Canada Introduces Tighter Gun Legislation

    The Canadian government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have introduced a new bill which would require tougher background checks and retailers to independently maintain records of their sales and individuals purchasing firearms.

    Bill C-71 seeks a number of changes to several elements of Canada’s legislation including the Firearms Act and Criminal Code, here’s the bill’s official summary:

    Part 1 of this Act amends the Firearms Act to, among other things,
    (a) remove the reference to the five-year period, set out in subsection 5(2) of that Act, that applies to the mandatory consideration of certain eligibility criteria for holding a licence;
    (b) require, when a non-restricted firearm is transferred, that the transferee’s firearms licence be verified by the Registrar of Firearms and that businesses keep certain information related to the transfer; and
    (c) remove certain automatic authorizations to transport prohibited and restricted firearms.
    Part 1 also amends the Criminal Code to repeal the authority of the Governor in Council to prescribe by regulation that a prohibited or restricted firearm be a non-restricted firearm or that a prohibited firearm be a restricted firearm and, in consequence, the Part
    (a) repeals certain provisions of regulations made under the Criminal Code; and
    (b) amends the Firearms Act to grandfather certain individuals and firearms, including firearms previously prescribed as restricted or non-restricted firearms in those provisions.
    In short this will require ‘enhanced’ background checks on those seeking to purchase a firearm and commercial retailers will have to retain records on individual purchases for up to 20 years. The bill also seeks to require that a valid gun license is held during all non-restricted firearm sales or transfers. The legislation does not, however, see the return of the Canadian Firearms Registry.
    Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who is sponsoring the bill, was keen to stress that access to a retailers records would be subject only to a police warrant. The Canadian government stressed that they respected the rights of law-abiding gun owners with Prime Minister Trudeau tweeting that the legislation change was about “taking action for common sense gun control, better background checks, and safer communities – while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”
    You can find Bill C-71 in full here.
    Matthew Moss

    _________________________________________________________________________ – Managing Editor – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]