On May 1, 2020, almost 2 years ago, the federal government banned hundreds of thousands of hunting firearms, claiming they were assault-style weapons by Order-in-Council (SOR/2020-96). For owners of newly prohibited firearms with a valid registration certificate on April 30, 2020, the government established an amnesty period and promised a buyback program.
The amnesty established for legal owners of these newly prohibited firearms has now been extended to October 2023.
The federal government stated that the amnesty has been extended in order to give officials more time to implement the mandatory buyback program for the firearms.
However, the extension of the amnesty by one year does not mean success for legal firearms owners. Hundreds of thousands of popular rifles and shotguns have still been prohibited by the Order in Council (OIC). According to Professor Gary Mauser of Simon Fraser University, BCWF’s Firearm Committee Chair, firearm retailers are out one billion dollars in inventory. In a recent estimate, the cost to the government for accepting the surrender of these firearms is several billion.
Moreover, the implementation of the buyback program is plagued with complications. The police and Canadian military have declined to participate in the surrender process. After their refusals, the government sent out a letter to gun businesses to request their participation. The Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA, February Newsletter, 26 February 2022) has officially rejected this request as well, saying: “The truth is, we will not participate in the questionnaire at this time as we cannot compromise the legal challenge that is still going through court. We know that any businesses that participate in this questionnaire will surely be boycotted. Firearm businesses cannot afford that financial loss.”
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), on May 1, 2020, the Government of Canada prohibited:
- nine (9) types of firearms, by make and model, and their variants; and
- firearms with a bore of 20 mm or greater, and those firearms capable of discharging a projectile with a muzzle energy greater than 10,000 Joules; and
- the upper receivers of M16, AR-10, AR-15 and M4 pattern firearms.
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Please raise your questions and concerns with the B.C. Wildlife Federation’s Firearms Committee at: email@example.com