The Ruger Mini-14, a very common hunting rifle found all over North America, is classified in Canada as a Non-Restricted firearm. Chambered for .223 Remington ammunition, its versatility is profound. From competition target shooting to pest control to deer hunting, this rifle has it all.
As with anything that gets produced in such large numbers, options and aftermarket accessories soon became available for the Mini-14 to allow each person to modify it to his or her own personal tastes. A couple of examples:
(no, that’s not a “silencer”, but an adjustable weight that allows the shooter to tune the harmonics of the barrel to allow for superior accuracy)
All three of the above rifles have the exact same fit and function, only the form has changed. You’ll notice that the bottom two have extended magazines, but don’t worry, they both conform to Canada’s laws and have been modified to only allow 5 rounds of ammunition to be held. (I’ll talk about this silly law some other time.)
So you should be able to see from this, that a rifle’s looks or appearance shouldn’t have any bearing on how it is classified. In fact, this rifle, the AR-180B:
…is downright scary looking, but because it also conforms to the same set of rules that classifies the Mini-14 as a Non-Restricted firearm, it too can be used to hunt or target shoot with.
Now this is the confusing part. The AR-15:
…an almost twin brother to the AR-180B, which also conforms to the same set of rules as the rifles mentioned above, is a Restricted firearm in Canada. What’s that you say? Does it shoot more powerful ammo? Nope. Does it have the capability of shooting full-auto? Nope, not the ones we have in Canada anyway. Is it in any way different to the other rifles in fit or function? Nope. So why is it Restricted? I have no idea.
All three rifles are semi-automatic and use the same ammunition; yet one of them, for reasons that I cannot begin to comprehend, is deemed to be too “dangerous” to be used anywhere except a certified range by properly licensed individuals.
Does that make any sense to you?