Swiss Arms and Cz858 Prohibition Reversed: Canadian Timeline & Gallery

They’re back! The saga of the Swiss Arms and Cz858 in Canada has finally come to a close. A year ago it looked like these rifles were about to be banned and seized, but that decision has finally been reversed. Here’s a timeline of the highlights and a gallery of the firearms in question

  • Feb 26th 2014 – RCMP Reclassifies the Cz858 and Swiss Arms rifles to prohibited status. These firearms have been imported for 12 years are there are millions of dollars worth in the hands of owners.
  • March 19th 2014 – The Public Safety Minister introduces an Amnesty to ensure that owners will not be prosecuted. Rifles cannot be bought, sold, or freely transported. It will later be amended to allow shooting at government approved ranges.
  • Winter 2014 – Bill C42 is Developed and Introduced:
    • Give and Take Legislation
    • Pre-licensing Safety and Training course is now a mandatory number of classroom hours.
    • Stiffens firearms ownership bans for domestic abusers.
    • Authorizations to Transport Restricted Firearms will no longer be distinct documents, instead they’ll be integrated into an owner’s license.
    • The Cz858 and Swiss Arms rifles are restored to their restricted and non-restricted status.
    • Enhanced oversight of Provincial Chief Firearms officers. In the past your conditions of transport or wait times on purchasing a handgun could vary widely between provinces.
    • June 18th 2015 – C42 is granted royal assent and formally becomes law.
    • July 31st 2015 – Rifles return to former status. Owners can now hunt and target shoot freely. These can now be bought, sold, and imported again.
    • Sept 2nd 2015 – ATT changes are scheduled to come into effect, removing some paperwork from the transport of all handguns, AR-15s and SBRs in Canada.

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Edward O

Edward is a Canadian gun owner and target shooter with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Crawling over mountains with tactical gear is his idea of fun. He blogs at TV-Presspass and tweets @TV_PressPass.


  • Mouldy Squid

    Hurray! Now my beloved 858 isn’t a safe queen anymore!

    • Rittmeister

      Take her out for a walk, she’s probably very bored.

  • Very nice. Score one for our neighbors to the north!

    • MrEllis

      The world needs more CZs, of all flavors.

  • Darkpr0

    This is an outstanding piece of legislation passed only with the assistance of many thousands of responsible firearm owners in Canada, and members of the firearms trade and industry. It does nothing but good for the firearm owners and represents a large step towards a set of properly sensible gun laws. Americans, take note: You can make a difference by making noise on your political channels. Go piss off some politicians!

    • Wetcoaster

      As opposed to simply moving to a more permissive state, like all too many like to suggest

      • Rittmeister

        Gun laws in Canada apply to all provinces because they are federal legislation. The big drawback is that each province has a “Chief Firearms Officer” or CFO.
        At this point in time the CFOs have the authority to “interpret” legislation to suit their own agenda which is mostly supportive of the anti-gun crowd.

        • Wetcoaster

          No, I mean complain about gun laws online, and there’s always someone who suggests we should just move to the states. Or if in a US state with restrictive laws, to just move to a more permissive state.

          Thing is, as democratic countries, that would mean giving up the fight in those states (or countries). Can’t pressure the representatives that don’t represent you and all that.

          • Rittmeister

            I see what you mean now. The CFOs are still lording it up over gun owners and I’d like to see the Gov’t install a firearms owners ombudsman to keep these bureaucrats in line.

    • Rittmeister

      Or better yet, make sure the opposition parties, who are totally behind the anti-gun crowd, don’t get your votes in the upcoming election.
      Just about 3 million licensed gun owners, add friends and family and I figure we can deny the left wing parties about 5 million votes.

  • Maxpwr

    Now if we could just own those exact same firearms in the US where we have this thing called the Second Amendment.

    • Esh325

      There’s no 2A case for that considering those rifles are already available in one form or the other in the USA, and the fact that the 2A doesn’t allow you to own any type of firearm imaginable according to the Supreme Court’s ruling.

      • Maxpwr

        No, those exact rifles are not available in the USA and the Supreme Court has never ruled on the subject. Besides, I don’t need 9 unelected judges or the 1968 GCA to tell me what the Second Amendment means because the Second Amendment has nothing to do with “sporting purposes”. What part of shall not be infringed don’t you understand?

        • Esh325

          There are extremely minute differences between the one you can buy in Canada versus the USA. Are these minute differences a violation of the 2A? I never mentioned anything about sporting purposes. The Supreme Court has the legal authority to interpret the Constitution, and that is what they said. “The Court stated that the right to keep and bear arms is subject to regulation, such as concealed weapons prohibitions, limits on the rights of felons and the mentally ill, laws forbidding the carrying of weapons in certain locations, laws imposing conditions on commercial sales, and prohibitions on the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. It stated that this was not an exhaustive list of the regulatory measures that would be presumptively permissible under the Second Amendment.”

          • john huscio

            It has little to do with the courts and much to do with the ATF, the so called “sporting clause” and 922r……swiss arms doesn’t do business in the US (to my knowledge) and even if they could Import those rifles, they would be mutilated and stuffed with a bunch of american made crap (of questionable quality at best)

        • Esh325

          “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. [United States v.] Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.”

          • Rock or Something

            Right because the Supreme Court never, ever been wrong on any decision *cough dred scott v. sandford, Korematsu v. United States…

            Another note, limitations of bearing of arms in certain public places or to certain individuals based on their previous actions is not akin to blanket restrictions on certain firearms.

      • janklow

        probably depends a little on what state you live in in the US.

    • Darkpr0

      You can have any gun you want in USA… As long as it is an AR15 or a 1911 🙂

      • Bob

        Nyet comrade. There is also people’s rifle, most powerful weapon in world, the mighty Mosin!

  • Guy in va

    Please point me to that cz’s piston cover with the picatinny rail

    • ClawShrimp

      Looks like a North Eastern Arms upper handguard to me. Have been sold by a few stores in Canada, not sure about elsewhere. I’ve got the FAB polymer on mine, but it’s nowhere near that low-profile.

    • Mouldy Squid

      Because the moderators ate my post with the link: You can get these from SFRC (theammosource . com) in Canada. Yes, they are NEA. You can get the upper and lower hand guards as a set, or buy them separately. NEA only makes them in small batches so if you see one on SFRC’s website, snap it up. It can take months for them to get new stock. SFRC will ship to the USA as long as what you’re ordering is not ammunition or firearms.

      I also have the FAB polymer hand guards. They are lighter, being polymer, but no where near as low-profile nor as good looking as the NEA. The NEA is very well made, but the fit might be a bit tight. Since the 858s are assembled from various factory parts, no single rifle is exactly the same as another. You may need to bust out the Dremel to grind down the ends a little to get a proper fit.

  • FarmerB

    Welcome back to the civilized world, Commonwealth mates.
    I go gooey at the knees at the sights of those lovely SIGs

  • SwissArms Lover

    So-so-so are telling me I can have my SwissArms back, that I foolishly sold before the ban?

  • MrEllis

    Why do I feel gun picture shoots should be labeled “NSFW” sometimes?

  • C.

    I wish they’d let us own hanguns with a barrel length shorter than 4.175″.

    • iksnilol

      They did that so that those Boberg pistols would corner the CC market.

  • iksnilol

    Regarding the CZ:

    I was looking at the bolt action version and it seems it weighs as much as the regular version (they simply don’t drill gas port from what I understand). How much weight would you save by removing the gas tube, gas block and piston (the gas system itself)?

    I am sorta interested in a bolt action 7.62×39 and it seemed like an interesting option.

    • Rittmeister

      Kinda pointless from a ballistics viewpoint. There are lots of quality bolt action rifles chambered for much better cartridges, although the cost of surplus 7.62X39 is very attractive.

      • iksnilol

        Not really pointless. A bolt action is way easier than a semi auto both in terms of legality (my only options for a 7.62×39 semi auto for hunting is a VEPR or a Mini-14) and weight (a bolt action is easier to reduce the weight on than a semi-auto).

        The plan was to shorten the barrel and permanently attach a suppressor. Would be nice for stuff like deer, beaver, badger, fox and of course plinking. Using handloads I could have subsonic ammo (might be nice for hunting) and of course the regular supersonic ammo is pretty cheap (I can also get good brass cased ammo for not much). For bigger stuff like moose and whatnot, well, that’s what the Mauser is for.

        So all in all, would fit my needs while being economical and easy to work with.

        • Rittmeister

          The CZ 527 carbine looks like a nice little rifle but fairly expensive at over $900. An SKS is reliable and light at a fraction of the cost.
          You can get scope mounts and railed fore ends now as well.
          I’m not sure how a suppressor would effect the gas system.

          • iksnilol

            SKS is pretty darn illegal for hunting where I live. I am in Norway, BTW.

            CZ527 is a major want, though the 5 round magazine isn’t really attractive. I’ve heard of people converting them to take single stack 10 round AK mags. That could work for me.

          • Rittmeister

            My local gun guy has some 527s in stock and in Canada we are legally stuck with the 5 round mags.
            Norway must have some great hunting.

          • iksnilol

            That sucks, in Norway the only mag cap limits are for shotguns and semi autos during hunting (too bad shotguns can only be gotten for hunting so you’re screwed). Otherwise there’s no limit, you could legally hunt with a Mossberg MVP with a 150 round double drum. Though load more than 3 rounds in your VEPR or BAR and you’re screwed if caught.

            I guess so, I don’t hunt (yet). Most popular is moose, most plentiful and… well… they are pretty easy to hit, I mean look at the size of the buggers.

          • Rittmeister

            Moose chili, my favorite !

  • floppyscience

    Great to hear. I moved to the US a few years ago, right before the RCMP started throwing their recent tantrums and banning things arbitrarily. It’s nice to see positive changes being made back home, and I hope this will keep the RCMP in line down the road.

    Also I LOVE to see the words “common sense” in a bill that isn’t completely draconian for once. Here in the US, if you see those words tied to gun laws, prepare for the worst.