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Is it Illegal for a Minor to POSSESS an Airsoft Gun in Canada?

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Old January 5th, 2008, 15:05   #46
Shirley
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Originally Posted by kuchervano View Post
Please share with us where you checked that.
Also the Pacific Mall incident. The article never showed up.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 15:27   #47
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Just because you need to be 18 and over to buy an airsoft, it doesn't say in the sheet you need to be a certain age to possess one. Why are you guys trying to make your own rule saying you can't.
Prior to Jan 1/98, possession and aquisition for replicas was legal. After this date, possession was legal (only if you owned prior to Jan 1/98) and aquisition became illegal. Now, in 2008 both are illegal. Possession and aquisition are the same when you are talking about buying a gun, or possessing a gun now, illegal.

If you, a minor, does not understand the difference between possession and aquisition of a prohibited device now, today, then you have no business doing either. Sorry, but it's a fact of life.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 15:36   #48
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Someone please educate me as to exactly what laws are being broken when a minor owns an airsoft gun.

Please cite the location of the specific codes as written in the Canadian Criminal Code, because I've personally never heard of such a thing before.

I want to get this cleared up right here and now so that the constant reports about "minors breaking the law" either stop or get enforced properly. Mind you, it's generally the same guys who complain about minors "breaking the law", performing "illegal activities", and "promoting illegal behaviour" but I have yet seen a single shred of proof or cited material to prove these claims. This clarification needs to be made.

For you guys who always complain about this issue, state your case, provide your claim and cite the specific areas as outlined by the Canadian Criminal Code. If you can back it up, then I'll enforce the claims more strongly, but until then, any more such complaints will yield the COMPLAINER with an infraction for wasting the time of moderators.
I will have this answer for you directly next week as related to British Columbia. I have posed this question to the Inspector in Charge of the Firearms Division of the Vancouver Police Department as I work very closely with them in my employment. I am awaiting his reply, as I am currently researching the rules and regulations and requirements for importing and selling airsoft through a walkin store here in Vancouver. Will keep you advised.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 15:37   #49
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Originally Posted by mcguyver View Post
Now, in 2008 both are illegal. Possession and aquisition are the same when you are talking about buying a gun, or possessing a gun now, illegal.
Last time I checked, possession was still legal, unless they amended the Criminal Code within the last month. This is still rather important, as it's considerably more involved a process to prove acquisition (proving we got it before '98, as it were) than it is possession (oh look, you have it). And the more resources it takes/wastes to prosecute us, the less inclined the police are to suddenly have a paradigm shift about our replicas.

Plus when the sky falls () we'll all be charged with one less offence.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 16:01   #50
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The onus is upon the accused to prove their date of possession. If you can't prove you bought it prior to Jan 1/98, then you are in violation of the law. Likely 99% of ASC members fall into this category. Not many people have owned a gun for more than 10 years, and even less can prove it.

You can't illegally acquire a prohibited device, but still be legal in possessing it.

They only need to prosecute a handful of people to get their message across. How many people here would turn in their guns if a Justice official came on here and said they have successfully prosecuted a few people and will do more, or turn in your guns? It happened with real guns to force compliance for registration.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 16:12   #51
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You can't illegally acquire a prohibited device, but still be legal in possessing it.
According to the law, you can. As you've said, acquisition and possession aren't the same thing. People can't be charged with possession offence of replica firearm because that offence does not exist, but 99% of us can be charged with transfer offences because they do exist.

Semantics? Maybe to us, but I'd prefer the contradiction to stick around and hope a good lawyer can make something of it someday.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 16:27   #52
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If you follow the model I posted, there is no contradiction at all.

Airsoft = Replica = Prohibited Device.

Where can you check all that? Dept of Justice and the CCRA.

It's on record that airsoft are treated as replicas, more than once. Even in this thread by others than me.
It's on record that replica firearms are prohibited.
Prohibited Devices cannot be obtained (anymore) if you follow that logic, and certainly not by non-adults.

If you are over 18, and already have a Replica, no real problem. You bought it, it's in your possession, you own it. What you do with it requires some common-sense.
You can even loan it to another person if you are present to supervise. Almost like the regulations for real handguns.

However the logic and follow-through is lacking, and can be interpreted as being a Provincial matter. BUT... the regulations about Replicas and Prohibited devices are Federal: They apply across Canada.

As to what happened at Pacific Mall, I'm sure the Mods are far more capable for tracking it down. Or was it that case where a guy was arrested and then was shown to have a lot of airsoft he used? Either one, they got charged and convicted.

I dont feel like arguing this in a Court of Law, so I'll still follow what I think applies and err on the side of caution (or the side of what was last posted on Federal websites).
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Old January 5th, 2008, 16:43   #53
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Originally Posted by The Saint View Post
According to the law, you can. As you've said, acquisition and possession aren't the same thing. People can't be charged with possession offence of replica firearm because that offence does not exist, but 99% of us can be charged with transfer offences because they do exist.

Semantics? Maybe to us, but I'd prefer the contradiction to stick around and hope a good lawyer can make something of it someday.
It is illegal to both now, and has been for 10 years. It's not a matter of semantics, but a matter of law.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 16:57   #54
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It is illegal to both now, and has been for 10 years. It's not a matter of semantics, but a matter of law.
Replica firearm is explicity excluded from the category of prohibited device for all Criminal Code paragraphs involving non-trafficking possession offence, has been for 10 years now.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 17:18   #55
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Mr Greylocks, while your arguments are well versed and do make sense, the word 'logic' can not be used to back up what you are saying, at least not in Supreme Overlord Moderator Illusion's All-seeing Eyes.. I looked high and low and did not find any mention of age requirment in federal regulations that pertain to this discussion.
From mcguyver's reply here it follows that any one who acquired a replica firearm after 1998 can be charged under the Criminal Code. As such, age has no impact on legality (or in this case, illegality) of acquiring a prohibited device. It will have an impact on the outcome of the trial, when it comes to that.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 18:09   #56
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In reading this entire thread and others which I have participated in, I think that the only true way of knowing the answers to these questions is to obtain a legal opinion from a practicing attorney. This is the only sure way of knowing as we can only interpret the laws to the best of our untrained legal abilities. So gentlemen, does anyone know a practicing attorney that can give us a legal opinion?????
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Old January 5th, 2008, 18:22   #57
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Lawdog is a lawyer. As well, quite a few of us have spoken to lawyers on the subject of replica firearm. Don't know who has actually talked about possession by minors, though. Very few lawyers would be able to reliably comment on the subject anyways, it's rather off the beaten path.

Finally, as people have said, there is no law against possession of replica regardless of age, while unauthorized acquisition and transfer is illegal regardless of age. You don't need to consult a lawyer to know what laws exist and doesn't, you can look it up yourself.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 18:29   #58
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You don't need to consult a lawyer to know what laws exist and doesn't, you can look it up yourself.

No you do not need to be a lawyer to know what laws exist, however in my profession and being in court on a regular basis, as a professional expert witness, laws can only be interpreted by trained professionals. Perhaps other than lawdog, none of us are that.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 18:34   #59
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Originally Posted by Oberst39 View Post
In reading this entire thread and others which I have participated in, I think that the only true way of knowing the answers to these questions is to obtain a legal opinion from a practicing attorney.
While you're on the right track, attorneys interpret the law, and their interpretations are generally what people go to court for. I think a well written email or snail mail to the government department directly involved in the legal aspects of the original question would be more fruitful. However, they've been hesitant to offer anything concrete regarding airsoft in the past.
Also, talking to a store owner who got raided might be another idea, to see what charges were filed in relation to the seizures. I visited Matty at Warcraft Games over the Christmas holidays, but he was not able to talk about the ongoing investigation.

On an unrelated side note, a friend of mine who is a CBSA agent working in the Vancouver Mail Office has told me that they have started to not allow airsoft upper receivers as well as lowers through the mail. They also now send back paintball guns that are obvious replicas of actual firearms, such as some of the Tippman BT4 series, which I find rather odd.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 18:47   #60
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They also now send back paintball guns that are obvious replicas of actual firearms, such as some of the Tippman BT4 series, which I find rather odd.
Do you mean not obvious replicas? Because the BT4 is a rather poor imitation of an AR or AK, if it ever decides which one it wants to be. If they're turning back BT4s at the border, it's indicative of an alarming lowering of custom's standard on what constitutes a replica firearm.

That's my biggest concern with the current law, the completely arbitrary judgement on aesthetic qualities. If CBSA can move to prohibit importation of things like BT4, they can probably prohibit just about any thing vaguely L-shaped eventually.
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