Canada’s weirdest laws: it’s illegal to own a fake gun

Fake guns are considered “replica firearms” under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Fake guns are considered “replica firearms” under the Criminal Code of Canada. (Photo: REUTERS/Stringer)

Did you know that in Canada, if someone commits a crime using a fake gun, they would face the same penalties as someone who uses a real gun?

That’s because it’s illegal to own a fake gun and even just playing with a fake gun in public could see someone face criminal charges.

Fake guns are considered “replica firearms” in Canada and the Criminal Code of Canada describes them as:

any device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, a firearm, and that itself is not a firearm, but does not include any such device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, an antique firearm.”

In other words, anything that looks like or imitates the look and design of a real gun matches that description.

One such prohibited fake firearm is the popular airsoft gun, which is used to play tactical games. BB and pellet guns as well as paintball, toy and novelty guns can also fall under the description of replica firearm.

If you want to own a real gun, you must apply for a license to become a registered gun owner but there is no such thing for imitation guns.

Though the law is, on its surface, rather strange, there is a good reason behind it, as police often can’t tell the difference between a real or fake gun and they caution that “if it looks like a gun, it’s treated like a gun.”

The punishments for using fake guns can vary but if it was used while committing of a crime, then the minimum punishment is one year in prison.

Find a Lawyer