The VOICE of Anglers and Hunters since 1928

Firearms Issue – Bill S-223

Update – November 2016 – Status: Dead: Bill S-223 was dropped by the senate – the OFAH, and others, opposed this bill when it was introduced and will continue to oppose any bill that would radically change firearms laws in Canada like it.



WHAT IS HAPPENED?
Outgoing Liberal Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette of Quebec, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 and retired from the Senate on April 22nd, introduced Bill S-223, a highly restrictive bill that would impact hundreds of thousands of hunters and recreational shooters across Canada.  The bill is a carbon copy of Bill S-231 that she introduced in the last Parliament, which died when the federal election was called.

HOW COULD IT HAVE AFFECTED YOU?
Bill S-223, An Act to Amend the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, would tighten the rules governing the transportation and storage of firearms ‘that are not hunting firearms’, replace the concept of firearms registration with firearms ‘inscription’ and restrict the locations where firearms subject to an ‘inscription’ certificate must be kept and how they must be transported.  It would also amend the Firearms Act to define what a hunting firearm is, amend the definition of a prohibited firearm and replace the definition of ‘restricted firearm’ with ‘circumscribed firearm’.

One thing is clear, if the bill ever was to become law it would’ve been far more restrictive than the long gun registry ever was. A huge number of firearms would’ve no longer be legal to store at home. It would’ve forced firearms owners to hire a professional company to move their firearms to an outside secure location, while the use of the term ‘inscribed’ is simply another word for ‘registration’.  In essence, the bill would’ve removed from homes any firearm that in the Senator’s opinion is not used for hunting.


The bill contained several major changes:

  • It would’ve overhauled the current law by prohibiting all firearms in Canada from being kept in private homes except for hunting and collectors firearms which receive ‘special treatment’.
  • It would’ve redefined the existing classes of firearms by creating a hunting firearms category and a ‘circumscribed’ (restricted/prohibited) category that would include most of the firearms that were restricted previously. (Under her legislation, all semi-automatics, with the exception of .22s, would be affected).
  • It would’ve permited the possession of ‘hunting’ firearms in homes, and restrict the use and storage of ‘circumscribed’ firearms to shooting clubs or other secured locations.
  • It would’ve limited the transportation of ‘circumscribed’ firearms to special transporters (similar to Brink’s or Wells Fargo) whose only interest would be to transport firearms safely.
  • The bill would’ve replaced ‘registration’ certificate with ‘inscription’ certificate.
  • The bill would’ve give the RCMP and Commissioner of Firearms more powers.
  • Lastly, it would’ve undone all of the provisions of Bill C-42, The Common Sense Firearms Act, which was passed by the previous government, with the exception of the section which prevents the issuance of a licence to anyone convicted of a domestic violence offence. Under this section, the merger of POL’s and PAL’s, attaching ATTs to licences, and other provisions strongly supported by the firearms community would’ve been scrapped.

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