IRunGuns Stirs Debate and Confusion With Post on UN Gun Markings

IRunGuns LLC triggered relief, rebuke and confusion after the Canada-U.S. gun dealer downplayed new UN firearms-marking rules, contradicting industry and shooters’ groups that said the measures will cripple or kill Canada’s gun industry.

The Arizona-based company may have spoken too soon.

IRunGuns said it will cost buyers using its service $25 to mark each new gun with the country and year of import to comply with Canadian regulations flowing from the UN Firearms Protocol and that take effect on June 1, the company said in an online post yesterday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) said that prices could rise “dramatically” and companies could close because of the markings, and urged its members to ask the government to drop its plans. Last autumn, Canada’s main gun-industry group said the rules could cause “catastrophic damage” to small business.

‘Sigh of Relief’

“Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief should the Canadian Government rule in favor of the UN marking of firearms imported into Canada,” IRunGuns said on CanadianGunNutz, an online discussion forum. “IRunGuns will engrave all firearms we carry as well as everything that is imported through IRunGuns for $25.00 per firearm. We have been doing this for years as it is required by the ATF when importing firearms into the U.S. Commerce. [sic.] Our new site has been built with this in mind and IRunGuns will continue to step up for the Canadian Firearms Owner.”

Spoken Too Soon?

IRunGuns may have … jumped the gun, showing how confusing the policies are. It said in a follow-up post that the markings are applied by a jeweller in their home town of Lake Havasu, Arizona, and if the rules take effect, it “will be taking this process in house.”

The regulations require that the markings be applied in Canada, between the time that guns cross the border and the time they are released by the Canada Border Services Agency, according to the CSSA.

Marked in Canada

“I don’t know if IRG knows you have to mark them here, after they are imported, not in the U.S.A.,” Vancouver-based Calibre magazine said today on Twitter in reply to

The regulations say the country and year of import must be marked on new guns, e.g. “CA17,” and include rules for how, when and where this must be done, and by whom. The policies are meant to apply the UN Firearms Protocol, short for United Nations Protocol Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition. Canada is among 52 countries that signed.

‘Killing the Industry’

The Liberal-led government is going ahead with the markings as a way of “killing Canada’s legitimate civilian firearm industry,” the CSSA said in September in the first of three articles on the measure (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Three previous governments had postponed the plan, which could add $200 to the price of firearms, the group said. 

An analysis for the previous Conservative government put the extra cost at $21.

Consumers Will Pay

“The Dealer body and the consumer are the ones that will feel the burden and the expense of the Liberal Government,” IRunGuns said in reply to a user on CanadianGunNutz. “If this does make law it will be a sad day for everyone us included but we still need to face the reality it could possibly happen.”

Some shooters thanked IRunGuns for supporting them, and others criticized the company for breaking solidarity with those fighting the government’s plans.

The CSSA and the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA), the main industry group, say the added cost, paperwork, delays, complexity and procedures for the marking rules will harm the industry and have no benefit, since guns already have serial numbers for tracking.

Praise, Criticism

The thread started by IRunGuns on CanadianGunNutz at 5:20 p.m. Toronto time yesterday has more than 4,500 views and 75 replies. Here are the first two:

“Thank you IRG for willing to set this up and to continue supporting gun owners,” a user under the name “pvcando” said. “Let’s just hope this whole thing gets scraped [sic]. People… send out your letters to MP’s etc.”

“I really despise IRunGuns to make such statement at the time when all the Canadian dealers are fighting for our rights,” user “dyi” said. “This selfish statement will not make you look any better at all. I would be quiet if i were u.”

‘Businesses May Close’

Here’s an excerpt from the Canadian Shooting Sports Association’s “Special Report” that arrived by e-mail at 00:46 Toronto time yesterday (bold in original):

The time is 11:59 p.m.

We are roaring up to the deadline. On June 1, 2017, the United Nations’ Firearms Marking Regulations will be implemented, and Canada’s gun industry will take the punch right in the head.

Oddly enough, the House of Commons is strangely silent on this.

We implore you to write to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and firmly request that this foolish exercise be halted immediately, before extensive damage is done to a licensed, legitimate industry.

U.N. Marking is expensive, time consuming, potentially dangerous and worse, TOTALLY UNNECESSARY.

The United Nations requested we have a system of tracing firearms. The Chrétien government chose to add ridiculous post-manufacturing markings on all imported firearms.

Be forewarned – the cost of a firearm may rise dramatically and businesses may close.

‘Catastrophic Damage’

Here is part of what the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association, the industry group, said in September 2016:

It is our position that Canada’s Firearms Marking Regulation is both unnecessary and deeply flawed. The coming-into-force of this regulation as written will cause catastrophic damage to thousands of licensed and lawful Canadian small businesses operating in the shooting sports sector.

© 2017