Details to firearms program announced

by Steve Galea | March 16, 2021
A Hunter loading his hunting rifle gun with magazine

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced details of Bill C-21, an Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms) on Feb. 16.

Among other things, the new legislation contains amendments to the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act and long-awaited details regarding the federal government’s firearms buyback program.

That program, referred to by firearms groups as a mandated confiscation program, details how the owners of more than 1,500 models and variants of formerly legal so-called “assault-style” firearms banned last May — and some of their components — will be treated.

Violence, self-harm targeted

The legislative amendments are intended to combat partner and gender-based violence and self-harm involving firearms by creating red- and yellow-flag laws that would anyone to apply to the courts for immediate removal of an individual’s firearms (previously only available to peace officers, firearms officers, and Chief Firearms Officer). They could also ask to suspend and review an individual’s firearms licence.

The legislation also promises to increase criminal penalties for gun smuggling and trafficking as well as enhance the capacity of Canada’s Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to combat the illegal importation of firearms.

Under the proposed legislation, municipalities will also be permitted to ban handguns through bylaws restricting storage and transportation within their jurisdictions. Violators of these bylaws would be subject to federal penalties, including licence revocation and criminal sanctions.
Funding to municipalities and Indigenous communities will also be made available to support youth programs meant to provide young people resources needed to avoid criminal behaviours.

So-called assault-style ban complete

Under the new legislation, there is a penalty up to five years for altering firearms magazines and depicting violence in firearms advertising, along with tighter restrictions on the import of ammunition and a prohibition of imports, exports, sales, and transfers of all replica firearms.

The most anticipated part of the announcement completed the prohibition of “assault-style” firearms. Under the legislation, they cannot be legally used, transported, sold, transferred, or bequeathed by Canadians.

The government altered the so-called buyback program, by making it no longer mandatory. Under new proposed legislation, owners of recently banned “assault-style” firearms will be able to keep their firearms under stricter storage guidelines, including an obligation to provide information regarding storage measure or locations, and a prohibition of use. Those who wish to sell their guns which, under the legislation would be rendered “legally unusable,” will be compensated.

OFAH responds

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Manager of Fish & Wildlife Services Matt DeMille said, “We’ve been saying that the government shouldn’t be spending money to take firearms away from law-abiding Canadians, especially when those resources are badly needed elsewhere. The announced funding and tougher penalties to target illegal firearms is what we’ve been asking for, but it doesn’t cancel out the serious issues with the underlying approach and rationale for the prohibitions.

It is a complex bill and we’re still assessing the impacts, but there is clear potential for it to have deep ramifications for the entire firearms community. There is a lot of work to do here, but we will be fully engaged in the parliamentary process, while working provincially to prevent a patchwork of municipal firearms bylaws.”

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  1. Curt Jensen wrote: It appears that the penalty for altering a firearm or magazine in any way carries a higher penalty then the use of said firearm in the commitment of a criminal offence
  2. Paul Whitsitt wrote: This is a terrible bill as an assault on property rights, human rights and will destroy the airsoft industry and other shooting sports. It is part of the liberal agenda to cancel gun culture in our society and has nothing to do with public safety as their further C-22 bill shows. What hypocrites!
  3. Ronnie Buyck wrote: Once again OUR government is trying to criminalize its citizens and take their hard earned property in the guize of public safety. All while ignoring the real world problems of gun snuggling, gangs ,etc. This smells of pure political posturing before an election( god I hope we dont reelect Trudeau). Let's protect our sport and long standing of firearms in our country. They're taking away one thing after another. WHAT NEXT!!!
  4. Jeff wrote: Too bad all this won't protect a single Canadian citizen!
  5. Douglas Meeking wrote: This Bill 21 is the most egregious example of Cancel Culture, illogical virtue signaling and misdirected ideology imaginable, even for the Liberal Party. I believe they are going to do everything possible to ram this Bill through Parliament in order to force an election in hopes of forming a majority government. Their efforts must be challenged in Parliament then in the courts if it passes, as I am afraid it will because the "progressive" NDP and Block will support it.
  6. Robert wrote: They wont be able to take all the guns from us canadians.
  7. William card wrote: absolute waste of time energy and tx dollars
  8. William harris wrote: The ofah can do what the ccfr are doing. The ccfr is actually not just doing something but are making noise. This is the first peep I've heard from the ofah. Make more noise boys
    • Alesha Howran wrote: You can visit for OFAH firearms related updates.
  9. Karl Lauten wrote: This is once again nothing more than the need for control freaks to force more punitive laws upon law abiding citizens. The result will be no reduction in gang and drug related murders and assaults. Same for the proposed ban on sales of handguns! A total waste of time and money for all tax payers and another loss of freedom for Canadians.