Bill C-71

On March 20, 2018 – Bill C-71 An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms was introduced and received First Reading in the House of Commons, the bill can be read on the Parliament of Canada website at: http://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/bill/C-71/first-reading

While the stated intention of the Bill is public safety, the proposals therein are focused on lawful owners and users of firearms rather than on unlawful abuse of firearms by criminals.

While I would recommend you read Bill C-71 yourself, one of the most concerning issues therein is the moving of power for determining which firearms shall be non-restricted, restricted or prohibited.  This important authority currently sits with the Standards Council of Canada’s Governing Council (who are appointed by the federal government and report to Parliament) and Bill C-71 intends to shift this to the RCMP, who are not encumbered by such checks and balances.

Another insidious inclusion in the Bill is the creation of a Prohibited 12(9) class which would be a dumping ground for firearms to be banned.  Bill C-71 only goes after CZ858 and SAN Swiss Arms rifles, but opening this black hole into oblivion would allow other sporting arms to be banned over time – the death of a thousand cuts.  They have used the trick of “grandfathering” current owners, the same tactic that worked to ban ownership of short-barrelled pistols in a single generation.  Owners are less likely to fight back against a law that doesn’t affect them personally but instead bans subsequent generations from the same rights of ownership.

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