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Old February 16th, 2006, 10:48   #1
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Ban on "toy" guns in Toronto

This was in the Toronto Star. I figured you guys would be interested as the description of "toy guns" is extremely close to the description of airsoft.

Ban on toy guns in mayors' sights
They can fool police, bylaw backer says Move by Scugog could spread in GTA
Feb. 16, 2006. 06:26 AM
STAN JOSEY
STAFF REPORTER

Mayors around the GTA will be asked tomorrow to endorse a ban on kids possessing toy guns in public.

The move to prohibit anyone under 18 from having toy guns in public spaces is being led by Scugog Mayor Marilyn Pearce, whose township north of Oshawa was the first in Ontario to enact the ban last month.

The mayors and regional chairs throughout Greater Toronto and Hamilton will meet in Keswick tomorrow.

"I am hoping all of the municipalities in the GTA will come on board on this initiative to get toy guns off the streets," Pearce said. "It is really about protecting children and I don't know how anyone can have an issue with that."

Pearce said it was an "alarming" number of "scary" incidents involving the toys over the last year that prompted the town council to act.

"The concern was that these realistic toy guns are being used by children in such a way that a police officer might be forced to shoot first and ask questions later," she said.

Durham Region Council yesterday discussed instituting a similar ban region-wide, but on legal advice referred the matter to its local municipalities for consideration.

Under the Scugog bylaw, the "possession" of toy guns in public places by anyone younger than 18 years old is punishable by a $150 fine. Imitation or replica guns are legal for anyone older than 18 unless used in committing crime.

Durham Region Const. Todd Petzold said officers would use discretion in enforcing the bylaw and would not be issuing tickets to 8-year-old children.

"In those cases, I would take the child home to the parent and inform them of the dangers of playing with these toys on the streets," he said.

"There is no problem with children using these toys in their homes, but if you take a realistic-looking toy gun on the street, you could be in danger."

He also said that since Scugog passed its bylaw in January, some kids have started turning their toy guns in to police.

"I have received several of them from children who said they just did not want them now that the bylaw had been passed."

Petzold, a community police officer who works in Port Perry area schools, held up a plastic toy pistol that originally had come in orange but had been painted black so that it "looked and felt like my police-issue Glock sidearm."

Petzold said some of these weapons cost as little as $2 in discount department stores.

He said that, under federal law, the sale of replica or imitation handguns is prohibited to persons younger than 18.

"But that hasn't stopped parents from buying these very realistic-looking toys for their children."

Pickering councillor Maurice Brenner commended Scugog, a community of 23,000 surrounding Lake Scugog about 65 kilometres northeast of Toronto, for having the "courage" to pass this bylaw.

"We used to play Davy Crockett with cap guns when I was young, but I guess you just can't do that any more," he said.

The Scugog bylaw declares "no person who is less than 18 years old shall possess a replica firearm or imitation firearm while on public property or on private property to which the public has general access." An imitation firearm is defined as "any device that is designed or intended to resemble a firearm or replica firearm or may be reasonably mistaken as a firearm."

"Before this bylaw in Scugog, if we found a young person on the street with an imitation handgun we couldn't do anything," Petzold said. "Now we can take the gun, talk to the young person and we don't necessarily have to lay a charge."

He said the big chain stores such as Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart usually would not sell any replica or imitation gun to anyone younger than 18.

However, he said the rapid growth of "dollar discount stores" has resulted in $2 replicas that fire plastic bullets being sold to customers of any age.

"Where we have found this happening we have talked to the store owners and they have readily complied with the law or taken them off the shelves," he said.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said that while there isn't a toy gun ban in Toronto, a police program called Gunplay No Way works with community partners in exchanging in toy guns for less violent toys.

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Old February 16th, 2006, 10:57   #2
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Here we go again....
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Old February 16th, 2006, 10:57   #3
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Imitation or replica guns are legal for anyone older than 18 unless used in committing crime.
Interesting, they appear to interpreting the law in our favour...

It is nothing we haven't been advocating already... people under 18 should not own these replicas and NOBODY should be playing in the street with them.

I think it is a good thing.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 11:02   #4
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this law looks like it goes for realistic water guns, cap guns and non functional lil kid toys. Gay.

When I was little, we would run around neighborhoods with toy capguns that were full metal and looked damn realistic. I think I still have an old capgun luger around here somewhere. I think that the soccermoms of the world need to get punched.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 11:05   #5
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Sounds good to me, maybe now after a few parents have to end up paying the 150.00 for thier kids maybe some of them will stop buying thier kids airsoft and putting the sport and thier kids at risk.

I'm not going to say every minor isn't deserving or mature enough to own or play airsoft, but we all know including any truely mature minors that it's about legalities and following the law.
Even though there is the odd "I'll do what I want, n play where I want" type teenie bopper on here I know they don't represent the maturity of every minor out there, but the law is the law.

To me it just sounds like somewhat of an enforcement of laws saying minors shouldn't own or posses replica's in view of the public.
Like I said sounds good to me.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 11:06   #6
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under 18 and in public...

Airsofters don't wave them around in public and that is why we like over 18...
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Old February 16th, 2006, 11:10   #7
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This will be closely followed by the "No snacks before suppertime" by-law and the "no staying up past bedtime" by-law. Soon, we'll have the "no swearing in public" by-law to make sure those bad bad people don't scare somebody with their foul language. Then we'll have the law banning ugly people because they're scary too.

Shit, why don't we just impose a Dictatorial rule in Toronto so we can all be safe doing exactly what the city tells us is right and propper.

This is obviously aimed at creating another tool to punish gangbangers carrying guns, be them toys or real. Cause you know, they'll listen.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 11:39   #8
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no change...

I can't see this applying to super soakers.. and that is not what they are saying.

it seems clear that the bylaw is designed to limit the use of replica firearms and imitation firearms by kids in public.

There is already in place a Federal Criminal Code law prohibiting possession of replicas by anyone under 18. But on the enforcement side it is very unlikely to see kids playing with guns charged under the criminal code.
A bylaw with a fine is likely to serve as a more effective deterent than a criminal charge that will rarely be enforced.

Anything that keeps replicas out of the hands of minors is a good thing in IMO.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 13:23   #9
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Quote:
The Scugog bylaw declares "no person who is less than 18 years old shall possess a replica firearm or imitation firearm while on public property or on private property to which the public has general access." An imitation firearm is defined as "any device that is designed or intended to resemble a firearm or replica firearm or may be reasonably mistaken as a firearm."
This is the only bit out of the whole speil which is really worrisome to me. Pball places are private property generally accessible to the public. Under the current definition of the bylaw, we could be prosecuted for playing in pball arenas.

On the other hand, I'm not sure what the definition of "accessible to the public" means. Pball fields won't let people walk on without eye protection or signing a waiver and usually paying a fee. That is probably restricted access of some kind.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 13:27   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMax
Quote:
The Scugog bylaw declares "no person who is less than 18 years old shall possess a replica firearm or imitation firearm while on public property or on private property to which the public has general access." An imitation firearm is defined as "any device that is designed or intended to resemble a firearm or replica firearm or may be reasonably mistaken as a firearm."
This is the only bit out of the whole speil which is really worrisome to me. Pball places are private property generally accessible to the public. Under the current definition of the bylaw, we could be prosecuted for playing in pball arenas.
only if you are under 18, which is moot anyway as no one under 18 can have replicas in their possession, unless accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.. which is the typical requirment for minors anyway...

so ... still no change
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Old February 16th, 2006, 13:30   #11
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Who the fuck is gonna ENFORCE this? I mean really.

Currently there are teens running around shooting people with REAL GUNS. There is a LAW against that (at the Federal level), which is currently (and obviously) unenforceable in this city.

If we can't stop the real ones, how the fuck are we gonna stop the toys ones?

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Old February 16th, 2006, 13:33   #12
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Actually come to think of it, defining "posession in public places" instead of "brandishing in public places" is significantly stronger. It means that having an imitation firearm concealed in a bag is an offence. I see no clause allowing public posession in the presence of a legal guardian. I guess the bylaw will remove implied open or concealed carry for minors!
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Old February 16th, 2006, 13:41   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMax
It means that having an imitation firearm concealed in a bag is an offence. I see no clause allowing public posession in the presence of a legal guardian. I guess the bylaw will remove implied open or concealed carry for minors!
but what gives them the right to be searching through your bag?
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Old February 16th, 2006, 13:42   #14
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As with all bylaws... they are enforced by bylaw officers.. when they recieve a complaint.
there could be roving bands of youths armed with a variety of replicas... if no one complained .. no one would care to see the bylaw enforced.
Without the lesser offence of the bylaw infraction availible as an enforcement tool ... the only option is to charge with a criminal offense, which in the case of brandishing a replica in public by a minor.. is unlikley to happen

Bylaws such as this will probably be more effective in reducing the proliferation of replicas within the underage community than the Criminal laws, that simply are not being enforced due to the dire consequences of pressing such charges. (court costs, court appearances by police, ect.)
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Old February 16th, 2006, 13:47   #15
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This is awesome!
Ok someone has to correct me if I am wrong. The the way that I read it, I see nothing that says people over the age of 18 (ie me) cannot own, transport, or use replica firarms.
There is also nothing that says I cannot brandish them in public.
Is there some other law that I am unaware of?
I was under the impression that replica's were illeagle to ANYONE. That is why airsoft is in constant jeapordy. I thought they are in kind of a grey area, being not really a replica because it can fire bb's, replica's being defined as "non-firing".
Does this mean airsoft is actually legal?
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