A recent redefinition to the Canadian Replica Firearms Bill C-21 carries the possibility that Airsoft Guns or air-powered pellet guns could become prohibited weapons. The notion that airsoft guns could become “prohibited weapons” under this new redefinition comes from a single specific paragraph contained within the bill.
Canadian Replica Firearms Bill Redefinition Could Threaten Airsoft Guns
the firearm is not designed or adapted to discharge a shot, bullet or other projectile at a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.4 m per second or at a muzzle energy exceeding 5.7 Joules,” and “designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, a firearm.
Part of the joy of playing around with airsoft guns is their replication of real-life firearms. It is perhaps the reason many today would rather become involved with an airsoft club rather than a paintball club. Many of those who participate in airsoft sports not only appreciate the replica aspect of the firearms but also true-to-life gear appearances such as plate carriers, radios, helmets, and load-bearing equipment.
Despite airsoft guns meeting the first requirement to be legal (not exceeding 152.4m/s or 500 fps), many airsoft guns would probably fail the second clause because of their appearance. Wholesaler of Airsoft guns Matt Wasilewicz has said the following in reaction to the redefined bill:
BB and airsoft guns aren’t firearms, so they’re not designed to shoot over 152 (metres per second,) All BB guns and airsoft guns do look like a gun, so everything meets those two criteria. It’s really overtaken paintball as the shooting-sports fun game
Matt says that the critical point in the legislation that would perhaps save the replica airsoft guns is the fact that airsoft and BB guns are not designed to fire projectiles that exceed that specific velocity. In fact, the whole point of the 6mm BBs being shot at velocities below that is so that injury is a minor risk if proper protective equipment is worn. Frank Chong, the owner of Canada’s largest airsoft retailer, Toronto Airsoft, said that if the bill passes in its current form it would eradicate their industry.
All Photos Obtained from Toronto Airsoft Facebook page.