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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:24 am
Posts: 50
Location: South shore Montreal
Just recently two posts about the white safety warning draw numerous replies, one post to the point where it was locked by the forum Moderator. Unfortunately for me I was researching the subject and about to reply when I noticed it was locked… But considering the ongoing debate and the fact that no satisfying answer to the question was presented I feel compelled to reopen the debate…

I hope the forum Moderators will have mercy on my soul for doing this, but I believe my findings on the subject will provide pertinent information to all forum members. Moderators, please feel free to lock-out this tread as you see fit.

Here it goes…
I’m not a lawyer but I have 20+ years experience in Occupational Health and Safety. I know my way around rules and regulations and who writes them, apply them and interpret them… I work with and around Corporate lawyers, and constantly must double and triple check that the standards and procedures I write are complying with multiprovincial and US regulations… And in agreement to Edmonton<500’s comments on the now locked-out tread I will try to remain factual as much as possible.

Lawyers and Politicians writes the laws and regulations; Officers and Civil servants apply them following administrative guidelines, but the only true interpretation comes from the Judges and tribunals. Reading Case-law and Jurisprudence is the only way to really grasp the context how laws are interpreted…Not an easy task for us mere mortals but that’s the rule of law… BTW guess what makes those administrative guidelines changes from time to time? Bingo! Court decisions and Jurisprudences…

Now back to our main question…To determine if its legal to tamper with the Safety warning text the first question to ask is “for what reason or based on which rule, standard or regulation the warning appears on some airguns?” I was curious why some airguns sold in Canada didn’t have any Safety markings (KWC 1911 being a notorious example) while most of the others had them. If this was a Federal law (firearms act, import law, or any other…) the same would apply to all airguns imported in Canada…
Obviously, the firearm act does not mention anything about the Safety warning text. I haven’t check import laws or others but I have confidence in Canadian bureaucracy that if there was such a law requiring Safety Warnings on all airguns KWC wouldn’t be able to import unmarked guns here. So, the answer must lie somewhere else…

It took me a couple of hours, but I finally found the true reason behind the Safety Warning…Its a Standard from the American Society for Testing Materials titled; ASTM F589 - 17 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Non-Powder Guns. The following is an excerpt form the ASTM web site :

Significance and Use
6.1 This consumer safety specification establishes performance requirements and test methods intended to provide a reasonable degree of safety in the normal use of non-powder guns and projectiles.
6.2 This consumer safety specification attempts to address the misuse of non-powder guns and specifies the minimum warnings and instructions that are to be provided in literature and on labels and packages.

1. Scope
1.1 This consumer safety specification covers non-powder guns, commonly referred to as BB guns, air guns, and pellet guns, which propel a projectile by means of energy released by compressed air, compressed gas, mechanical spring action, or a combination thereof.

You will notice that this Standard is aimed at informing the consumers, not Police Officers if the gun is real firearm or an airgun!

Now the interesting part is that this Standard (as most Standards are) is a voluntary standard adopted by the airgun industry. Being a voluntary standard, manufacturers may or may not decide to follow it (for ex. KWC). If they chose not to do so they expose their company to possible lawsuits for failing to clearly explain the risks associated with the use of their airguns. A Google search on F589 will show you several attempted law suits in the United States against Daisy and Crosman for “insufficient warning” following injuries and sometime deaths from airguns.

This is very well explained (this and many more aspects of airguns safety) in this interesting paper I also found during my researches: ... ntext=nclr

For those of you interested in factual details, “industry self-regulation” is explained on page 1001 of the above link (on the same page, also look at footnote #174).

Now on a less factual note…considering the information I’ve gathered so far, my personal position on this would be (please don’t take my word for it!):
Technically since Safety warning text is not a requirement by law or regulation, tampering with it should not be unlawful but… If you completely erase it, could authorities still charged you for “making an airgun look more like a real firearm”? Not impossible I guess! But I haven’t investigated the details if there is legal basis for charges for this…

On the other and since lightly engraved black on black Safety warning are used on many airguns instead of white lettering I would take my chances toning down white lettering to a darker hue but still leave the text legible. (and evidently, I wouldn’t tamper with the serial number and caliber markings…)

I hope this shed some light on this delicate subject…

The above is not a legal advice, please do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

«It's not enough that we do our best, sometimes we have to do what's required»
- Winston Churchill

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:01 pm
Posts: 1204
Location: GTA, ON
Thanks Yeager! I think this time we get a good answer for a myst and we can stop arguing and be friends again ~

Just want to say that's so good to have ppl who is a Pro in so many different fields and have the same hobby here!

Cheers airgunning and airgunners!

Sent from my LG cellphone

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:15 am
Posts: 3249
Location: Edmonton
Well done, Yeager. 8)

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