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SUPREME COURT OF CANADA RULES. Is this is new news and how this affects us?

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Old November 17th, 2014, 14:30   #61
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Originally Posted by Cameron SS View Post
Simply because the RCMP has not yet decided to enforce these things is not evidence to the contrary. In fact the RCMP routinely does not take action on certain things when they know it is before the supreme court. Now that the supreme court has ruled, you can expect the RCMP is looking at this very closely.
Is that what you're worried about? The RCMP?

Stop worrying.

I know for a fact that the RCMP distinguishes between legitimate, range-tag activity involving pneumatic arms and robbing a bank with the damn things. Because I've interviewed the Canadian Firearms Program extensively.

And I know for a fact RCMP experts testified before Parliamentary committee to effect the exclusion of things like paintball markers from registration and licensing. Yes, they talked about what the paintball markers were for, for people to point and shoot at each other. To MPs.

There is absolutely no surprise or anything new in the SCC decision. All this was plain as daylight 5 years ago, when I was doing research on the CC.

A better question you should be asking is what people are paying their NFA dues for, if their recent hyperbole is indicative of their grasp of Canadian firearm legislation.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 15:02   #62
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I think you meant Drake. Similar letters, different name.

AND also the Firearms Act.

No.

I also don't think 214 fps is meant to be applied broadly. It was quoted in the context of a court case involving a pellet gun and presumably the pig eye test was carried out with a pellet gun and not an airsoft gun. But that's a whole separate topic I've discussed elsewhere. But I don't think the "214 fps" value should be touted as gospel: the currently accepted lower limit for airsoft is 366 fps.

Magazine limits and a bunch of other stuff you referred to...

Mag limits are defined in SOR-98-462, broadly:

I presume this is what you're referring to. And taken out of context, that does seem to support your claim. But if we go to the beginning of the document and look at the prescription, we find

So we go back to the CC and see what they say about owning such prohinited devices:

But again

Section 91 doesn't apply.

Every other point you bring up, same thing.

You're reading "firearm" and you're just running with it. Don't. I have no doubt you know the firearms laws, but please take the time to familiarize yourself with airgun laws which you admittedly don't know about, don't just quote parts out of context and assume it applies. You're a firearms instructor, you should be better than this. PLEASE be better than this.
Thanks for this!

I am familiarizing myself with 'airgun' laws, thats why I am here. Thank you for your patience. While I am a firearms instructor, I certainly don't teach the law, as obviously I shouldn't be.

That said, its becoming fast apparent that for the purposes of the criminal code, there is no such thing as 'airgun' laws. Just laws for what is or isn't a firearm, and what sections of the criminal code apply to which firearms under what circumstances. I think that's mostly semantics though.

As for 214 vs 366. I think your absolutely right that 214 should not be applied broadly. The weight of a .177 air rifle pellet vs the weight of a 0.2g airsoft pellet would likely require different velocities to penetrate a pigs eye. However the judge did not make this distinction, which means no other judge need make this distinction either. The state of the law now is that it COULD be applied broadly, and that's not a good position to be in.

The exemption for airsoft guns under 84(3) does not include accessories for those guns. Yes, an Airsoft firearm is not a firearm for the purposes of section 91, but nothing in law says that an airsoft magazine which is a prohibited device is also exempt. The magazine itself is obviously NOT a firearm, and there fore the exemption does not apply.

We have seen many instances where prohibited firearms, like converted autos are covered under prohibited licenses and grandfathered, while all the mags were confiscated because you can not hold a license for a prohibited device. The same logic applies here. Without an exemption for the prohibited device itself, section 91 applies, and you can not have it.

And if you think the RCMP won't crack down on it, like at the "high-capacity" magazines for rim fire firearms. The RCMP used to say they weren't concerned with high capacity magazines for rim fires, but then they determined that if a mag fits into a rifle and a pistol, then the pistol limit applies, meaning all ruger 10/22 mags over 10 rds are now prohibited because there is a pistol out there that takes 10/22 mags. Its highly likely that no one will ever have their mag taken from them, but retailers are starting to pull them off the shelves to avoid criminal liability.

I am taking the definition of firearm and running with it, because that is what the law says airsoft, paintball, pellet, and any other barreled object capable of causing serious bodily harm is now considered.

The NFA gets criticized within the gun community as well. Many people don't like their tactics, or they lament their ability to actually effect legislative change. One of their lawyers was personally involved in the Dunn case, so maybe their reaction in this regard is simply sour grapes? I don't know.

Not taking their word for it, and reading into the case law, legislation, and HISTORY of how the RCMP has interpreted and acted on certain rulings in the past, I find this all very concerning.

Last edited by Cameron SS; November 17th, 2014 at 15:09..
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Old November 17th, 2014, 15:21   #63
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Is that what you're worried about? The RCMP?

Stop worrying.

I know for a fact that the RCMP distinguishes between legitimate, range-tag activity involving pneumatic arms and robbing a bank with the damn things. Because I've interviewed the Canadian Firearms Program extensively.

And I know for a fact RCMP experts testified before Parliamentary committee to effect the exclusion of things like paintball markers from registration and licensing. Yes, they talked about what the paintball markers were for, for people to point and shoot at each other. To MPs.

There is absolutely no surprise or anything new in the SCC decision. All this was plain as daylight 5 years ago, when I was doing research on the CC.

A better question you should be asking is what people are paying their NFA dues for, if their recent hyperbole is indicative of their grasp of Canadian firearm legislation.
For seven years the RCMP approved the importation and sale of the CZ 858 rifle as a non restricted rifle. Then, as a result of a somewhat unrelated investigation, they realized that the law relating to the history of the manufacture of SOME of those firearms was misapplied, and in fact they were prohibited. Poof. Overnight tens of thousands of rifles became prohibited and subject to confiscation, and remain in legal limbo subject to a narrowly worded amnesty. They can no longer be used the way they were before, must be stored to a far higher standard than previously, and several have initiated costly legal action to try and get the decision reversed.

For two decades the RCMP approved the importation of 25 rd magazines for rim fire rifles, and in response to not really anything, determined that if it fits in a pistol, its a pistol mag, and the pistol limits apply. Poof, hundreds of thousands of magazines are now prohibited devices.

Many people probably don't care about what that means to them. And maybe nothing bad will ever come of it. Many gun owners said the same about the firearms act twenty years ago. Try and find one who hasn't changed his tune.
But yeah, the RCMP, who hold the reins on what is or isn't legal in Canada, despite being in a constitutional conflict of interest, IS what I'm concerned about.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 15:42   #64
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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.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 16:02   #65
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Here a direct link with contact info:
https://nfa.ca/news/supreme-court-ca...s-are-firearms

I am shocked by this news, we need to get the facts straight about the 214 fps.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 16:34   #66
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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. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/r...462/index.html
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 16:39..
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Old November 17th, 2014, 16:37   #67
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Just found this on the supreme court website:

http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/case-dossie...aspx?cas=35599

http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/factums-mem...-the-Queen.pdf

Last edited by Enthusiast; November 17th, 2014 at 16:43..
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Old November 17th, 2014, 17:13   #68
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"used or intended to use as a weapon or firearm". It's pretty clear. In the case of threatening, concealment, etc, not for ownership, transportation, etc. No the other laws do not apply to airsoft guns in general. A court ruling on a specific crime is just that. Interpreting the law is not a coherent way to do things, as they are intended for a purpose and not to serve personal need. Airsoft guns have been admitted and legalized period. An airsoft M16 is not classified as a AR M16 Abd therefore is not limited to say, semi-auto and a five round magazine.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 17:20   #69
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I still don't believe that follows. The CCC unequivocally states that, for the purpose of the criminal code and the firearms act, weapons firing under 5.7J/500 FPS are not firearms.

Yet this case states that anything firing over 214 FPS (regardless of energy involved) is a firearm for the purposes of the CCC and the firearms act. Which is it? It cannot be both, since one directly contravenes the other.

Suppose you have a barrelled device that propels a projectile at 205 FPS but at 5.9J of energy. The courts would, by the own precedent, have to admit that it is not a firearm (by that bare-bones 214 FPS delineation of firearm/not firearm). Yet the CCC would consider that to be a firearm, since it accounts for the velocity rather than just the speed of the projectile in question. Which is it?

Unless this is all some extreme cognitive dissonance on the part of the government and the court.

Does the court's ruling immediately supersede the previous law? The case law and the legislation on this cannot "work together" on this since they are mutually exclusive of each other in this instance.

Moreover, the RCMP recognizes airsoft guns and their legality, mentioning them specifically with regard to the legislation (http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/f...me_air-eng.htm). You have used the RCMP for arbiters of what is and isn't legal in the discussion of their acceptance and ban of various types of weapons and their magazines. I guess we'll have to see how they interpret these results.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 17:28   #70
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@Skeletor
Are you sure about the 500 FPS and 5.7 joules ?

on the website, RCMP state:
500 pieds par seconde ou avec une énergie initiale n'excédant pas 5,7 joules

it say Or not And.

In the criminal code :

a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.4 m per second or at a muzzle energy exceeding 5.7 Joules
source:http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/a...2.html#docCont



One or another criteria, not both. What I am missing ?
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Old November 17th, 2014, 17:32   #71
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The criminal code is accounting for both relative speed and energy of a projectile in order to prevent absurdities like the one I outlined in my example above, since it is the realm of possibility to create barrelled device that violates only one and not the other of the stipulations.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 17:32   #72
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Originally Posted by Cameron SS View Post
As for 214 vs 366. I think your absolutely right that 214 should not be applied broadly. The weight of a .177 air rifle pellet vs the weight of a 0.2g airsoft pellet would likely require different velocities to penetrate a pigs eye.
That's my feeling on the matter as well. The energy of 7.9 grain (~0.51 gram) pellet at 214 fps is simular to the 0.2 g (~3.08 gr) @ 366 fps used for airsoft (1.09j vs 1.24j respectively). The difference probably being attributable to the pellet being smaller, pointy-ish lead projectile.



Quote:
However the judge did not make this distinction, which means no other judge need make this distinction either. The state of the law now is that it COULD be applied broadly, and that's not a good position to be in.
For airsoft purposes, the lower limit would mean more guns could be imported -- namely a lot of pistols. Maybe its a coincidence, maybe its by design, but the 366 fps limit (airsoft) makes a lot of the pistols illegal to import. And I think pistols are the main type of weapon law enforcement is concerned with where gangs and convenience store robberies are concerned (nobody is knocking over the corner gas station with assault rifles, replica or otherwise).

Could I order a 325 fps pistol and argue a CBSA seizure using this ruling? I wouldn't bet any money on it.



Quote:
The exemption for airsoft guns under 84(3) does not include accessories for those guns. Yes, an Airsoft firearm is not a firearm for the purposes of section 91, but nothing in law says that an airsoft magazine which is a prohibited device is also exempt. The magazine itself is obviously NOT a firearm, and there fore the exemption does not apply.

Magazines which exceed the 5/10 round limit are "prohibited devices" which are illegal to own (section 91) but the CCC states section 91 does not apply to low power airguns. Magazines are arguably linked to the gun they fit in, as for determining their capacity (e.g., 40S&W mags which fit in 9mm versions of a pistol and can hold more than ten 9mm rounds are still considered legal because they're linked directly to the 40S&W version of the gun).

A Red Ryder BB gun from Canadian Tire and Walmart holds 650 copper BBs. If Red Ryder BB guns become illegal I'll give it more thought. But as it stands, magazine capacities for sub-500 fps airguns have never been an issue (most semi-auto air rifles have 8 and 12 round "mags," many .177 BB pistols have 16-round stick mags, some less common guns like the Baikal Drozd have a 30 round mag -- and the Drozd fire full auto to boot). And paintball. How do you define a paintball "mag?" I could stick any piece of tupperware in lieu of the hopper.









Quote:
Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
Here a direct link with contact info:
https://nfa.ca/news/supreme-court-ca...s-are-firearms

I am shocked by this news, we need to get the facts straight about the 214 fps.
Of all the documents out there relevant to this, please don't quote that piece of drivel. As for the 214 fps ignore it. You think its going to allow you to import lower power guns? It won't. For anything else it has no bearing.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 17:50   #73
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Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
@Skeletor
Are you sure about the 500 FPS and 5.7 joules ?

on the website, RCMP state:
500 pieds par seconde ou avec une énergie initiale n'excédant pas 5,7 joules

it say Or not And.

In the criminal code :

a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.4 m per second or at a muzzle energy exceeding 5.7 Joules
source:http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/a...2.html#docCont



One or another criteria, not both. What I am missing ?



It's poorly worded. Read carefully. From the RCMP website:

Quote:
1. Armes à air comprimé qui sont considérées comme des armes à feu aux termes de la Loi sur les armes à feu et du Code criminel

Ces armes à air comprimé tirent des projectiles à une vitesse initiale élevée (supérieure à 152,4 mètres ou à 500 pieds par seconde) et avec une énergie initiale élevée (supérieure à 5,7 joules ou à 4,2 pieds-livres).


Pour les armes n'etant PAS "considérées comme des armes à feu au regard de certaines dispositions de la Loi sur les armes à feu et du Code criminel" on lit:

Quote:
Il s'agit d'armes à air comprimé tirant des projectiles à une vitesse initiale maximale de 152,4 mètres ou 500 pieds par seconde ou avec une énergie initiale n'excédant pas 5,7 joules ou 4,2 pieds-livre
Donc 500 fps max OU n'exedant pas 5.7 joules. Il faut donc depasser les deux.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 18:00   #74
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What you are correct in pointing out CamSS is that the whole FPS thing makes no sense, albeit they could just be assuming standard round size and weight. Kinetic energy is the only relative dynamic to danger really, because if something has enough velocity to be dangerous then it will by all certainty have enough kinetic energy to cause serious bodily harm, but these things are relevant in one direction. This is why I'm not concerned and why I believe airsoft isn't affected, yeah know, other than all the current legislation, is because of what they were trying to do. Take firearm out of the equation for a moment. What they were trying to determine was the danger factor of the gun in question and how it was used. He was threatened, well, that part is relatively cut and dry, if the allegations for the sake of argument were/are true. The second part is how dangerous was it? Kind of like threatening someone with a baseball bat versus threatening them with a paper sculpture that looks like a baseball bat. The threat is illegal certainly, but is the object, gun or not, capable of harm? The pigs eye test was probably used in quick resolution to give or take legitamacey of a claim made by either the defense or persecution. Such as "he threatened him with an obvious toy, he was never in danger", or "he threatened him with a clearly dangerous instrument, and it should be treated appropriately". Something along those lines. So they took the gun and the stock ammo it had, and conducted at which velocity that ammo becomes capable of severe bodily harm. I can't see this applying to guns that shoot spherical styrene rounds and can quickly have their velocities and kinetic energies changed on fly, either through ammo or parts swapping. The RCMP-GRC along with the Canadian Firearms Program have set out in detail the methodology and legality of airsoft guns, along with similar devices, and how they fit into current legislation. The CBSA are close, but are very much doing their own thing as usual.

Also to answer the other question, it is and and not or. 'Or' does appear, but for a different purpose entirely.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 19:30   #75
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Originally Posted by Cameron SS View Post
Many people probably don't care about what that means to them. And maybe nothing bad will ever come of it. Many gun owners said the same about the firearms act twenty years ago. Try and find one who hasn't changed his tune.
But yeah, the RCMP, who hold the reins on what is or isn't legal in Canada, despite being in a constitutional conflict of interest, IS what I'm concerned about.
Heh. If you're trying to suggest I'm ignoring what or how the RCMP does things, or that I'm burying my head in the sand, you're sorely mistaken.

Context, I spent two years working on an academic paper covering the exact current issue: how is firearm defined in Canada, what are the implications for airsoft.

Literally, everything here and more, possession, acquisition, use, abuse, modification, high capacity magazine, automatic function, barrel length, etc was thoroughly broken down and examined, with the help of the RCMP and their legal folks. Why? Because at the time, airsoft was generally treated as replica firearms/prohibited devices in Canada and we were getting crushed.

After I clued in how firearms are defined in Canada and realized where airsoft guns truly fell (and that RCMP wasn't out to get us), I had to make sure that that didn't actually make things worse for us. It didn't and it won't. I didn't just take the RCMP's words for it, I went forwards and backwards over the CC and anything else official I could find. Everything corroborates the RCMP's position, because in this case it's set out in law and jurisprudence, and there's not a lot for the RCMP to have a position on other than to provide a scientific figure for serious bodily harm.

Maybe some day airsoft guns will require licensing, registration, semi-only, 5 round magazine limit, whatever. But that's not feasible under the current wording of the law.

Your major issue remains that you think Dunn v. SCC actually changed something. You're in a panic and trying to interpret the CC as if things changed. But Dunn v. SCC changed absolutely nothing, it simply reaffirmed what was already a fact of life.

If you had a time machine, and you went back and asked me what the decision of Dunn v. SCC would be back 2009, I'd have told you exactly what the decision would be. In fact, that was one of my recommendations at the end of my paper.

Quote:
7.2.8 Better prosecution of non-controlled firearms misuse

I recommend that the prosecution of the misuse of non-controlled firearms be improved through a more consistent application of criminal charges together with a more accurate classification of the barrelled weapons being used. The ballistic power of the barrelled weapons use should be accorded greater significance. There should be an official "rule of thumb", with regards to the type of non-conventional firearms used, that allows prosecutors to quickly but generally reliably determine whether the barrelled weapon involved in a firearm, non-controlled firearm, or imitation firearm.

For example, there is already a common layman understanding that if a barrelled weapon shoots cartridge ammunition, it is most likely a firearm. The layman understanding should be broadened to include "if it shoots a BB, pellet, or paintball, it is most likely a non-controlled firearm and NOT an imitation firearm." This would lead to the use of non-conventional, non-controlled firearms being properly prosecuted on the basis of the danger they pose to victims.
And the above is from 2009. Yeah, I'm in the camp that if you maliciously use any toy gun, you should get nailed for it.
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