Remind Your MP That You Need Answers!
Updated: Mar 21
Time for another letter or email to your Member of Parliament:
It's probably been a while since you've written your Member of Parliament (MP). Airsoft in Canada is organizing another round of letters and emails to MPs to provide them with more information about our sport. We also have a couple of questions for them too, and you can help get us some answers!
First, if you haven't already, find your local MP: https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en
Second, write a polite letter or email to provide some insight into the positive impact of airsoft, and to ask some questions. We have some suggestions about what to write about, and some questions you may want to ask below.
You can send mail for free to your MP, no postage is required. The address is:
The Honourable [Minister/MP Name]
Tell them your concerns about Bill C-21, and bit of your story. Make sure you include your address, or postal code in your letter or email if you are a constituent of their riding. A personalized letter or email, written by you is much more compelling and effective than a template letter form, which can get filtered automatically. Here are some suggested topics that you can include.
Pick 1 or 2 that you have personal experience with:
Airsoft/paintball is a team sport enjoyed by hundreds/thousands in my community
Airsoft/paintball brings in people from all over, increasing revenue for restaurants/hotels/local businesses
Airsoft/paintball is enjoyed by a diverse community/families
Airsoft/paintball has had a positive impact for me/my family/my town/my business through XXX
I am a business owner, and I expect to lose a large portion of my business/let employees go/close entirely if Bill C21 passes or passes without removing airsoft/paintball from it
There doesn't appear to be any data to support a ban on airsoft/paintball from a public safety perspective
There IS data to show that a ban on airsoft/paintball would negatively impact hundreds of businesses/thousands of employees/hundreds of millions of dollars to the economy
A final part of your letter or email should include some specific questions that you'd like answered. Ideally, they will relate to the story you've told above.
We recommend a maximum of 3, and have a few that you may want to ask.
How often are airsoft/paintball toys used to commit cause death?
How often are airsoft/paintball toys converted into deadly weapons?
How does the Ministry of Public Safety define “exactly resemble” or “resemble with near precision"? How will that definition be communicated to the RCMP and the CBSA?
How does the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness weigh the concerns of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police against the economy of the airsoft/paintball industry?
What economic impacts are projected following a ban on airsoft/paintball?
How will Bill C-21 impact the misuse of realistic looking toy firearms that do NOT “exactly resemble” or “resemble with near precision” existing firearms?
Do you anticipate that police will be required to disregard emergency calls if a portion of a firearm is brightly coloured?
Do you anticipate that police will disregard seeing a firearm that is brightly coloured, or has a brightly coloured tip?
Why would an airgun legal for sale for hunting have its lower velocity counterpart prohibited?
Finally, don't forget the 3 Rs!
At all times we must present ourselves as people who are willing to talk and to listen. We must always be polite and kind and considerate in our communication and presentation.
Our arguments must be fact based. We must not be driven by emotion. We want to show everyone else that we hold the views that we do because it is logical to do so.
We must show people that we are just like everyone else. That while we enjoy a sport that isn't yet very mainstream, our enjoyment of it is no different than their enjoyment of the sports and hobbies that they engage in.
We are just like everyone else. Regular Canadians enjoying a fun sport.
Now get out there and let your MPs know that you want some answers!