The Canadian government has announced Bill C- 71: Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms in context of the Firearms Act, S.C. 1995, c. 39

Concerns Regarding the New 12(9) Class of Licence

The CZ and SAN rifles were previously non-restricted until the RCMP unilaterally declared them to be prohibited.  The Conservative government responded to citizen outrage and (among other things) amended the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted to force these firearms back to being non-restricted by regulation (the “Non-restricted Amendment”).

Bill C-71 will remove the Non-restricted Amendment, putting the CZ and SAN rifles back into the prohibited category.

Bill C-71 also creates “grandfathering” provisions for these specific rifles. In particular:

1. The CZ rifles listed in the new section 12(11) of the Firearms Act will be grandfathered by a new class of prohibited licence under section 12(10) of the Firearms Act (the “12(10) Licence”).

2. The SAN rifles listed in the new section 12(14) of the Firearms Act will be grandfathered by a new class of prohibited licence under section 12(13) of the Firearms Act (the “12(13) Licence”).

3. Both the 12(10) Licence and the 12(13) Licence categories a firearms are not expressly prohibited from being granted ATTs for shooting purposes, however whether or not the CFOs will issue ATTs for these firearms as a matter of their discretion remains to be seen.

As a separate matter, and it is a separate  matter from the CZ and SAN rifles treatment, a new “mystery” class of prohibited licence is created under section 12(9) of the Firearms Act (the “12(9) Licence”).  This class of licence authorizes an individual to possess prohibited firearms of a “prescribed class” under certain conditions, but nowhere is it yet disclosed as to what is going to be written into that “prescribed class” by way of future regulation.  

Because the newly-created 12(9) Licence class is unrelated to the other amendments to the Firearms Act or the firearms specifically dealt with by these amendments, the fact that it exists is clear evidence of an intention that the RCMP and the government have the ability to grandfather further classes of newly-prohibited firearms.

As to the ATTs for the affected guns, under the proposed amendments:

1. Restricted-class ATTs for target shooting are still automatic under section 19(2.1);

2. Prohibited-class 12(6.1) firearms (short and small pistols) for target shooting are automatic under section 19(2.3);

3. Other prohibited-class firearms are the subject of discretionary ATTs under section 19(1), modified by subsections 1.1 and 2 as follows:

a. Subsections 1.1 requires that (subject to an exception) if a discretionary ATT is granted for target shooting purposes for any prohibited firearms, it must include all ranges in the province, a “whole province” requirement. The exception is for 12(9), 12(10) and 12(13) licences, which are excluded from this whole province requirement;

b. Subsection 2 eliminates target shooting as an option for an ATT for prohibited firearms except for:

i.  Prohibited class 12(6.1) firearms (short and small pistols); and

ii. 12(9), 12(10) and 12(13) licences.

Accordingly, CZ and SAN rifles can notionally still be the subject of discretionary ATTs.  Whether or not ATT’s will actually be granted remains to be seen.

Prohibited class 12(6.1) firearms will continue to be legal for, and ATTs issued regarding, target shooting.

This leaves the newly-created 12(9) Licence class, which being in respect of an unknown and potentially undecided list of prohibited-class firearms, may have a discretionary ATT issued for target shooting, but without the automatic “whole province” requirement.

Unfortunately, the Liberal government and the RCMP have not disclosed to us what it is that they intend to newly make into a prohibited-class of firearm, so as to populate this newly created 12(9) Licence class.

Obviously must be of great concern to firearm owners.

To review the changes please check out the documents posted in https://drive.google.com/open?id=18gCPw5S_7yiBk7rqdVFgA_I7K3QHB9ME

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