Bill C-21 amendments withdrawn

by Steve Galea | February 3, 2023
firearm safe

The federal government has unexpectedly withdrawn two highly contentious firearm law amendments that would have banned hundreds of firearms, many commonly used by hunters.

The amendments, which caused a furor in Canadian hunting and shooting communities, were introduced without warning last November to firearms Bill-C21, An Act to amend certain Acts and certain consequential amendments (firearm).

The motion to withdraw them was tabled by Taleeb Noormohamed, Liberal MP for Vancouver Granville during a meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security on Feb. 3. The committee approved unanimously.

Amendments came as surprise

The amendments were known as G4 and G46. G4 would have codified an evergreen definition of prohibited firearms. Amendment G46, introduced a 307-page list of firearms that included semi-automatic centrefire and shotguns that held over five rounds, as well as firearms with a bore diameter of 20 mm or greater or 10,000 joules of muzzle energy or more.

Both amendments were initially tabled without public consultation and took the public and committee by surprise at the time. They were immediately viewed by hunting, shooting, and firearms organizations and enthusiasts as a further attack on firearms ownership and an ill-concealed attempt to confiscate some hunting rifles and shotguns. The amendments also garnered serious opposition by The Assembly of First Nations as well as Conservative and New Democratic politicians along with hunting and firearms organizations and their members. They also received a lukewarm reception from many ordinary Canadians.

Move praised by OFAH

The withdrawal of the amendment came as a pleasant surprise to those who opposed it.

“It was an unexpected but very welcome development,” said OFAH Manager of Policy Mark Ryckman.

“We’re pleased that the Liberal government has recognized the negative implications of the proposed amendments and have withdrawn them from consideration. The changes would have impacted untold numbers of firearms that are widely used for hunting in Canada,” he said. “The Standing Committee will now undertake broader consultation with gun owners, including Indigenous communities – something they should have done a while ago.”

Ryckman cautioned that the removal of the amendments, while welcome by the hunting and shooting communities, does not impact Bill C-21, which still includes a ban on handguns and what the government refers to as “assault-style rifles.”

Public safety Minister Marco Medicino said, “… There have been legitimate concerns raised about the need for consultation and debate on this vital part of the bill. We hear the concerns loud and clear, regret the confusion that this process has caused and are committed to a thoughtful and respectful conversation that is based on fact, not fear….”

Ryckman also noted the withdrawn amendments had been holding back discussion and debate on other aspects of Bill C-21, which has not yet passed third reading.

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  1. Brian Paradoski wrote: Thank you Matt, Mark, Angelo and company for alerting the OFAH members to these proposed amendments. Legitimate hunting rifles were being wrongfully accused of being a threat to our existing society. NO instance of crimes, mass or individual shootings. Thank you for advocating for our hunting rights.
  2. Robert Ward wrote: Marco Mendicino speaking for the Liberal Government states that: “they regret any confusion that the process has caused. “ 1) The government caused the problem, not the process ! 2) Who was confused? Certainly not law abiding gun owners. We were painfully aware of what the last second amendments sneakily inserted into Bill C 21 meant to the status of our legally owned rifles. 3) the Liberal Government continues to say that long guns must be removed from our streets. Excuse me but, our long guns are not on the streets. They are locked away safely in our gun safes as required by law. 4) sorry for my lack of brevity.
  3. John Boychuk wrote: This is only a delay, or a pause to remove all firearms from Canadians. The big picture shouldn't be forgotten-THE COMPLETE ABOLISHMENT OF BILL C-21!!!!!! PLEASE DONT RELINQUISH OR EVEN LIGHTEN UP FOR 1 SECOND ON THIS- CANADIANS NEED TO BE KEPT INFORMED CONCERNING THIS- AND FOR ALL OUR SAKES VOTE ACCORDINGLY!!!!!! ABOLISH LIBERAL CONTROL ASAP!!!!!
  4. Donna Mordue wrote: Please put me on your mailing list
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Done, Donna. :) Anyone else who would like to sign up to our newsletter can do so, here:
  5. CLAY STOWELL wrote: Thanks to all those fighting this government. This Bill must be defeated and we must let our elected representatives know that if they support it we will do everything in our power to see they are defeated in the next election. A change in government is the only salvation for firearms owners in this country. Make no mistake. Forty years of failed gun control must be reversed if we want a safer Canada.