ARCHIVED — Vol. 148, No. 18 — August 27, 2014

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Registration

SOR/2014-198 August 15, 2014

FIREARMS ACT

Firearms Records Regulations (Classification)

P.C. 2014-910 August 15, 2014

Whereas the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness is of the opinion that the making of the annexed Firearms Records Regulations (Classification) is so urgent that section 118 of the Firearms Act (see footnote a) should not be applicable in the circumstances;

And whereas that Minister will, in accordance with subsection 119(4) of that Act, have a statement of the reasons why he formed that opinion laid before each House of Parliament;

Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, pursuant to paragraph 117(m) of the Firearms Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Firearms Records Regulations (Classification).

FIREARMS RECORDS REGULATIONS
(CLASSIFICATION)

Keeping and amendment of records

1. Only the Registrar may keep or amend records of determinations made under the Firearms Act that firearms of a particular type, make and model are prohibited firearms, restricted firearms or neither prohibited firearms nor restricted firearms.

Records of Registrar’s determinations

2. The Registrar must keep a record of every determination referred to in section 1 that he or she makes.

Amendment or destruction of records prohibited

3. The records referred to in section 2 must not be amended more than one year after the day on which they are made and must not be destroyed.

Coming into force

4. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issues

On February 26, 2014, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) determined the Ceská Zbrojovka 858 Tactical 2 and 4 rifles (the CZ858) and the Swiss Arms Classic Green rifles and its variants (the Swiss Arms), previously imported and sold in Canada as non-restricted and restricted firearms, are prohibited firearms pursuant to subsection 84(1) of the Criminal Code (see footnote 1) (the Code) [http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/FullText.html].

Such firearms classification redetermination decisions by the RCMP have far reaching legal implications for law abiding firearms owners, including the potential for loss of lawfully acquired property and criminal liability.

Building on the March 13, 2014, temporary amnesty to permit persons to do certain activities that otherwise would be an offence under the Code on July 22, 2014, the Government expanded the existing Order Declaring an Amnesty Period (2014) (see footnote 2) [http:// gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2014/2014-03-26/pdf/g2-14807.pdf] to protect persons from criminal prosecution if they use the firearm for target practice at an approved shooting range and transport it for that purpose.

These Regulations will require the Registrar to keep a record of firearms classification determinations, while prohibiting amendments to such records after one year following the day on which the record is made.

Background

There are three categories of firearms: non-restricted (ordinary hunting rifles and shot guns), restricted (most handguns and certain long guns prescribed as restricted) and prohibited (certain handguns, full and converted automatics and other firearms prescribed as prohibited). Part III of the Code and its associated regulations establish the legal framework governing the classification of firearms in Canada.

The RCMP Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) is responsible for the administration of the Firearms Act (see footnote 3) (the Act) [http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/F-11.6/FullText.html]. The CFP also provides the technical expertise to interpret and determine the classification of firearms based on the criteria as set out in the Code and its supporting regulations.

Occasionally, it comes to the attention of the CFP that a firearm has been incorrectly described, or that a CFP record for a specific firearm describes an incorrect classification. Following physical inspection of the firearm by the CFP, the CFP may update its records to properly reflect the appropriate classification of the firearm based upon the established criteria in the Code.

On March 13, 2014, the Government implemented an Order Declaring an Amnesty Period (2014) — a two-year amnesty, valid until March 14, 2016, that protects persons in possession of a CZ858 or Swiss Arms family of rifles from criminal prosecution for possessing them. Specifically, the Amnesty permits affected persons to

  • possess the firearm;
  • deliver the firearm to a peace officer, firearms officer or chief firearms officer;
  • sell or give the firearm to a business — including a museum — authorized to acquire and possess prohibited firearms; or
  • transport the firearm for the purposes of delivering, selling, or giving it as provided for in the Order.

The Amnesty was expanded on July 23, 2014, to allow the use of these firearms at a shooting range and their transportation for such a purpose.

Objectives

The objective of these Regulations is to require the Registrar of Firearms to keep a record of every classification determination made by them, and to prohibit the amendment of those records one year after the day on which the records are made.

Description

The Firearms Records Regulations (Classification) will

  • limit the keeping and amendment of records of classification determinations under the Firearms Act to the Registrar;
  • require the Registrar of Firearms to keep a record of every firearms classification determination made by them;
  • prohibit the destruction of any such record; and
  • prohibit the amendment of any such record more than one year from the day on which the record is made.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal, as there is no change in administrative costs to businesses.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there are no costs on small businesses.

Rationale

The Government wants to prevent the Registrar of Firearms from making changes to records made by them referring to firearms classification determinations more than one year after an initial classification determination is made.

These Regulations are record-keeping regulations and do not affect the Criminal Code definitions.

There are no cost implications associated with these Regulations.

Contact

Mr. Lyndon Murdock
Director
Firearms and Operational Policing Policy
Community Safety and Countering Crime Branch
Public Safety Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0P8
General inquiries: 1-800-830-3118 or 613-944-4875
Fax: 613-954-4808
Email: firearms@ps.gc.ca