Bill C-71 Creates PAL Holder ‘Connections Registry’ on Transfers

1 Mar 2019

3 min read

TheGunBlog.ca — The Canadian government’s proposed law against hunters, farmers and sport shooters will require the federal police to record contacts between licensed gun owners who buy, sell, give or receive firearms, creating a “connections registry” that violates personal privacy.

The workings of the plan were reiterated by a government spokesman quoted today in iPolitics.

Unless the Senate amends or defeats Bill C-71, gun sellers and buyers will have to apply together to the federal police for permission to transfer the ownership of any so-called “Non-restricted” rifle or shotgun.

The police decide who gets a firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL). Recording each side in a transfer will enable them to expand their PAL holder “connections registry” or “network map” of who knows whom.

The privacy intrusion is like having the police track who you call, e-mail or do business with. The government says the database is to check licence validity.

Transferor, Transferee

“While the design of the database for licence verification (under Bill C-71) is underway, the only personal information it is intended to capture is the licence number of the transferor (retailer) and the licence number of the transferee (buyer),” Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale, was quoted as telling iPolitics.

Canada’s 2.2 million men and women with gun licences transfer more than 2,000 firearms per day. Hunting and target shooting are among the country’s safest and most-popular outdoor and sporting activities.

Gun Registry, Connections Registry

The connections registry will apply to stores and private individuals, such as a licensed parent giving a rifle or shotgun to a licensed son or daughter for their birthday or Christmas.

It’s in addition to and separate from the Bill C-71 gun registry requiring stores to record the details of every buyer and their guns.

It will build on the existing database of who buys, sells and lends “Restricted” and ”Prohibited” firearms. Canadians own an estimated 10 times more “Non-restricted” guns.


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Bans for Votes

Goodale proposed Bill C-71 last March to prohibit and eventually confiscate rifles from more than 10,000 PAL holders and businesses and to make it harder to buy, sell or transport guns. It will also make it easier for the federal police to prohibit and seize any other firearm.

The Senate is reviewing the bill. It will almost certainly become law this year.

Two weeks before Goodale presented the draft law, a public-relations company that advises the government said more restrictions on licensed gun owners present an “untapped opportunity” for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to win re-election this year. Trudeau is now examining new gun bans, and banning home firearm storage.

The Bill C-71 Book Cover Canada Firearms


Download The Bill C-71 Book as a free PDF. You can also buy the paperback version that was sent to every senator.


How the “connections registry” and the request for permission work, in plain English:

  1. Prospective seller contacts federal police “Registrar,” gives their PAL number and prospective buyer’s PAL number, and requests permission to proceed with transfer.
  2. Registrar registers both PAL numbers in database, checks validity and decides whether to authorize transfer.
  3. If police Registrar approves transfer, Registrar issues “reference number.”

Official text from the latest draft of Bill C-71:

Authorization to transfer non-restricted firearms

23 (1) A person may transfer one or more non-restricted firearms if, at the time of the transfer,

(a) the transferee holds a licence authorizing the transferee to acquire and possess a non-restricted firearm;

(b) the Registrar has, at the transferor’s request, issued a reference number for the transfer and provided it to the transferor; and

(c) the reference number is still valid.

Information—transferee’s licence

(2) The transferee shall provide to the transferor the prescribed information that relates to the transferee’s licence, for the purpose of enabling the transferor to request that the Registrar issue a reference number for the transfer.

Reference number

(3) The Registrar shall issue a reference number if he or she is satisfied that the transferee holds and is still eligible to hold a licence authorizing them to acquire and possess a non-restricted firearm.

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