Feds announce common-sense firearms measures

Federal MP David Wilks says the new Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act bill meets the Conservative government’s objective to cut red tape for law-abiding firearms owners and provide safe and simple firearms policies.

“Our government has always stood up for law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport-shooters” the Kootenay Columbia MP said in a statement from Ottawa on Wednesday, October 8.

“This legislation will simplify and provide clarity to the firearms regime and reduce administrative burdens for law abiding firearms owners while protecting the safety of Canadians. These amendments continue our balanced approach to firearms control—one that is helping us protect the safety of Canadians, while at the same time, reducing the administrative burden for law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters.”

The changes to the Criminal Code and the classification regime should enable the government to take steps to ensure the rights of lawful firearms owners are respected.

Quick Facts

The amendments to the Firearms Act and Criminal Code would:

  • Create a six-month grace period at the end of the five-year licence period to stop people from immediately becoming criminalized for paperwork delays around license renewals;
  • Streamline the licensing system by eliminating the Possession Only Licence (POL) and converting all existing POLs to Possession and Acquisition Licences (PALs);
  • Make classroom participation in firearms safety training mandatory for first-time licence applicants;
  • Amend the Criminal Code to strengthen the provisions relating to orders prohibiting the possession of firearms where a person is convicted of an offence involving domestic violence;
  • End needless paperwork around Authorizations to Transport by making them a condition of a licence for certain routine and lawful activities;
  • Provide for the discretionary authority of Chief Firearms Officers to be subject to limit by regulation;
  • Authorize firearms import information sharing when restricted and prohibited firearms are imported into Canada by businesses; and,
  • Allow the Government to have the final say on classification decisions, following the receipt of independent expert advice.

“The Conservative Government is committed to maintaining a strong firearms licensing system and controls over restricted and prohibited firearms,” said the former Mountie. “It is also committed to a balanced approach that protects the safety of Canadians while reducing administrative burdens for law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport-shooters.”