Canadian Firearms Marking Regulation: Deferred but Far From Done


Via Email from the CSAAA

This spring the Minister of Public Safety, Ralph Goodale, announced the deferral of the Canadian Firearms Marking Regulation until December 2018.  Goodale stated the 10-year-old regulation needed updating before coming into effect [get proper quote].  The announcement came following significant push-back from the CSAAA and industry members regarding the potential negative economic impact on the small businesses that make up the shooting sports industry in Canada.

The CSAAA’s position against the costly and burdensome regulation was supported by the Canadian Federation of Small Business (CFIB), the U.S. based Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI), as well as the U.S. Commercial Service and the Italian Trade Commission (two of the largest sporting arms exporters to Canada).

While the deferral has provided some temporary relief for Canadian importers, the fight is far from over.  Rumours are currently circulating that the R.C.M.P. is abandoning the argument for the UN requested country code and year of import, and is now asking for a regulation requiring an U.S.-style marking including the name of the importer, province and year of import in addition to the name of the manufacturer and unique serial number. Additional R.C.M.P. demands may include requiring both importers and retailers to record all sales of firearms, including non-restricted firearms. This would basically replace a consumer registry with a registry held by retailers.

CSAAA retail members have reported an increase in tracing requests for non-restricted firearms from the R.C.M.P. leading some to suspect the R.C.M.P. is conducting some sort of research to bolster it’s position with the government.

It is not yet clear what the new legislation will contain, but Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, said in an recent email to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix that it will be “consistent with the measures laid out in our election platform.”

“The government believes in effective firearms measures that prioritize public safety while ensuring fair treatment for law-abiding firearms owners … To be clear, we have said all along that we will not recreate a federal long-gun registry, and we won’t.”

The CSAAA has requested an opportunity to participate in the ongoing discussion, formally requesting to be included on the agenda of the next meeting of the Firearms Advisory Council. We received the following response from Minister Goodale:

“During the deferral period, we intend to propose amendments, in order that Regulations achieve their intended purpose of facilitating the ability of law enforcement to trace the criminal use of firearms. In doing so, we are also mindful of the need for the Regulations to be manageable for firearms owners and businesses.

“Please know that we are approaching firearms policy objectively as we take reasonable and responsible actions to achieve our goal of preventing the criminal use of firearms.”

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