January 27, 2021 the Liberal party voted against the conservative Bill-238 that would have increased the penalty on any persons using smuggled firearms with intent to commit a crime. Then, on February 18, 2021 David Lametti, Liberal Justice Minister introduced Bill C-22. Although it changes a few different things, the most notable is that it removes mandatory minimum sentences for committing a crime using an illegally obtained firearm.
This is interesting when two days prior to introducing this, Bill C-21 was introduced. This passes other strict laws around firearms. Firstly, if someone files a complaint against you then that in and of itself is grounds for your firearms to be taken from you without being allowed a chance to defend yourself. There will be a buyback program but currently there isn’t any information as to what that cost could be.
To add insult to injury, they also used this law to ban airsoft, paintball and pellet guns. In fact if an air soft gun fires faster than 500 fps it must be registered as a firearm.
Spokesperson Ian McLeod released a statement saying, “Despite posing the same public safety concerns, unregulated air soft guns that discharge projectiles at a velocity approximately between 366 and 500 fps and exactly resemble conventional regulated firearms, are not currently prohibited.”
He goes on to say, “The measures the government is proposing would address this gap by amending the Criminal Code to prohibit import, export or sale of the currently unregulated mid-velocity air soft gun firearms within Canada.”
He had added that air soft guns not exactly resembling firearms would not be affected by these changes.
Canada's National Firearms Association (NFA) President Sheldon Clare told The Buffalo Tribune:
“If anyone still thinks that gun control is about public safety, they need look no further than Bill C-21 with its attack on BB and pellet guns, airsoft guns, and paintball markers. This is only about civil disarmament - discussion about crime control is merely marketing another bad idea from the liberals.”
The NFA has an online petition pointing out significant factors on why this legislation does not serve a purpose to help Canadians.
1. Reject Bill C-21 to save the jobs of thousands of Canadians;
2. Fully and unambiguously legalize airsoft and paintball so citizens and residents can continue to purchase and use as sporting equipment
3. Recognize that airsoft and paintball are safe activities that many tens of thousands of Canadians participate in;
4. Recognize that airsoft and paintball do not represent any risk to public safety and banning will not improve public safety; and
5. Not needlessly target law abiding citizens who use airsoft and paintball for sporting purposes.
Airsoft supply wholesalers are just one example in an entire industry that will be affected should this bill pass. Several more Canadians will lose their livelihood and have to close their doors. This would greatly impact our economy even further than it has already been affected this last year.