RCMP Slows Printing Gun Licences, Fuelling Speculation of Bans

TheGunBlog.ca — Canada’s federal agency in charge of gun licensing everyone from hunters and farmers to Olympic shooters said it slowed printing the permits because of “technical circumstances,” fuelling speculation new firearm bans are imminent.

“Due to technical circumstances, the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) is producing firearms licence cards in a limited capacity between March 11 and June 7, 2019,” a spokeswoman for the Ottawa-based Royal Canadian Mounted Police told TheGunBlog.ca today by e-mail in response to questions.

The RCMP is continuing to process licences, she said.

(Full quote below.)

‘Sweeping Gun Ban’

Concern of new bans flared up last week after Tony Clement, an independent member of parliament, said May 9 without citing his sources that the Liberal Party government is preparing to order a “sweeping gun ban” that it will announce at a conference ending June 6.

Read: Guns ‘Selling Like Crazy’ on Ban Concern: Firearms Outlet Canada

A spokeswoman for Bill Blair, the minister in charge of examining bans, said May 9 in response to Clement that “no decision has been taken.”

The next day, the Canadian Shooting Sports Association said the prohibitions will include AR-15 target rifles.

‘Waiting to Print’

Then on May 13, a user on CanadianGunNutz.com, Canada’s most-popular online firearm-discussion forum, said the RCMP had stopped printing licences. The person cited a friend who called the RCMP about their delayed permit and were told all printing machines for licences were broken until June 4.

“I’m in the same boat,” Lynda Kiejko, an Olympic pistol shooter from Calgary, said on Twitter in response to TheGunBlog.ca. “My license is renewed … but waiting to print … my last licence renewal arrive literally days before the old one expired (which doesn’t help when you are out of the country during that time frame…) the electronic files are updated though.”

‘Something Smells Fishy’

“Something smells fishy to me,” said a different user on CanadianGunNutz.

“WOW! something is going on BIG TIME!” said a separate comment in the thread.

More Canadian Than Hockey

Hunting and sport shooting are part of Canada’s heritage and culture, and 2.2 million men and women have an RCMP-authorized firearm licence out of the millions more who shoot safely and responsibly. More adults have a gun licence than play hockey.

Owning any gun is banned already for anyone without a licence.

Bans for Votes

A government communication adviser said last year new restrictions and prohibitions on lawful, licensed owners present an “untapped opportunity” for the Liberal Party government to win re-election this year.

The Liberals have been exploring mass gun confiscation since August, and the risk of them passing Bill C-71 into law any day is exacerbating worries. The law will lead to taking away rifles from more than 10,000 owners after they die, and will simplify future prohibitions and seizures.

TheGunBlog.ca couldn’t find any mention of printing delays on the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program website. Tens of thousands of people have had their licences potentially delayed already.

RCMP Full Comment to TheGunBlog.ca Today

Due to technical circumstances, the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) is producing firearms licence cards in a limited capacity between March 11 and June 7, 2019.

The CFP is working diligently to return to standard licence production levels by June 7, 2019.

The limited capacity production of firearms licence cards will not affect the CFP’s ability to fulfill client requests.

Clients may experience a delay in receiving their firearms licence card during the March 11-June 7, 2019 timeframe but will still have a valid firearms licence within the Canadian Firearms Information System.

The CFP appreciates the understanding of its clients as it works diligently to resolve this matter.

Once the technical issues have been resolved, the CFP will resume standard production levels of 2,000 firearms licence cards per day (Monday to Friday).

Update 10 p.m. Toronto time: Another person on Canadian Gun Nutz said today in response to this article that he and his wife asked the RCMP for a printout of the firearms they have registered with the licensing authority. They were told about the printing slow down and “not to hold our breath,” the commenter said. Another user said the printers for the plastic cards are different than the printers for the registration certificates.

Key Dates

  • Aug 28: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instructs Bill Blair to “lead an examination of a full ban on handguns and assault weapons in Canada, while not impeding the lawful use of firearms by Canadians.”
  • Jan – May: Blair repeatedly says he’s looking at bans. He tells CTV News in March the government is preparing “pretty big measures” to restrict gun ownership.
  • May 9: MP Tony Clement says without citing his sources that the government is preparing to order a “sweeping gun ban,” to be announced at conference running June 3-6. Bill Blair tells Clement the government is “prepared to consider whatever measures will be effective” for safety. A spokeswoman for Blair later tells TheGunBlog.ca that “no decision has been taken.”
  • May 10: Canadian Shooting Sports Association says prohibitions will include AR-15 target rifles, citing two unidentified government sources.
  • May 13: User on CanadianGunNutz says RCMP stopped printing licence cards until early June. Other users note the timing coincides with dates mentioned by Clement.
  • May 15: RCMP tells TheGunBlog.ca it slowed printing firearm-licence cards March 11 until June 7.
  • May 16 (Subject to Change): Senate set for final vote on Bill C-71, which could then become law.