Buying cartridge magazines now requires a valid PAL 

BCWF has received a notice from the RCMP of new and revised subsections of the Firearms Act and Criminal Code of Canada: 

  • Authorization to transfer a cartridge magazine to individuals (subsection 25(1) of the Firearms Act) 
  • Magazines may not be acquired during the license “extension period” (subsection 64(1.2) of the Firearms Act) 

New Restrictions on Transferring or Buying Magazines 

A valid PAL has always been required to purchase or possess a firearm, but this is the first time that a PAL will be required to purchase cartridge magazines. Bill C-21 is intended to fight organized crime, intimate partner violence, and gender-based violence. These changes accomplish none of those things. Rather, they add a new layer of bureaucracy for both purchasers and sellers of firearm parts.  

In addition, the six-month grace period for an expired PAL will not include the ability to purchase magazines. If your PAL is stuck in the renewal process, you will not be able to purchase magazines, even if you applied for renewal six months before it expired. 

While these changes may seem small, the BCWF is concerned that the federal government may soon require a PAL for firearm accessories such as foregrips, scopes, or even cheek pads. 

The Real Issue: Smuggling and Unregistered Firearms 

Canadians are among the most highly regulated firearm owners in the world. Statistics show that PAL holders are not a threat to public safety. All PAL holders are subject to screening for criminal charges every 24 hours. Creating inconvenience for PAL holders does not help fight crime or unregistered firearms. 

Government and RCMP resources should address violent crime and firearm smuggling, which overwhelmingly involve unregistered firearms and criminals who are precluded from owning firearms legally. 

We strongly encourage our members and all Canadians to engage with Members of Parliament and let them know what you think. 

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