Government Says Bill C-21 Storage Rules Target All Gun Owners

Exclusive Q&A with Canada’s Department of Public Safety on planned gun-storage restrictions and municipal by-laws.

08 March 2021

2 min read

TheGunBlog.ca — The Canadian government’s Bill C-21 will target all gun owners with new storage restrictions if the draft law passes, the Department of Public Safety said today, elaborating on comments last week by Minister Bill Blair.

Federally licensed handgun owners who violate possible new municipal by-laws on storing and transporting their firearms risk “licence revocation and criminal sanctions,” the department said.

Details

  • Zarah Malik, a spokesperson for Ottawa-based Public Safety Canada, e-mailed the following comments to TheGunBlog.ca today in response to our questions after Blair spoke last week.
  • The links were in Malik’s response. The yellow highlights are by TheGunBlog.ca.

Why It Matters

  • The governing Liberal Party proposed Bill C-21 last month as it works to further suppress and criminalize the millions of individuals and families who use firearms safely and responsibly.
  • The Liberals ordered a new wave of mass rifle and shotgun confiscations in May 2020.

Storage

Q1. Will the new storage laws apply to all federally licensed firearm owners or only federally licensed handgun owners?

A1. Bill C-21 proposes that the new condition of licence would be “attached to a licence authorizing an individual to possess a handgun.”


Q2. To confirm: The new handgun storage laws (mentioned in [Blair’s] quote) will be mandatory nationally, not only in municipalities that opt for them?

A2. The Government intends to bring forward regulations to prescribe more stringent secure storage requirements on individuals and businesses for all classes and types of firearms, to reduce theft and accidental misuse. These regulations would apply across the country. The storage of handguns — and all other types of firearms — would have to be in compliance with these new requirements when they are ready. These new regulations are currently under development.

Licence owners will also need to ensure that they respect the restrictions set out as a condition of their federal firearms licence in those municipalities that have engaged the federal scheme. In the case of the commercial storage option outlined in s.58.01(1)(a), most people impacted would be residents of that municipality, though those that store their handgun within the municipality but live outside of it would be affected as well. In the case of the storage and transport restrictions outlined in s.58.01(1)(b), the same parties would be affected by the storage limitations.


Q3. Will the new storage measures create offences in the Criminal Code, expanding on current storage crimes?

A3. The Criminal Code already contains offences for breaches of the storage regulations.


Q4. What’s the gist of the new measures, besides metal gauge and locking mechanism of gun safes?


A4. These are currently under development.  More detail will be available later.


Q5. Where is this outlined? It doesn't seem to be in Bill C-21.

A5. Firearms storage requirements are laid out in regulations, specifically in the Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms by Individuals Regulations. There are similar regulations for businesses. These regulations will be updated in due course.

Insurance, Criminal Charges

Q1. Could you identify a few municipalities that want insurance policies for federally licensed firearm users?

A1. No, not at this time. Under Bill C-21, the government is proposing to help create safer communities by supporting municipalities that ban handguns through bylaws restricting storage and transportation in their jurisdictions. Individuals who violate these municipal by-laws would be subject to federal penalties, including licence revocation and criminal sanctions.


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