Blair Tells iPolitics Confiscation Needs New Law, Two Years Away — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to order mass rifle confiscations against hunters, farmers and sport shooters requires a new law and could take two years to set up, Bill Blair, the minister for firearm bans, told iPolitics.

Why It Matters

  • The timing and risks to pass new legislation raise optimism the gun-ban plans will fail.
  • It’s possibly the first time the governing Liberal Party has said it needs new legislation for its actions against Canada’s 2.2 million federally licensed firearm users. Blair said last week he’s working on a cabinet order for the confiscations.

Blair Quote to iPolitics

“There is still a great deal of work, it’s one of the reasons we’ve said there will be a period of amnesty while we bring forward the legislation and the budget necessary to do that, to effect the buy back,” Blair was quoted as telling iPolitics in an article today.

Forced Surrender

Trudeau promised the biggest gun bans in Canadian history against honest, safe and responsible men and women.

  • Order licence holders to surrender about 250,000 mainly “Non-restricted” hunting and sporting rifles
  • Allow municipalities to expel handgun owners with new prohibitions and restrictions

Pay Off Victims

The Liberals use the term “buyback” for paying off confiscation victims who surrender their gear to avoid prison.


  • A new bill could take months for the Liberals to push through the House of Commons and the Senate and pass into law. (The House will close this weekend after seven sitting days since June. It resumes from the six-week break on Jan. 27.)
  • Although political parties hostile to firearm users control parliament (Liberals, NDP, Bloc Québécois, Green), there’s a chance the proposed Liberal law will be defeated. The Liberals lost their first vote today.
  • Every day increases the chance the Liberal minority government will fail, requiring a new election.
  • Even if a confiscation law passes quickly, which remains possible, mounting opposition from provincial premiers, police and firearm owners may scuttle any bans.
  • The government hasn’t said how it will pay for the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars to set up, administer and enforce any surrender order against honest men and women who don’t want to participate.

Payment System

Blair, whose official title is Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, told reporters last week he’s working out how to administer the payment system for the confiscation victims. He also told the media he’s working “as quickly as possible” on an order in council by cabinet related to the seizures.

“There’s a process and legislation and that work will begin in earnest in the coming weeks,” Blair told iPolitics.

Immediate vs. Delayed Confiscation

The minister told iPolitics he heard from some gun owners that they preferred immediate confiscation with a payoff, rather than confiscation after death sometimes called “grandfathering.” couldn’t find any mention of that preference in a comprehensive report on Blair’s confiscation consultations last year.