Newest Update of This Page: 20 May 2022
What Is Bill C-71?
- Bill C-71 is the Canadian government’s 2019 law against federally licensed gun owners and businesses, including:
- Sport shooters
- Firearm collectors
- It is aimed at the 2.2 million men and women with a firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) authorized by the federal police (RCMP), and at the firearm industry.
- It directly affects everyone who buys or sells any firearm, or about 6,000 PAL holders every day, seven days a week.
Bill C-71 Overview
- Makes it a crime for PAL holders to buy, sell or give away any so-called “Non-Restricted” rifle or shotgun unless you request and obtain explicit permission for the transfer from the RCMP Registrar of Firearms.
- Makes it a crime for gun stores to sell you any “Non-Restricted” rifle or shotgun unless they (1) record your personal info, (2) record the details of your new gun, and (3) save the data for police for at least 20 years.
- (Superseded by May 2020 mass criminalizations): Bans so-called “Non-Restricted” rifles owned by more than 10,000 families, making them “Prohibited” and forcing their confiscation after the registered owner dies.
- Makes it easier for the government and federal police to ban more guns from PAL holders.
- Invents new crimes when safe and responsible PAL holders buy, sell, own or travel with firearms.
- Invents new crimes for gun stores.
- Bill C-71 is opposed by:
- Shooting Federation of Canada, the government-recognized sport body (SFC)
- All three national shooting associations (CCFR, CSSA, NFA)
- The national firearm-industry association (CSAAA)
- Major provincial hunting associations (OFAH, BCWF, …)
- Conservative Party of Canada
- Hundreds of thousands of individuals
- TheGunBlog.ca is one of the strongest voices for Canadian gun owners.
- We have led news coverage of Bill C-71 for gun owners.
- We are leading the fight to repeal Bill C-71.
- We co-wrote The Bill C-71 Book with the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.
Bill C-71 Legal Status
- 20 March 2018: Liberal Party of Canada introduces Bill C-71 to the House of Commons.
- 21 June 2019: Bill C-71 officially becomes law and begins taking effect. Most clauses set to come into force later.
- 18 May 2022: Newest prohibitions come into force.
Buy The Bill C-71 Book
- Amazon Bestseller
- Best overview in plain English of Bill C-71 in context
- Quoted or mentioned by MPs and Senators in the House of Commons and Senate
- Firearm industry considers it a ”Must Read”
- Title: The Bill C-71 Book: What It Means, How It Hurts You, and 3 Easy Steps You Can Take Right Now to Block It
- Co-produced by TheGunBlog.ca and the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA)
- Foreword by Garry Breitkreuz
- 100 pages
Table of Contents (Summary)
- Front Section …………………………………………………… 3
- 1. First Principles …………………………………………….. 17
- 2. Bill C-71 Key Points ……………………………………… 21
- 3. RCMP Firearm Classification 101 …………………. 37
- 4. The Misinformation Campaign ……………………. 41
- 5. How to Stop Bill C-71 …………………………………… 53
- 6. Weekly Easy Action Steps …………………………… 65
- 7. If You Want to Do More, Then Do More ………. 71
- 8. Think Bill C-71 Is a Done Deal? Think Again … 77
- 9. Conclusion: Do You Value Your Guns? ……….. 79
- Appendixes …………………………………………………….. 81
Bill C-71 Legal Context
- Bill C-71 is complex, confusing, technical and intricately woven into the fabric of Canada’s convoluted legislative framework on firearm ownership and use, in particular the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code.
- TheGunBlog.ca isn’t a legal expert and doesn’t offer legal advice.
- TheGunBlog.ca aims to explain the new law in plain language for gun owners.
- Contact: If you see an error or an omission here, please contact us.
Gun stores across Canada called The Bill C-71 Book a “must read.”
Bill C-71 Official Government Sources
- Full Text of Bill
- Press Release, 20 March 2019
- Government Website
- RCMP Website
- Library of Parliament: Legislative Summary of Bill C-71 (Dec. 2018)
- Status in Parliament
- Press Release, 21 June 2019 after Royal Assent
Bill C-71: The Nitty Gritty
Simplifies New Gun Bans
- Bill C-71 makes it easy for the government to ban any type of firearm.
- Cabinet will be able to:
- Order reclassification of any firearm as “Prohibited” while allowing the owner to retain possession if they get new authorizations.
- Revoke Authorization To Transport (ATTs will be at the discretion of provincial Chief Firearms Officers).
- Seize and destroy the firearm after the owner dies if it hasn’t been surrendered or disposed of.
- The owner cannot pass on “Prohibited” guns to family or friends while they are alive or after they die. The wealth invested in the guns and gear goes to zero.
- The Bill C-71 Book explains how the new law simplifies bans by creating a new Section 12(9) in the Firearms Act. Section 12(9) allows delayed gun confiscation that is promoted as “grandfathering.”
Prohibition & Confiscation
- Bill C-71 starts by prohibiting and eventually confiscating CZ 858 and SAN Swiss Arms rifles from more than 10,000 families after the registered owner dies. (Superseded by mass criminalization and confiscation Order in Council on 01 May 2020)
- Almost all of the rifles are legally classified as “Non-restricted.”
- Some of the rifles cost more than $4,000 and are used for hunting or for predator/pest control by farmers and ranchers.
- The owners can go to jail unless they get new police authorizations.
- The law applies retroactively, meaning you could go to jail for something that was legal when you did it.
- The government hasn’t said how it will inform owners about the new law.
No RCMP Oversight
- Bill C-71 gives the RCMP greater leeway to prohibit firearms by removing the government’s ability to easily un-prohibit firearms, fuelling concern of more bans and of police overreach.
- Bill C-71 makes it a crime to buy, sell or give away any gun without a special authorization and reference number from the RCMP Registrar of Firearms for each potential or actual transaction.
- This will now apply to transfers of so-called “Non-restricted” rifles and shotguns. It already applies to transfers of “Restricted” firearms.
- If a parent with PAL gives a shotgun or rifle to a spouse, friend or adult child with a PAL without special permission from the RCMP, the giver and receiver are guilty of a crime under Bill C-71.
- Canadian PAL holders buy and sell (or give and receive) an estimated 3,000 new and used guns each day. Almost all of them are “Non-Restricted.” Since each transfer involves two people, roughly 6,000 PAL holders will be directly affected by Bill C-71 every day, seven days a week.
- The RCMP already knows who has a PAL. Bill C-71 creates a new connections registry of PAL holders who are in contact with each other, in what critics see as a violation of privacy.
- You must get RCMP permission to sell any rifle or shotgun by telling them your PAL number and the buyer’s PAL number, even if you never complete the sale.
- Bill C-71 forces gun stores to keep detailed transaction records on every firearm buyer and every gun they purchase for 20 years.
- This will increase costs that will be passed on to customers.
- It makes a great hit list for thieves if the registry is stolen or hacked.
PAL Refusal and Revocation
- Bill C-71 forces background checks to go from five years to your whole life.
- More people applying for a new gun licence or a renewal could be rejected, and some will decide to not renew rather than disclose private info from long ago.
- No More PAL = No More Guns
New Restrictions for Violent Criminals
Bill C-71 Political Context
- Bill C-71 is one element in a broader plan to prohibit, restrict and penalize lawful gun owners in Canada.
- The Liberal Party is pushing the measures as it seeks to win the 2019 election.
- The Liberals said in June 2019 they plan to order the immediate surrender of about 200,000 rifles and shotguns if they are re-elected.
- The government also plans a “unique identifier” on each firearm to trace it to its owner:
- The government introduced Bill C-71 with no evidence of benefit, no evidence of need, no estimate of cost, and no plan to inform gun owners who would be affected directly.
- The government promoted Bill C-71 as “legislation that prioritizes public safety and is practical for firearms owners.”
Bill C-71 Opposition
Massive Grassroots Opposition
- Hundreds of thousands of concerned PAL holders
- This is one of the most-viewed pages at TheGunBlog.ca
- A petition against Bill C-71 in the early days gathered almost 90,000 signatures.
Every Hunting and Shooting Association Opposes Bill C-71
- Shooting Federation of Canada (SFC)
- Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights (CCFR)
- Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA)
- National Firearms Association (NFA)
- Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH)
- British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF)
Industry Opposes Bill C-71
- Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA)
Conservative Party of Canada Opposes Bill C-71
Doctors Oppose Bill C-71
Bill C-71 Key Dates
See also: LEGISInfo
- 20 Mar 2018: Government introduces Bill C-71 in House of Commons
- 24 Sep 2018: House of Commons passes Bill C-71
- 25 Sep 2018: Senate begins debate on Bill C-71
- 28 May 2019: Senate passes Bill C-71
- 21 June 2019: Bill C-71 receives Royal Assent to become law.
- 18 May 2022: Bill C-71 new prohibitions come into force.
What You Can Do
- Subscribe to TheGunBlog.ca’s private e-newsletter.
- Invite people shooting to share your joy, write letters to the editor of newspapers, invite politicians and media to visit your club or range.
- Join your favourite gun-rights association, hunting association or renew your membership.
- Buy The Bill C-71 Book. It has been quoted and mentioned by MPs and Senators in the House of Commons and the Senate.
- Amazon.ca (Canada)
Ad by Wanstalls Against Bill C-71 in Calibre Magazine
The most important part of gun rights isn’t “gun,” it’s “rights.”