well because they are inbetween the law... a litteral gray area.
are they illegal to posess, no, are they legal to import by individuals not completely. there are three government agencies involved in them and all have different rules and ideas of what is and isnt allowed. as far as customs is concerned airsoft is a replica firearm and is illegal for individuals to import on their own. meaning if you get caught with it at the boarder you will get it seized and likely get to be very intimate with the inspectors at customs. to import airsoft you need a number of different licenses that grant you the ability to import prohibited devices (a replica firearm is a prohibited device) although owning one is not illegal. there is no requirement for an orange tip here. the only way to import airsoft and ensure that you will be able to get it through is by having it go through a recognized retailer based in canada with the proper licenses to import prohibited devices. the police are in between on the status of airsoft and it really depends on who you ask as to its legality. in terms of our firearms regulator, the Canadian Firearms Center, airsoft is under review because it fits between the definitions of a firearm and of a replica. however if seen as a firearm it would be illegal since fully automatic firearms are illegal to import. if they chose to view it as a replica it would still be illegal for an individual to import by air, car, foot or any other means you can think of on their own. in other words it is best to just tell those canadians to buy it in canada for their own safety.
marking airsoft guns as a "paintball supply" is not a good idea. firstly if it is seized by customs in an inspection you can end up in serious trouble for making false customs declarations and they will likely be harsh with your shipments in the future. secondly the customer who you are sending it too is going to also face trouble and when importing things will be scrutinized for a very long time. accessories seem to be okay but some things like metal bodies are still a risky proposition. in many cases it can come down to how good the customs official who is inspecting your goods feels that day.
also in canada there is a voluntary initiative underway by the retailers here to ensure that all airsoft sales are to only 18+ to minimize idiots getting them and causing bad publicity for the sport by doing something stupid. since airsoft in canada is only hanging by a thread legally any bad publicity is bad and has a huge impact on the survival of the sport.
while individuals dont seem too concerned if they are ever caught they would not be too happy when customs takes their airsoft and destroys it and they get absolutely no compensation for it.
Stop Sulking About It! - Prioritize & Organize! - Canadian Airsoft Is Not A Crime!
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