The RCMP said 1,182 people in Canada have gun licences without photos because of a religious exemption, the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights reported, citing the national police.
The shooters’ rights group had asked the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for the number following a video last month by The Rebel, Special Gun Rights for Muslims?!, that suggested the photo exemption was a loophole for Muslims.
Canada requires a licence for private individuals to buy or own firearms legally, and a permit generally requires a photo. Section 14, Paragraph 2 of the Firearms Licences Regulations allows licence applications from people whose religion prohibits them being photographed. A similar exemption has existed for decades for other permits, partly to accommodate Hutterites, a Christian group.
As of April 22, 2,076,339 people in Canada had firearm licences and of those, “1,182 have been issued with a valid photo exemption,” the RCMP told the CCFR, which published the correspondence today. That represents less than 0.06 percent of all licence holders.
“Rebel Media created quite a stir with the video claiming Muslims in Canada have ‘special gun rights,’” CCFR said today on Facebook. “While the photo exemption rule is not new, not reserved for Muslims and has always been that way in Canada, along with driver’s licenses and other gov’t issued licensing, we wanted to have a look at the facts.”