UPDATE: Here are some introductory Frequently Asked Questions for Firearms Bill C-21, which was introduced in the House of Commons on Feb. 16, 2021.
On Feb. 16 the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms), in the House of Commons.
This Bill includes several new provisions related to municipal handgun bans, stronger penalties for some firearm-related offences, and an option for owners to keep their firearms that were prohibited on May 1, 2020 under SOR/2020-96.
Below is a quick look at some of the measures within the Bill:
- an option for owners of prohibited firearms under SOR/2020-96 to retain them (with conditions of no use, sale, bequeathal, import, and further acquisition);
- ‘red flag’ laws that would allow anyone to make an application for a prohibition order (to remove firearms) against another person (order could extend to firearms possessed by others in the household);
- ‘yellow flag’ laws that would allow anyone to contact the Chief Firearms Officers (CFO) to raise concerns (could result in a licence suspension for 30 days);
- enable municipalities to restrict handgun storage and transportation through by-laws (by including them as a condition of licence);
- stronger penalties for some firearm possession offences (e.g. trafficking); and,
- new penalties for altering magazines to exceed the legal capacity.
Additionally, the legislation was accompanied by a government commitment to invest $250 million over 5 years to support anti-gang programming and prevention programs for at-risk youth.
It is important to note that this remains just an early look at the Bill. It is a complex piece of legislation that will have far-reaching implications for firearms laws and regulations. OFAH staff has already begun a deep dive through the Bill, will participate in a government briefing on Feb. 17, and participate fully in the parliamentary process for C-21 as it unfolds. Additional information and updates on this will be provided as we unpack what this Bill means for firearms owners.
Stay connected through www.ofah.org/enews.
OFAH Firearms Page: www.ofah.org/firearms
Public Safety Explanation of Bill C-21: https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/cntrng-crm/frrms/c21-en.aspx#s01