Thread: Petitions
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Old March 4th, 2007, 17:14   #42
Brian McIlmoyle
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Toronto
Changing laws

There seems to be some confusion about what has actually happened.. Some people seem to believe that "a ban is coming" That in some way the law as pertains to airsoft is changing.

This is not the case.. The only thing that has changed is the position with respect to enforcement of existing laws.

Activism can be effective is maintaining the status Quo Which is what the current gun lobby in Canada is striving for... no more changes.. no more restrictions.. we will live with what we have.. but no more.. Holding back the tide where it is by building a dam of resistance through lobbying and political activism.

Our position is different.. The dam has already burst... it did so in 1998 when replicas were proscribed.. and we have been running for high ground ever since.. trouble is there is not much high ground left..

Both airguns and Replicas are currently Proscribed under current laws..

Airsoft guns are both airguns ( not restricted ) and Replicas ( prohibited)

So what we are talking about is having some sort of " special status " for airsoft guns outside of the current Law.

The Brits solved this problem with "Written in" defenses for trade and possession of replicas ( or Realistic Imitations as they call them) based on a "legitimate need" clause in the law. our law has no provision for written in defenses.. The legitimate need for individuals in the UK is for historical re-enactment.. it is the same law that allows people to own swords and spears and bows in the UK all which are illegal under the law.

Our law places the "legitimate need" provision on the transfer end of things.. and requires both the transferer and the transferee to have a business Firearms License..

For example it is ok for a licensed business to sell replicas to another licensed business... a legal importer can sell replicas to a prop house for example.. or to a movie armourer.. or to a training facility.. both entities have a "legitimate need"

the issue is that individuals have no "legitimate need" for replicas in the perception of the Law in Canada.. so access to replicas is legally out of reach for individuals. Which is the intent of the law..

We are talking about changing the law to allow individuals access to replicas... this would be a reversal of the government position that has been in place since 1998 when replicas were specifically proscribed to eliminate that access.

This would be exactly the same as asking the government to reverse their position on proscribing "assault rifles" as prohibited.. why would they? because some people would like to own them? Because their hobby happens to be the collecting and shooting of Assault rifles.. and because they want to they should be allowed? Some would argue.. yes, the government has no business meddling in the affairs of law abiding citizens... but we all know that in Canada this is not the case.

"saving airsoft" by requesting legislative changes in the Firearms Act and the CCC is very much like trying to get all the water back behind the dam and rebuild it while holding back the water... Not impossible... but really not very likely to happen.

There are ways that we can continue to participate.. and grow the community .. but it is not going to be as free and easy as it has been.
Brian McIlmoyle
TTAC3 Director
CAPS Range Officer
Toronto Downtown Age Verifier


If the tongue could cut as the sword does, the dead would be infinite
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