Another late story from TPF Online and a continuation from a previous entry!
An Act to amend the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code and to make a related amendment and a consequential amendment to other Acts
AKA: The Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act or CSFL Act
The First Reading of this bill was introduced back on the 7th of October, 2014. And the bill itself generated much controversy even among the firearms community and we at TPF gave our opinion on the Bill way back then in October 2014, soon after it’s first reading in the House of Commons. Second reading was originally supposed to be done on October 22nd, 2014. However that morning Parliament hill was assaulted by a gunman armed with a hunting rifle and Bill C-42 sat in hiatus. That is until April 20th 2015, nearly 6 months after the first reading. What followed was a political whirlwind in terms of speed with which this bill made it’s way through the legal system.
House of Commons
- First Reading 2014-10-07
- Second Reading 2015-04-20
- Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security
Committee Reporting the Bill with an Amendment 2015-05-06
- Report Stage 2015-05-25
- Third Reading 2015-05-29
- First Reading 2015-06-02
- Second Reading 2015-06-04
- Referral to Committee 2015-06-04
- Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
Committee Report Presented without Amendment 2015-06-15
- Third Reading 2015-06-16
Royal Assent 2015-06-18
WOW. Two months from 2nd reading in the HoC until receiving Royal Assent. That is faster than the speed of light in Political terms… Some portions of the act were to be effective immediately and others were to be enacted in the several months after the bill was passed.
IMMEDIATE PROVISIONS: (as of June 18, 2015)
- Mandatory classroom participation in firearms safety courses for first time applicants (aka no more test challenges for new people whom have never had a POL/PAL)
- Chief Firearms Officer’s authority is subject to regulations (of which there are no regulations at this time, so no allowed changes)
- Increasing penalties for convictions of domestic violence (firearms prohibitions)
- Provide the Governor in Council the ability to classify a firearm as non-restricted (Previously only able to classify as restricted and prohibited)
The first point of these is one of the most contentious as it is a technical increase in “gun control” legislation by removing a method of which to enable individuals to acquire a firearms license. This is wholly true, but from a familiarity standpoint, it also means that every single new firearms applicant will be familiarized with a common knowledge set regarding firearm ownership and utilization. From a numbers game, 95+% of all new licensees took the full Canadian Firearms Safety Course , aka CFSC (and restricted version, CRFSC) versus those that challenged the test. The numbers of those who challenged the test has been continuously dwindling over the last decade.
The CFSC supposedly includes information regarding the following topics (The CRFSC is focused towards restricted firearms):
- the evolution of firearms, major parts, types and actions;
- basic firearms safety practices;
- operating firearm actions;
- safe handling and carry procedures;
- firing techniques and procedures;
- care of non-restricted firearms;
- responsibilities of the firearms owner/user; and,
- safe storage, display, transportation and handling of non-restricted firearms.
The second point is a good thing as it ensures that CFO’s cannot just make up stuff on the fly and force conditions on firearms owners regarding licensing and authorizations to transport.
Point three is a good thing in theory, but to be given a possible lifetime prohibition would hopefully be dependent on the severity of domestic abuse charges. No the author is not being soft on domestic abuse, but take this example; A yelling match regarding finances by a couple that is reported by neighbours and police arrive amid the yelling with no physical violence involved. Police Charge someone with domestic violence as yelling at another is a form of abuse/violence. In that scenario is a lifetime firearms prohibition warranted?
Allowing the government to reclassify firearms as non-restricted, and the fourth and final immediate provision enacted by C-42. Two words, Hot Damned! Since the introduction of C-68 back twenty years ago, the only direction available to government bodies was to be able to classify firearms to Restricted and/or Prohibited classification. This was used extensively back then to make sure that the scary black guns back then were not easily available to firearms owners. Twenty years later, the ability to classify to non-restricted is now an option. If only there was a couple firearms that they could start using this with….
WHAT FOLLOWED! (as of July 31, 2015)
The next activity that occurred was the re-classification of the CZ858’s and Swiss Arms rifles from prohibited status to their original status. The FIRST time that any firearm has been reclassified to a “lesser” classification in over 20 years. The models that were targeted?
- Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) Model CZ858 Tactical-2P rifle
- Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) Model CZ858 Tactical-2V rifle
- Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) Model CZ858 Tactical-4P rifle
- Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) Model CZ858 Tactical-4V rifle
- SAN Swiss Arms Model Classic Green rifle
- SAN Swiss Arms Model Classic Green carbine
- SAN Swiss Arms Model Classic Green CQB rifle
- SAN Swiss Arms Model Black Special rifle
- SAN Swiss Arms Model Black Special carbine
- SAN Swiss Arms Model Black Special CQB rifle
- SAN Swiss Arms Model Black Special Target rifle
- SAN Swiss Arms Model Blue Star rifle
- SAN Swiss Arms Model Heavy Metal rifle
- SAN Swiss Arms Model Red Devil rifle
- SAN Swiss Arms Model Swiss Arms Edition rifle
These fifteen rifle models had been re-designated as converted automatics back in Spring of 2014, and affected roughly 12,500 firearms owned by Canadians to a retail value of over $13,000,000. These rifles were previously classified as non-restricted and restricted due to their barrel length according to the standard classification system enshrined in law. These rifles, on July 31, were reclassified back to their former statuses, yet they are still technically converted automatics. Huh? A WTF!? may spring to our reader’s mind. The FRT, Firearms Reference Table, currently lists the above firearms as converted automatics whose classification is set as non-restricted or restricted by an Order in Council. They are now Prohibited devices that have been government granted non-prohibited status. Not quite the same as being fully reclassified, but it is a start, and since that also means they can be used fully and wholly akin to over 2 years prior, it is a very good start!
Bill C-42. It is here and being implemented in steps…
The next part to the evolution and implementation of Bill C-42 will soon follow!
P.S. Images stolen from the internet as the crew of TPF does not own either of these fine rifles. Thank you Firearms Blog!