Interested in airsoft in Canada? Wondering what the rules surrounding airsoft guns in the country involve? Well, read on! We have plenty of information that we want to share with you.
So, are airsoft guns legal in Canada? Yes! But with very strong legislation around them. Generally speaking, if you head to an airsoft gun store in Canada (or buy online) and it meets certain requirements, then it is legal for you to own without a license.
Let us go into a bit more depth on this. This way you can really start to understand whether that airsoft gun you have been eyeing up is legal for you to own.
Are Airsoft Guns Legal in Canada?
As we said, airsoft guns are legal in Canada. However, they do have to conform to some pretty specific requirements in order to be classed as legal. Let’s go through them, shall we?
The Look of the Airsoft Gun
This is where the law can be a little bit confusing. In Canada, it is illegal to have an airsoft gun that is a replica of a real gun. For example, if you had an airsoft gun that was a replica of the Beretta 92 FS, then that would be illegal under Canadian law. However, this is only if the replica looks incredibly similar to the real gun. The law says with “near precision”. Obviously, this is up for interpretation, but most people take it to mean an almost perfect replica.
On the other hand, if you had an airsoft gun that sort-of looked like the Beretta 92 FS, but it had a couple of changes here and there. For example, the color in some places is different, or some of the decoration is slightly different, then this would not be illegal under Canadian law. You can carry a gun around like that.
The reason why this law poses so much confusion for people is that you really have to know whether the airsoft gun really is similar to the real model. Generally speaking, as long as the airsoft gun is not clearly listed as being a replica of something, then you should be fine. If you are buying it from a Canadian airsoft gun store, then you should also be fine.
There are two exceptions to this rule.. Firstly, if the airsoft gun is a replica version of a real gun made before 1898, then it is legal. Although, it can be pretty tough to find those, and we can’t imagine they would perform all that well in real airsoft competitions.
The second rule is if you owned the replica gun before 1998 when this law first came into effect. However, even then, there will be tough restrictions on it. For example, you wouldn’t be allowed to sell it, and you wouldn’t be allowed to take it to international airsoft gun shows. That airsoft gun needs to stay in Canada.
More complicated rules for you here! If you want to own an airsoft gun without requiring a license, then it needs to conform to this:
- Minimum muzzle velocity of 366 ft/s, which would translate to 111.6m/s
- Maximum muzzle velocity of 500 ft/s which would be 152.4 m/s
Anything about the maximum would require licensing in the same way that you would require being licensed for using a real firearm.
Ready for the confusing part? If you commit a crime with an airsoft gun within those ranges, then it is a crime as if you committed it with a real gun. So, pretty harsh penalties UNLESS the gun looks incredibly unrealistic. An airsoft gun that looks exactly like a children’s toy and only fires small pellets could never be classed as a real firearm.
Obviously, we do not expect that you will be committing crimes with your airsoft gun, but we do want to point that out. Something as simple as having the airsoft gun on show in some parts of Canada could be a crime, and the penalties for that would be the same as if you were showing off a real gun.
What Age Can You Buy an Airsoft Gun at In Canada?
If you live in one of the following provinces, then you need to be at least 18 in order to buy an airsoft gun:
- British Columbia
However, it is not a ‘firm’ age here. You still have to be 18 to physically hand the money over. However, you do not have to be 18 to purchase one. This means that parents could easily purchase airsoft guns in Canada for their children without falling foul of the law.
Outside of these provinces, there is no minimum age to purchase a legal airsoft gun. However, many retailers may have their own limits in place. It is always worth checking.
These age limits may still apply even if you purchase your airsoft gun online! Most retailers will ask for some proof that you are 18, although paying with a credit card is probably going to be enough proof for them.
Can you import airsoft guns into Canada?
Assuming that they meet all other legislation related to airsoft guns in Canada, then the answer is yes. It is important that you pay attention to all the specs of an airsoft gun before you import it, though. International companies that regularly deal with Canada may even specifically state when an airsoft gun is suitable for the Canadian market. The last thing you want is for it to be seized at customs. You may be subject to criminal penalties.
Is the law related to airsoft guns in Canada likely to change?
Perhaps. While there hasn’t been a massive push for changing the legislation in recent years, some police forces are starting to make suggestions. If we do see changes in the law, then it is likely that Canada may seek to introduce legislation that prohibits airsoft guns that look like a real weapon, rather than just those that are actual replicas.
Are Airsoft Guns Legal In Canada Final Thoughts
Overall Airsoft guns are legal in Canada for now. But there is no knowing what the future holds. Something legal today could very well end up illegal tomorrow, and vice versa. So play airsoft as much as you can and enjoy the sport with others as often as you can!
I hope you learned a thing or two on are airsoft guns legal in Canada. Is airsoft legal where you’re from? Tell us what country you live in in the comments below and feel free to checkout out latest article here