Originally Posted by mopic
I have spoken to guys in Law enforcement, including high ranking officers in the Provincial weapons enforcement unit, When asked if there is any enforcement action planned on airsoft he laughed and said " we have real guns, making real victims everyday, airsoft is not on the radar.
That being said, I would not want to open a retail store in Torornto, the chance of the thug element getting them is too great.
Problem isn't law enforcment (several LE members play games here). Many of us have spoken directly to, and had favourable encounters with LE. As MacGuyver pointed out earlier, its CBSA. There is only two ways to bring 'replicas' into this country legally and neither of them allow for the type of distribution required to sell them in a store to just anybody. This is where the problem starts and the one that ties the hands of potential retailers in this country. Its why for years retailers come and go and nothing is permanent except the fact there will always be someone coming for every someone going. Owning them isn't illegal, noone has anything to worry about. If you receive a visit or call from CBSA, they will be looking for you to admit you bought it as proof against the retailer, not to bust you personally - but has that ever even happened to anyone? I'm curious, but I've never heard it in my years.
With regards to pistols, I can understand emphasis being placed on them by CBSA. Pistol related crimes are prevalent and pistols are easily concealed. There may be a low amount of replicas used in crime, but it only takes a few sensationalized stories involving replica pistols for CBSA to start to take heat about how they are getting here, since its technically their job to see that they don't. Incidents of replica rifles being used in crime is ... well, I'm sure its happened somewhere, but I can't think of anything lately. Anyways, its safe to say that noone is walking around in a mall right now with an mk11 mod0 tucked in their pants to look tough.
Under current legislation and trends, this sport will always exist in an 'underground' capacity. To go prime-time, there needs to be advertising and competition. The laws successfully keep the lid on airsoft distribution to the masses, but we live in a country where we can exhibit free will and our sport really is safe and well self-policed, so we are able to continue to eek it out low-down on the radar as responsible hobbyists.