How important are your firearms to you?

Stand up for what you believe.

Firearms legislation is being pursued by all levels of government. An overview and the impact are outlined below.

The BCWF Firearms Committee and Recreational Sport Shooting Committee are working diligently to advocate against unreasonable bans and regulations.

We are speaking up for you, and we ask that you take whatever action you can to oppose legislation that will directly impact hunting and sport shooting.

We encourage all our members and supporters to attend a local range day and see what firearms are all about! Find a club near you and ask if they have events or opportunities for you to visit and try shooting sports!

National Range Day

National Range Day takes place on the first Saturday in June, and celebrates licensed firearms owners in Canada who participate in shooting sports and enjoy spending a day at the range practicing their skills safely and responsibly.

The B.C. Wildlife Federation is proud to be affiliated with clubs across the province that own and operate legal ranges where hunters sight their rifles, sport shooters practice, and families bond over their heritage.

Federal Firearms Legislation

Stand Up Against Bill C-21

The federal government’s Bill C-21 unfairly targets Canada’s licensed firearm owners, including hunters, farmers, and competitive shooters.

The list of prohibited models includes millions of firearms used for hunting and recreational purposes by Canadians. Bill C-21 is focused on the wrong firearms and on people who pose no threat to public safety.

We urge you to ACT NOW by contacting your Member of Parliament and letting them know that you strongly oppose Bill C-21.

Meet Your MP in Person or Call them on the Phone

We urge you to contact your Member of Parliament and set up a meeting to discuss why you oppose Bill C-21. If you cannot set up an in-person meeting, we urge you to speak with them directly over the phone.

When you meet with or call your MP, we suggest the following talking points:


  • Bill C-21 is a misguided attempt to address crime involving firearms.
  • The Bill targets licensed firearms owners who are unlikely to commit crimes.
  • Licensed firearm owners are scrutinized daily by the RCMP.
  • Many firearms listed in Bill C-21 are used by hunters, farmers, and competitive shooters, and are unlikely to be used in the commission of crimes.
  • Gun violence is committed by criminals who don’t follow the rules. More rules won’t change that.
  • Most of the firearms used to commit crimes in Canada are smuggled from the United States.
  • Government should be focused on catching criminals and foiling smugglers.
Send your MP a Letter

If you cannot meet with your Member of Parliament in person or call them, writing a letter on behalf of a cause is an effective way to show your support or opposition. Search for your local MP, and their contact information includes an email and a physical mailing address. You do not need to put postage on a letter sent through the mail to your MP.

We urge you to write a personal letter to your MP that sticks to the facts of the issue while showing that firearms ownership matters to you, your family, and your way of life.

Sample text may include:

To the Honourable (insert name)

I am writing to you today with concerns over Bill C-21 and its amendments, which will impact my ability to own firearms, provide wild game for my family to eat, and participate in the shooting sports that I love. I am also deeply concerned about gun violence in Canada.

I am one of millions of law-abiding Canadian citizens that have been thoroughly vetted by the RCMP, and continuously screened to ensure that I do not commit a crime, so that I may hold a Possession and Acquisition License. As a PAL holder, the RCMP has determined that I am responsible and trustworthy so that I can purchase and own firearms for the purposes of hunting and/or sport shooting.

Rather than targeting the true causes of gun crime, specifically smuggling and soaring gang-related violence, the federal government has chosen to effectively ban millions of hunting and sporting rifles, and put an outright ban on the transfer of handguns. This action punishes law-abiding Canadians like me, who have committed no crime, and will waste billions of taxpayer dollars on a solution that has no hope of reducing crime.

I urge you to redirect these resources to border security to eliminate gun smuggling and effective policing to reduce gang activity, rather than unfairly targeting legal firearm owners like me.



Federal Firearms Legislation Updates

FAQ on Federal Firearms Legislation

Bill C-21 Overview

The federal government says Bill C-21 is designed to keep firearms off the streets. The bill grants municipalities power to regulate the storage and transportation of restricted weapons [handguns] by lawful owners. Canadians are legitimately concerned about increasing gun violence from gangs, but BCWF analysis finds nothing in the bill to address these concerns.
· C-21 is not “taking guns off the streets”; it’s taking them “off provincially licensed ranges.”
· C-21 is not a “gun ban” against criminals; it’s a “ban against RCMP-vetted gun owners.”
· C-21 is not making cities safer; it’s “taking police resources away from gangs and guns units” to waste energy on RCMP-vetted hunters and sport shooters.
· Why ban BB and airsoft “guns?” They are not “gateway guns.” They are toys.
Bill C-21 legislation focuses on lawful owners – who are not the problem. The bill invents excessive regulations that will not address real problems that Canada faces, e.g. violent gangs and smuggled guns.

For more information about Bill C-21, please refer to the background material here.

How can I take action?

We encourage BCWF members to join us in contacting your local municipal leaders, MP, or MLA.

Please communicate the following points to your Member of Parliament:

More than 90 per cent of gun-related crime in Canada is committed with firearms smuggled from the United States. Further regulating hunters and sport shooters is a waste of the RCMP’s time and taxpayers’ money, money that could be spent catching criminals.

We need to address real public safety issues and that includes applying strict penalties for crimes involving guns and stopping the flow of smuggled handguns across our border from the United States. The target of public safety legislation should be criminals, not outdoors enthusiasts, hunters, and licensed firearm owners.

You can find the name, mailing address and email address of your member of Parliament here:

You can cut and paste your message to the Prime Minister here:

What is the BCWF’s position on the latest gun-ban implemented by the Government of Canada?

The BCWF cannot support the federal government’s arbitrary decision to prohibit and confiscate over 1,500 types of firearms on what appears to be cosmetic features. All of these firearms are legally owned by Canadians. The government’s criteria for banning firearms were not clearly stated. This regulation bears the mark of a hasty, irrational process that was intended to divide Canadians. The ban alienated millions of law-abiding Canadians, and it is not a public safety measure.

What does the BCWF plan to do on behalf of the firearms community in response to this new ban?

The BCWF has written the Prime Minister and other governmental authorities to protest this arbitrary and irrational action. We have been to Ottawa multiple times to communicate our opposition in person. Being a charity, BCWF cannot engage in partisan activity, but our members should take action. BCWF urges members to contact their MP personally.

What firearms did the Order-in-Council prohibit on Friday, May 1, 2020?

Through an Order in Council (Cabinet decision), Criminal Code regulations (SOR/2020-96) prohibit approximately 1,500 types of firearms. The OIC includes a wide range of previously restricted as well as non-restricted firearms, including some that were already prohibited. The OIC also includes some rimfire firearms that are listed contrary to the stated selection criteria.

The government’s claim is that “military-style assault weapons” were banned. The term “military-style assault weapons” has no agreed-upon meaning and was used as a cover term to let the government ban whatever it wanted. Real military assault rifles, such as the M-16, were already banned in the 1970s.

The ban included a variety of semi-automatic firearms that can resemble military rifles but lack their functionality, as well as crew-served military armament, such as missile launchers, howitzers, anti-tank weapons (many dating back to World War II); also included are military antiques. These prohibitions will create serious problems for Canadian museums but not for thugs and gangsters.

What can I do if I own one of the newly prohibited firearms (or one of the mortars or grenade launchers)?

There was an amnesty issued for all owners in another OIC (SOR 2020/97) on May 1. The prohibitions and the amnesty came into effect immediately on May 1. The government states that the amnesty is to “protect individuals who were in lawful possession of one or more of the newly prohibited firearms … on the day the Regulations came into force, from criminal liability for unlawful possession …” The amnesty expired on April 30, 2022.

The RCMP announced the following rules and recommendations regarding newly prohibited firearms:

  • May not be used for hunting or sport shooting, either at a range or elsewhere.
  • May not be bought, sold, lent, or imported.
  • May not be transported unless provided in the amnesty.
  • Must be stored in accordance with the storage regulations for the firearm class prior to prohibition.
  • Lawful owners may export a prohibited firearm if they have proper export authorization.
  • Lawful owners may contact police to arrange disposition without compensation.
  • Owners must not bring a firearm to a police station unless they have made an appointment to surrender it.
Were 12-gauge shotguns banned?

The BCWF is seeking clarity on this issue. However, it will have to be decided in court.

According to a solid legal opinion, 12-gauge shotguns, particularly those with adjustable chokes, fall under Section 95, that any firearm with a bore greater than 20 mm is now prohibited. However, the RCMP posted that normal 12-gauge shotguns were not banned. However, posts on the RCMP website may change at any time. The key is how the inner bore is measured.

Ordinary 12-gauge shotguns may fall under Section 96 as well, that of being capable of exceeding the limit of 10,000 joules. The problem here is the word “capable” of doing so. Few 12 gauges typically exceed this limit; it’s not practical, not common, but a 12 gauge is “capable.” Courts will ultimately have to decide. Firearms dealers in both the US and Canada are told to consider them prohibited weapons. Owners are warned not to use any prohibited firearm.

The RCMP has also recently changed the status of a wide range of rifles and shotguns to prohibited in the Firearms Reference Table (FRT). It’s not clear if these changes are part of the OIC or due to the RCMP unilaterally initiating reclassifications.

Contrary to statements by the Minister, many shotguns have been banned, including pump and bolt action models.  Further, there is no simple way to know if the owner of a previously legal firearm is now a criminal.

Were just military-style semi-automatic rifles banned?

A wide range of common, popular firearms were banned, including, big-bore bolt-action hunting rifles.

Oddly, the ban includes a number of crew-served military weapons, such as 60mm and 120mm mortars and anti-tank weapons, missile launchers, howitzers, some dating back to World War II, or earlier.

The government’s criteria for selecting firearms were not clearly stated. This entire regulation bears the mark of a hasty, irrational process that was intended to divide Canadians. Some of the firearms listed in the regulation that are now classified as prohibited have the same specifications as other firearms not on the list.

In addition to banning popular sporting semi-automatics, such as the Ruger Mini-14, Ruger Mini-30, and the AR-15, the ban included bolt-action firearms and some shotguns that were caught in the bore-diameter restrictions, and even some rimfire firearms that are listed contrary to the stated selection criteria.

The government claimed the banned firearms were “not suitable for hunting or sport shooting,” but simultaneously they provided an exemption for Indigenous owners to use the newly banned firearms for hunting purposes. In fact, many of the firearms have been safely used for hunting and sport shooting by Canadians for decades.

At least one bolt-action firearm was included (due to the muzzle energy restriction), and 10- and 12-gauge shotguns were caught in the bore diameter restrictions. Also banned were 8-gauge industrial tools. The list also included some rimfire firearms, even though they are listed contrary to the government’s stated selection criteria.

Apparently, an airsoft gun, the Blackwater BW-15, was also prohibited, possibly because it shares the same name as an AR-15 variant.

The list also included many mortars and wheel-mounted, crew-served, tow-behind-vehicle 37mm anti-tank ‘rifles.’ Ammunition for these had already long been prohibited. Needless to say, these military weapons do not pose a threat to public safety.

Why do people own the kinds of semi-automatic guns that were banned?

Mostly to participate in sport shooting, but also for hunting, where legally permitted, and for protecting crops and farm animals from predators.

Sport shooting is a hobby in Canada that actually has a larger participation rate than golf and ranges from just personal challenges to esteemed competitions with 100 years of tradition like the Canadian Service Rifle Championship between members of the military and the public. This ban eliminated that competition.

This is the destruction of Canadian history. Canadians have a long and proud military tradition. But now military competitions are illegal and subject to a five-year criminal penalty. Moreover, shooting is a Canadian industry worth $8 billion a year that employs thousands. This ban destroyed over a million dollars in inventory that Canadian businesses will not be able to recoup.

Many semi-automatic rifles are legal for hunting, including by Indigenous people. While falsely claiming that the banned firearms could not be used for hunting, Indigenous hunters were exempted from the ban so that they could use them for hunting.

Provincial Firearms Legislation

In April 2022, the provincial government has reconsidered and rejected several new regulations that could have shut down more than 100 practice ranges across BC.

The BCWF’s Firearms and Recreational Sport Shooting Committees were instrumental in securing this victory for legal firearms owners in British Columbia. Read more on our blog.

Standards and Best Practices for Lead Management

Shooting clubs must be careful to assess and manage the environmental impact of lead, noise, and other issues caused by the presence of a range. Below are standards and best practices for guidance.

Standards and Best Practices for Lead Management 
Noise Management
Issues Management

Support Our Firearms Heritage

Please become a member or donate to support us. We are standing up to Victoria and Ottawa to oppose unreasonable bans and regulations for law-abiding firearms owners, and we need your help. Donations of $10 and above are eligible for a tax deduction. Become a monthly donor, leave a legacy gift, start a fundraiser, or find other ways to support the BCWF.

Follow our Social Media Pages

To get involved, or to find out what you can do to help change the narrative, email our Conservation, Hunting, Angling and Firearms Policy & Engagement Coordinator Steve Hamilton, at

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