• Sean Arbuthnot

Submit your Brief to the SECU! Write Yours Now!

As of September 20th, 2022, Bill C-21 has now entered the committee phase of law development. In this phase, the SECU (Public Safety and National Security) committee will call witnesses and listen to testimony about the positive and negative impacts of this legislation. It is also the ONLY opportunity to make changes to this bill before it goes on to become law.


Read that again. It is the ONLY opportunity to make changes to the bill.



As it stands today, the majority of MPs support this bill. It will pass, it will become law, and airsoft will be lost. If there are no changes, airsoft dies.


The benefit of democracy is that ANYONE can volunteer to be a witness. ANYONE can submit evidence to the committee. ASICs goal is to ensure there are as many positive voices supporting airsoft as possible. Any player, employee, business owner, team, or community member should ABSOLUTELY request to appear and submit evidence to this committee.


The time window to do this is narrow, and it starts now. SECU has it's first meeting on the 4th of October.


Because of this, you need to know two things:

  1. Every player, business owner and employee, team, venue owner, event producer, or community member should DEFINITELY submit evidence in support of airsoft

  2. You should create this document NOW so you’re ready for that short window.

This article will tell you how to format your message, and what to include so that you can effectively support airsoft. If you are selected to appear in person, a lobbyist will prepare you for your interview.



First, Understand What’s Going to Happen

The SECU committee is composed of 12 MPs from the various parties. Each party will select a group of people to appear at the committee to illustrate what party feels is right or wrong about Bill C-21. They’re here at the committee to see how the proposed bill will impact Canadians and other stakeholders. Perhaps more importantly, it’s for the public and media to see how MPs react to issues. Your job is not to argue about public safety or the logic of the bill. Instead, you are here to put a human face to the impacts of this bill on you, your business, and your community. These are the powerful messages that will resonate with MPs, and ones that the media will report on.


To do that, your message should focus on real, truthful, and undeniable impacts to you. It should have emotional power, but it shouldn’t be delivered with aggression. Also know that your message becomes part of the public record, so avoid sharing any information which you feel is private or confidential.


You may be called upon to appear before the committee with your message. The more compelling or relatable it is, the more the parties may select you to illustrate what they feel is right or wrong about this bill. However, the letter you send is more likely to become evidence if you are not selected to attend.



THE PROCESS

First, take some moment to consider a time airsoft helped you or your community personally. Remember that you're making a very personal statement to the committee, and having these stories in your head is key. It is CRITICAL that you take this seriously, and ensure your language is polite, respectful, and intelligent. You are submitting testimony to a government. Ensure your words reflect your maturity and professionalism.


Second, select a template from below and fill it out. Anything [ yellow, in square brackets and italics ] must be completed by you. The content in those sections is guidance to you and should NOT be copied into a letter. Note that we've also indicated where some of your personal information may be valuable to highlight your stance. Do not feel obligated to share that information unless you feel comfortable doing so.


  • Template for the airsoft player

  • Template for businesses

  • Template for community


Third, if you have a powerful story, send it to ASIC and/or MP IMMEDIATELY. We can facilitate doing our best to get you in front of a committee.

Fourth, send them to SECU@parl.gc.ca - We've been told you should ALSO copy your MP on this email so everyone knows you've made a statement. Feel free to also copy contact@savingairsoft.ca so we can archive them and feature some of them on our website!


FINALLY, make sure you get a response from the committee Secretary that your brief has been received. If you don't, ensure you follow up! Do not let your voice get lost in the mail.


 

The Template for the Airsoft Player

[Your Name]

[Your Home Address]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your Email]


Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

Sixth Floor, 131 Queen Street

House of Commons

Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

Canada

E-mail: SECU@parl.gc.ca Fax: 613-947-3089


Simon Laroche, Clerk of the Committee


My name is [YOUR FULL NAME] and I am submitting a brief for the SECU (Public Safety and National Security) Committee on the topic of amending Bill C-21 to protect the sports of airsoft, paintball, and the sale/transfer of ‘mid-velocity replicas’. I am also requesting an opportunity to appear in person to present my information to the committee members.


[WRITE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR INVOLVEMENT - How long have you been involved in the sport? (Personal Information if comfortable - how old are you? What is your occupation? Are you typically a left or right leaning voter?)]


[WRITE ABOUT THE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH BENEFITS TO YOU - Is airsoft your primary form of physical activity? Do you work out so that you can be better at your sport? (Personal information if comfortable - have you faced physical or mental health challenges and how has airsoft helped?) What will you lose if bill C-21 is not amended?]


[WRITE ABOUT THE ECONOMIC AND TOURISM - How often do you travel outside of your hometown to participate in your sport? How far? How much money do you spend on one of those trips? What kinds of businesses do you purchase from when travelling (ie. restaurants, hotels, bars, retail stores, etc)? How much money do you spend on your sport in a year? How much have you spent in total? Will a ban on our sport impact how much money you spend?]


[NOTE - After polling multiple businesses, manufacturers, politicians, lobbyists, and communities, ASIC is recommending you include the below text unchanged. It is the lowest impact change to operations and most likely to be accepted by police. We are NOT in a negotiation. The default position of the government is ‘BAN’. If you feel strongly that this amendment cannot be supported by you, we would recommend you state you want sections 84(1) and 84(3.2) removed from Bill C-21.]


Amendment Proposal

I understand the government and police forces believe airsoft poses a public safety risk, despite the devices being incapable of causing death. I, too, care about public safety. However I do not believe that prohibiting the sale and transfer of airsoft will have a positive impact.


To alleviate the concerns of the government and law enforcement, I believe that an amendment should be adopted to Bill C-21 that measures that have low impact to business.


Primarily, I propose removing the edits to Section 84(1) and 84(3.2) in Bill C-21, and instead dealing with mid-velocity firearms in regulations.


Barring that, I would suggest the following options that are low-impact to businesses.

  • Standardize 18+ for purchase to prevent minors accessing these devices

  • Warning labels and user education material to prevent accidental misuse

  • Liability and risk acknowledgements for any user purchasing the device

  • Transport and storage requirements to prevent accidental misuse

Higher impact options may be considered if business needs are met. They include:

  • Point of sale checks (background)

  • High visibility markings on devices

  • Self-regulating industry bodies


 

The Template for Businesses

[Your Name]

[Your Home Address]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your Email]


Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

Sixth Floor, 131 Queen Street

House of Commons

Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

Canada

E-mail: SECU@parl.gc.ca Fax: 613-947-3089


Simon Laroche, Clerk of the Committee


My name is [YOUR FULL NAME]. I am the owner of [YOUR BUSINESS NAME] and I am submitting a brief for the SECU (Public Safety and National Security) Committee on the topic of amending Bill C-21 to protect the sports of airsoft, paintball, and the sale/transfer of ‘mid-velocity replicas’. I am also requesting an opportunity to appear in person to present my information to the committee members.


[WRITE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR INVOLVEMENT - How long have you been involved in the sport? (Personal Information if comfortable - how old are you? What is your occupation? Are you typically a left or right leaning voter?)]


[WRITE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS AND THE CHALLENGES YOU HAD TO OVERCOME - How long has your business been operating? How many employees do you have? How many locations or properties do you own / rent? What sacrifices have you had to overcome to build your business to where it is today? (Personal Information if comfortable - what is a range of yearly sales numbers your business has? What is a range of income or sales tax you contribute to the government?) What will be lost if no amendments are made in C-21 (ie. lost jobs, lost income, empty storefronts, etc)?]


[WRITE ABOUT THE COMMUNITY IMPACTS - Does your company donate to charity? How much and how often? What charities benefit from your generosity? Has your business become a hub of activity for the community? Do you have stories about how your business has benefitted them, or how you have benefitted from the community? Tell the committee what will be lost if C-21 does not make an amendment for airsoft.]


[WRITE ABOUT THE PERSONAL IMPACTS - (Personal Information if Comfortable - What do you personally stand to lose? What will your sacrifices be worth? Speak to the financial impacts on your family, your mental health, etc. Speak to how the last year has been challenging with the previous and current introductions of Bill C-21)]


[NOTE - After polling multiple businesses, manufacturers, politicians, lobbyists, and communities, ASIC is recommending you include the below text unchanged. It is the lowest impact change to operations and most likely to be accepted by police. We are NOT in a negotiation. The default position of the government is ‘BAN’. If you feel strongly that this amendment cannot be supported by you, we would recommend you state you want sections 84(1) and 84(3.2) removed from Bill C-21.]


Amendment Proposal

I understand the government and police forces believe airsoft poses a public safety risk, despite the devices being incapable of causing death. I, too, care about public safety. However I do not believe that prohibiting the sale and transfer of airsoft will have a positive impact.


To alleviate the concerns of the government and law enforcement, I believe that an amendment should be adopted to Bill C-21 that measures that have low impact to business.


Primarily, I propose removing the edits to Section 84(1) and 84(3.2) in Bill C-21, and instead dealing with mid-velocity firearms in regulations.


Barring that, I would suggest the following options that are low-impact to businesses.

  • Standardize 18+ for purchase to prevent minors accessing these devices

  • Warning labels and user education material to prevent accidental misuse

  • Liability and risk acknowledgements for any user purchasing the device

  • Transport and storage requirements to prevent accidental misuse

Higher impact options may be considered if business needs are met. They include:

  • Point of sale checks (background)

  • High visibility markings on devices

  • Self-regulating industry bodies


Business Summary

[Include a brief summary about your business, it’s location, purpose, operations, etc.]


 

[Your Name]

[Your Home Address]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your Email]


Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

Sixth Floor, 131 Queen Street

House of Commons

Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

Canada

E-mail: SECU@parl.gc.ca Fax: 613-947-3089


Simon Laroche, Clerk of the Committee


My name is [YOUR FULL NAME]. I am the [leader or member of] of [TEAM OR COMMUNITY NAME] and I am submitting a brief for the SECU (Public Safety and National Security) Committee on the topic of amending Bill C-21 to protect the sports of airsoft, paintball, and the sale/transfer of ‘mid-velocity replicas’. I am also requesting an opportunity to appear in person to present my information to the committee members.


[WRITE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR INVOLVEMENT - How long has your group been involved in airsoft? Does a large portion of your group consist of immigrants, cultural groups? What are your common threads? (Personal Information if comfortable - how old are your members? What do most of them do for work? Are they typically a left or right leaning voter?)]


[WRITE ABOUT THE COMMUNITY IMPACTS - How does airsoft bring you together? Does your group donate to charity? How much and how often? What charities benefit from your generosity? Has your organization become a hub of activity for the community? Do you have stories about how your group has benefited them, or how you have benefitted from the community? Tell the committee what will be lost if C-21 does not make an amendment for airsoft. Do you feel disappointed that others like you won’t have a chance to experience what your group has.]


[WRITE ABOUT THE ECONOMIC IMPACTS - How much does your team spend on travel and tourism when attending events? How much is spent on social outings? How much money has your team contributed to the economy through airsoft related equipment purchases? Have any of your group started airsoft related businesses? What of this will be impacted if the bill does not change?]


[WRITE ABOUT THE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH BENEFITS TO YOU - Is airsoft your primary form of physical activity? Do you work out so that you can be better at your sport? (Personal information if comfortable - have you faced physical or mental health challenges and how has airsoft helped?) What will you lose if bill C-21 is not amended?]


[NOTE - After polling multiple businesses, manufacturers, politicians, lobbyists, and communities, ASIC is recommending you include the below text unchanged. It is the lowest impact change to operations and most likely to be accepted by police. We are NOT in a negotiation. The default position of the government is ‘BAN’. If you feel strongly that this amendment cannot be supported by you, we would recommend you state you want sections 84(1) and 84(3.2) removed from Bill C-21.]


Amendment Proposal

I understand the government and police forces believe airsoft poses a public safety risk, despite the devices being incapable of causing death. I, too, care about public safety. However I do not believe that prohibiting the sale and transfer of airsoft will have a positive impact.


To alleviate the concerns of the government and law enforcement, I believe that an amendment should be adopted to Bill C-21 that measures that have low impact to business.


Primarily, I propose removing the edits to Section 84(1) and 84(3.2) in Bill C-21, and instead dealing with mid-velocity firearms in regulations.


Barring that, I would suggest the following options that are low-impact to businesses.

  • Standardize 18+ for purchase to prevent minors accessing these devices

  • Warning labels and user education material to prevent accidental misuse

  • Liability and risk acknowledgements for any user purchasing the device

  • Transport and storage requirements to prevent accidental misuse

Higher impact options may be considered if business needs are met. They include:

  • Point of sale checks (background)

  • High visibility markings on devices

  • Self-regulating industry bodies


Organization Summary

[Include a brief summary about your community or organization, it’s location, purpose, operations, etc]


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