and contains more than 5 rds of the type it was designed for, then it is prohibited device, and you can not own it, unless it is pinned to only 5 rds.

Airsoft guns ARE firearms, and in my opinion bbs ARE ammunition, and airsoft guns are designed for airsoft ammunition, therefore airsoft magazines for semi auto firearms which aren't handguns are limited to 5 rds. magazines which exceed this limit are therefore prohibited devices.

Section 91 of the criminal code prohibits the possession of prohibited devices without the authority of the firearms act, and nothing under the firearms act grants the authority to own airsoft magazines or prohibited devices.

That is the law, (in my opinion).

Last edited by Cameron SS; November 17th, 2014 at 15:39..
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