RCMP Letter – Legitimate Notice or Fishing Expedition?

TEAM CSSA E-NEWS  – JUNE 10, 2020
COMMENTARY

Last week a letter from the RCMP landed in the mailboxes of licensed firearm owners across the country.

Titled “Announcement of a Firearms Prohibition”, the letter is puzzling because it provides so little actual information about which firearms were banned on May 1, 2020.

For example, the letter says, “Nine (9) types of firearms by make and model, and their variants;” but never tells the reader which nine firearms were actually banned.

The letter further confuses the issue of guns banned by 20 mm bore diameter or muzzle energy greater than 10,000 joules.

“Firearms with a bore of 20 mm or greater, and those capable of discharging a projectile with a muzzle energy greater than 10,000 Joules.”

These are two separate methods to ban firearms, yet the RCMP’s letter implies a firearm must meet both criteria in order to meet the new Prohibited classification threshold.

So why did the RCMP really send this letter?

We’re not sure. The letter is so light on information it’s hard to understand the rationale.

The Trudeau government used Criminal Code Section 117.15(2) to ban these nine firearms and their variants which are, in the opinion of the Minister, not suitable for hunting or sporting use in Canada.[i]

The RCMP’s problem is upwards of 175,000 now-Prohibited firearms were classified as Non-Restricted on April 30, 2020, the day before their virtue-signalling press conference announcing the ban.

The RCMP has no idea who owns any of these guns and the only way to trigger individual notifications is by revoking a Registration Certificate.

Since registration is not required for Non-Restricted firearms, neither the Trudeau government nor the RCMP know who owns these guns.

Notification Required

The notification process for owners of firearms classified as Restricted on May 1, 2020, is triggered by revoking the Registration Certificate for those firearms.

The process for revoking registrations for Restricted class firearms (the AR-15, etc.) is spelled out in the Firearms Act, beginning in Section 72(1).[ii]

72 (1) Subject to subsection (1.1), if a chief firearms officer decides to refuse to issue or to revoke a licence or authorization to transport or the Registrar decides to refuse to issue or to revoke a registration certificate, authorization to export or authorization to import, the chief firearms officer or Registrar shall give notice of the decision in the prescribed form to the applicant for or holder of the licence, registration certificate or authorization.

Section 72(2) details how an individual must be notified when a Registration Certificate is revoked.[iii]

72 (2) A notice given under subsection (1) must include reasons for the decision disclosing the nature of the information relied on for the decision and must be accompanied by a copy of sections 74 to 81.

Therein lies the RCMP’s problem and a possible rationale for the letter sent to all licensed firearm owners in Canada last week.

The RCMP could be on a fishing expedition, attempting to scare a law-abiding gun owner (LAGO) into contacting them to find out if any of their firearms were reclassified as Prohibited by the Liberal government’s gun ban by Order in Council.

The conversation would go something like this:

LAGO: “Can you tell me if any of my guns are banned by Minister Blair’s May 1st Order in Council?”

RCMP: “Absolutely. I’ll just need a little information first. What’s your Possession and Acquisition Licence number?”

LAGO: “1234567.”

RCMP: “Thank you. Are you John Doe?”

LAGO: “Sure am.”

RCMP: “And your current address is 123 Somewhere Street, Toronto, Ontario?”

LAGO: “Yes, it is.”

RCMP: “Thank you for verifying your personal information. Please tell me the makes and models of the firearms you own, and I’ll tell you if any of them are on the Prohibited list.”

CSSA Advice

If you own any firearms the government reclassified from Non-Restricted to Prohibited on May 1st, you are covered by the blanket amnesty they imposed under SOR/2020-97.[iv]

Do NOT call the RCMP to ask if your guns are now Prohibited. The only way the RCMP will know you own any newly-Prohibited firearms is if you tell them.

Do NOT surrender your firearms to the RCMP or any other police force until the Liberal government passes legislation to fund their compensation scheme.

Examine the list of firearms banned by Order in Council and see if any of your firearms are on the list:

http://canadagazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2020/2020-05-01-x3/html/sor-dors96-eng.html

Even if your firearm is not on the list, it’s still possible the RCMP has reclassified your firearm as Prohibited.

In our CSSA Commentary titled “Bill Blair Lied” we explained how, despite the Minister’s protests to the contrary, many shotguns are now reclassified as Prohibited by the RCMP under the bizarre premise they are “variants” of the AR-15.

So far, the RCMP has reclassified many different makes and models of firearms as Prohibited. This includes 12-gauge shotguns, .22 rifles, and a variety of single-shot, bolt-action, break-action and semi-automatic rifles in a variety of calibres.

See the following CSSA Special Alerts for more information:

Only a Judge Can Decide

The sad reality is we will not know which makes and models of firearms are banned under the Minister’s Order in Council until a judge in a court of law rules on what each individual aspect of SOR/2020-96 means.[v]

Until then, we’re left with the opinions of the Minister of Public Safety and RCMP – neither of which are worth the web pages they’re printed on.