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Canadian Legal Threat Resolved
by Mike Ratko

Thank you all for your input, support, and updates.  Having spoke to a senior member in the Justice Department and Canadian Firearm Centre (CFC), I have been ensured that paintball is not being threatened nor will be "outlawed" with the passage of Bill C-15 with the current language.  Attached is a copy of a letter that I received from the CFC explaining the legislation and intent for paintball.  I have read it, re-read it, and stared at it and found it very difficult to interpret the language of the Bill in way that was consistent with the interpretation being offered.  I likened the legislation to those 3D illusions with the dots that form 3D images if you stare at it long enough and just the right way.  Some people get it very quickly, some eventually, and some never.  Well I finally got it and will share for those interested how to get there.  For those who have NOT seen the letter from the CFC, I am inserting it at the end.
 
The final text in the Criminal Code (as proposed in Bill C-15) will read like this:
 
(3) For the purposes of sections 91 to 95, 99 to 101, 103 to 107 and
117.03 of this Act and the provisions of the Firearms Act, 
The following weapons are deemed not to be firearms: 
        (d) any other barreled weapon, where it is proved that the
weapon is not designed or adapted to discharge 
                (i) 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, or
                (ii) a shot, bullet or other projectile that is designed
or adapted to attain a velocity exceeding 152.4 m per second or an
energy exceeding 5.7 Joules. 
 
In order to interpret the language properly, you must take into account both 'NOT's.  I used a small table in MS EXCEL to work out the logic using the logic functions OR and NOT - just like in the Bill.  Here is how it goes:
 
***********
You DO NOT have a firearm IF the following statement is true:
(Projectile does NOT exceed 152.4 metres per second (500fps) OR
projectile does NOT exceed 5.7 Joules)
***********
The above statement is true if one of the conditions in the brackets is true.  Since the speed is less than 500fps the condition is true even though the other half is false.  It is confusing but look at this EXCEL
table:
 
 
SPEED/fps
ENERGY/Joules 
NOT A FIREARM
450
5
TRUE
450
6
TRUE
550
5
TRUE
550
6
FALSE
 
The function to use in your own table is: OR(NOT(ref>500),NOT(ref>5.7)),
where ref is the cell reference in your data table.
 
This may be too much information but the net result is the same: THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE FOR PAINTBALL IN CANADA IS SECURE.
 
Here is the letter from the CFC:
 <<Proposed Amendment in Bill C-15>> 
 
This information can soon be found at www.gtpaintball.com and probably other websites soon.
 
Thank you in advance for your assistance.  Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to call or write.
 
Michael J. Ratko
Vice President - Technical Development
Procaps Inc.
6000 Kieran,
Ville St. Laurent, QC  H4S 2B5
Tel.:        514 337 1779, ext. 229
Fax:        514 337 5209
email:        mike.ratko@procaps.com
 
 
On March 14, 2001 the Minister of Justice introduced Bill C-15 (Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2001) which includes proposed amendments to the Firearms Act and to Part III of the Criminal Code of Canada.  One of the proposed amendments deals with airguns.
 
An airgun or paintball marker will be exempt from licensing and
registration if it meets ONE of the following criteria:
 *        A muzzle velocity of 152.4 m (500 feet) per second or less
 *        A muzzle energy of 5.7 Joules or less
 
The proposed amendment to the Firearms Act reads as follows:
 
Subparagraphs 84 (3) (d) (i) (ii) of the Act are replaced by the
following;
 
(3) For the purposes of sections 91 to 95, 99 to 101, 103 to 107 and
117.03 of the Act and the provisions of the Firearms Act, the following weapons are deemed NOT to be firearms:
....
 
(d)  any other barrelled weapon, where it is proved that the weapon is not designed or adapted to discharge
    (i)     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, or
    (ii)    a shot, bullet or other projectile that is designed or
adapted to attain a velocity exceeding 152.4  m per second or an energy exceeding 5.7 Joules.
 
Therefore, if airguns or paintball markers fire at less than 152.4 m per second OR below 5.7 Joules they are exempt from registration and owners would not have to license themselves. Since most paintball markers do not reach a muzzle velocity of 152.4 m per second, the proposed amendment would in no way change their status.

 


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