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Mid-velocity firearms and replicas are two distinct subjects/sets of devices. Each is governed by different provisions of the Criminal Code.

What has changed for mid-velocity firearms?

  • Nothing. Bill C-21 has not prohibited or otherwise changed the law governing mid-velocity BB guns, airsoft, pellet guns, etc.
  • The Bill as enacted by Parliament does not include any amendments with respect to mid-velocity firearms.

What has changed for replicas?

  • The amendment to the definition of replicas does not impact mid-velocity firearms.
    • Mid-velocity firearms such as BB guns, airsoft, pellet guns, etc are governed by different provisions of the Criminal Code.
  • The change made to the definition of replicas in the Criminal Code changes the standard against which replicas are to be identified.
  • Prior to Bill C-21, the Criminal Code provided that to be a replica, the device must itself not be a “firearm,” but must look exactly like one. By definition (section 2) a firearm can cause serious bodily injury or death. Thus, the definition of a replica prior to Bill C-21 captured a device that is not a firearm (for example a low-powered airgun that shoots 50 feet per second) but looks exactly like either A) an unregulated “firearm” (that shoots approximately between 366 and 500 feet per second not subject to licencing requirements under the Firearms Act) and B) a regulated firearm (that shoots over approximately 500 feet per second and is subject to the licencing requirements).
  • The amendment to the definition of a replica in Bill C-21 ensures that a device must look exactly like a regulated firearm (B only) to be a ‘replica’.  
  • With Bill C-21, the standard by which an object is determined to be a replica has been more precisely set out as exact or near precision resemblance of a regulated firearm. That is, if a device is designed or intended to resemble exactly or with near precision a regulated firearm (one capable of discharging a projectile at a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.4 m per second and at a muzzle energy exceeding 5.7 Joules), but is not itself a firearm, then it is a replica.

Director General, Firearm Policy

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