Issues in the New Bill C-21

Tuesday February 16, 2:34pm

Here are some preliminary points that we have under review, all of which are subject to ongoing consideration as we compare them to existing legislation and other provisions of the proposed Bill C-21.
Let’s start out by stating the obvious:
  • None of this is going to reduce crime.
  • None of this is going to increase public safety.
  • All this is, is electioneering and vote buying through exploiting irrational fear.
None of it will work, other than to hurt us.

Red Flag Law:
The Criminal Code will be amended to allow anyone to apply to a judge, without notice to the firearm-owner, for an order to immediately remove firearms from an individual who may pose a danger to themselves or others, or from a third party who could provide firearms to such an individual, based on information provided from a complainant. This can be done without a warrant, where the information provided by the complainant suggests there isn’t time to get a warrant.
This creates obvious constitutional issues regarding warrantless searches, in addition to the obvious risks of abuse by, for example, vindictive former romantic partners.
Yellow Flag Law:
A new provision in the Firearms Act will allow a Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) to temporarily suspend an individual’s firearms licence if the CFO receives information calling into question their licence eligibility. This runs up against the prohibition against being found guilty until proven innocent.
S. 74 “Turn In Your Guns”:
A new provision requires the surrender of firearms during a legal challenge of licence revocation under section 74, and allows for their destruction if required. Affected owners will no longer retain their firearms while appealing a revocation.
Replica Firearms:
This creates a prohibition on importation, exportation and sale applies to all non-regulated airguns that look like modern firearms.
Deletion and Replacement of Grandfathering (s. 12.01):
The grandfathering provisions of s. 12(8) and s. 12(9) (the “Mystery Class”) are being deleted in favour of another grandfathering provision (s. 12.01), one that only allows for storage of the OIC guns without use.
This effectively destroys the value of hundreds of thousands of firearms that are caught by the recent May 1, 2020 OIC, and future bans as well, turning them into worthless “safe queens”.
Note that no buyback has been implemented so as to compensate the owners of these firearms for their destroyed value.
It is not clear what dated they are going to use (the “prescribed date”) for the possession of the gun or the possession or application of certs. They have messed that up before.
There will be no further acquisitions under this license. A corollary of this is that there will be no market for you to sell your affected guns. They will now be worthless.
Municipal Firearm Bans:
The proposed creation of s. 58.01 allows for municipalities to create bylaws that in turn creates the criminal offence of the prohibition of the possession of a handgun other than at a licensed firearm storage facility (a range).
Transporting a handgun through such a municipality will also be criminal, other than for limited purposes such as leaving the country or going to the CFO’s office. This moves dangerously close to allowing municipalities to create criminal law, and will unquestionably be subject to a constitutional review.
Ammunition (s. 37):
Individuals without a licence cannot obtain ammunition from abroad.
De Facto Long Gun Registry:
Because of the requirement to register all of the newly prohibited guns, and all such guns that may be prohibited in the future, this creates a long gun registry for the new prohibs.
This also creates new requirements for continuous reporting as to where the guns are and how they are stored.
Cartridge Capacity:
This provides a new penalty of up to 5 years for unpinning a magazine. Of course possessing a prohibited magazine is already illegal.
Mail Order Transfers of Firearms (s. 32):
There will be new prescribed conditions to be complied with, in addition to the previous requirements.
Centralizing Authorization to Carry Power (s. 54):
Where you want an authorization to carry to protect life, your local CFO will no longer be able to provide it. That must be requested from the central “Commissioner”. Only the Commissioner will be able to provide ATCs.
This is clearly an anti-provincial-CFO maneuver.
No good will come of any of this.
Michael A. Loberg
General Counsel
Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights