Originally Posted by Brian McIlmoyle
Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense... it may buy you some slack in sentencing... but it is not a defense.
The whole 407 fps thing is a non starter..
if airsoft guns fire at a velocity sufficient to bring them under the classification of a firearm... then all the rules of firearms must apply.
including requiring a PAL to buy .. and possess.. as well as restrictions on selective fire weapons... ( semi auto only ) and restrictions on magazine capacity ( 5 rounds only )
If they're over 407, but under 500, they are exempt from what you describe due to
(3) For the purposes of sections 91 to 95, 99 to 101, 103 to 107 and 117.03 of this Act and the provisions of the Firearms Act, the following weapons are deemed not to be firearms:
( d) any other barrelled weapon, where it is proved that the weapon is not designed or adapted to discharge
(i) a shot, bullet or other projectile at a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.4 m per second or at a muzzle energy exceeding 5.7 Joules, or
(ii) a shot, bullet or other projectile that is designed or adapted to attain a velocity exceeding 152.4 m per second or an energy exceeding 5.7 Joules.
Those sections describe possession, transfer, transport, and importation. Therefore, ok to possess, import, buy, sell, and transport, no PAL required. Not to mention that the Firearms Act doesn't apply (eg restrictions on selective fire, etc.)
So yes, they are firearms, and their laws apply, but let's not ignore the exemptions that apply due to their muzzle velocity being under 500 fps.