The Canadian government said it will cut some of the red tape to transport firearms next month, following the passage of Bill C-42 last June.
Effective Sept. 2, licensed owners of handguns, AR-15 rifles and other so-called “Restricted” and “Prohibited” firearms will be allowed to take their guns home from the store, and transport them to the shooting range, a gunsmith or a border crossing without having to apply for and obtain a separate Authorization to Transport (ATT), the government said in a statement July 31.
ATTs created frustrating paperwork for law-abiding gun owners and were a costly and wasteful use of police resources, without any demonstrated benefit to safety. Armed criminals presumably didn’t contact the police to request authorizations to transport their guns to carry out their misdeeds.
“The changes to the ATT provision mean that an ATT will be automatically attached as a condition on a licence,” the Ministry of Public Safety said in the statement. “Licence holders will no longer have to apply separately in order to transport those firearms to certain routine activities.”
The government has accelerated the announcement of several initiatives and investments in the past few days amid mounting speculation it will call an election as soon as this weekend. On June 18, the day Bill C-42 was officially adopted, the RCMP published, then removed, a statement saying the changes to the ATT program would take effect after 9 months.
Until Sept. 2, gun owners will still need to contact the RCMP and apply for an authorization to transport their firearms if they wish to move them.
Possession Only Licences (POLs) will automatically convert to Possession and Acquisition Licences (PALs) on Sept. 2 as well, giving roughly 530,000 Canadians the right to buy firearms and ammunition, the government said. Canada had about 1.4 million PAL holders as of Dec. 31, according to RCMP data.
Canadian law groups firearms into three categories: “Non-restricted,” “Restricted” and “Prohibited.” Many shotguns and bolt-action rifles are “Non-restricted,” and don’t require authorizations to transport them.