Download the PDF: The Bill C-71 Book
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Most Recent Update of This Page: 30 January 2019, 14:00 Toronto time.
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What Is Bill C-71?
- Draft legislation proposed by the government of Canada on 20 March 2018. It could be passed into law in early or mid-2019. It could also be defeated.
- Aimed at more than 2 million men and women with a federal firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL), such as hunters, farmers recreational shooters, athletes and firearm collectors.
- Would increase firearm confiscations, increase tracking of licence holders, and increase restrictions to get or keep a licence and to buy, sell or transport firearms. For example, it would become a crime to take a lawfully owned handgun to an airport, border crossing or a gunsmith without specific police permission.
- Introduced 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.
- Government is promoting it as “legislation that prioritizes public safety and is practical for firearms owners.”
- Gun owners oppose it: Every national gun-rights association, major provincial hunting associations and hunters, plinkers and sport shooters across Canada.
- Status as of 30 January 2019: Passed in House of Commons, Passed second of three readings in Senate, and now headed to review by a Senate committee. (Detailed timeline below.)
- 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 to help it win the next election.
- Besides the prohibitions included in Bill C-71, a major part is to facilitate future bans. The Bill C-71 Book explains how the bill does this by creating a new Section 12(9) in the Firearms Act to allow delayed confiscation that is promoted as “grandfathering.”
- Another type of registry system is also in the works to link every firearm to its owner.
- Gun owners are taking action. You are reading the No. 2 most-visited page at TheGunBlog.ca. The No. 1 page is about the other gun bans.
How Would Bill C-71 Hurt Gun Owners?
- Makes it harder to obtain and keep your gun licence (PAL).
- Bans rifles that have been sold in Canada for a decade and are owned by 10,000 – 15,000 people. Imprisons those owners if they don’t meet new ownership requirements, but includes no plan to inform the owners of the new requirements. Even if they fulfill the requirements, police will confiscate the firearms after the owners die. (Some people call this confiscation after death “grandfathering.”)
- Tracks PAL holders who plan to buy, sell or give away guns, even if the transfer isn’t completed (connections registry). You want to sell me your old shotgun? You need to reveal your details and my details to the federal police even if we don’t close the deal.
- Requires stores to register you and your guns (firearm registry).
- Removes government power to easily override incorrect or unjustified RCMP firearm classifications.
- Stops you from transporting your guns to and from airport, border, gunshow, gunsmith without special permission (Authorizations To Transport). Want to take a pistol to the gunsmith on the way home from the range? Forget it.
A Bit Longer
- Prohibition. Bill C-71 immediately reclassifies 10,000 to 15,000 legally bought and legally owned rifles as “Prohibited,” including some models that cost more than $4,000 and are used for hunting. (These are the CZ 858 and Swiss Arms.)
- Criminalization. Bill C-71 turns 10,000 to 15,000 owners of newly prohibited firearms into instant criminals facing 10 years in prison unless they comply with new ownership requirements. The government hasn’t outlined any plan to notify them.
- Confiscation: When the government prohibits your firearms, you might be allowed to keep them until you die, after which they must be turned in to police or confiscated. You cannot pass them on to family or friends. The wealth your family invested goes to zero.
- More Gun Bans. Bill C-71 is a warning that more gun bans are coming. It creates Section 12(9) in the Firearms Act, a new catch-all category for people who own guns that will be banned in future. The only reason to include Section 12(9) is to ban more guns.
- No Oversight. Bill C-71 gives the RCMP greater leeway to prohibit firearms by removing the government’s ability to easily un-prohibit firearms, fueling concern of more bans and of police overreach.
- Registration. Bill C-71 makes it a crime to buy, sell or give away any gun without an authorization and a reference number for each potential or actual transaction from the RCMP Registrar of Firearms.
- Connections Registry. The federal police already know who has a PAL. Bill C-71 creates a new connections registry of PAL holders who are in contact with each other. You must get RCMP permission to sell a rifle or shotgun by telling them your PAL number and the buyer’s PAL number, even if you never complete the sale.
- No Transport: Bill C-71 immediately revokes Authorizations To Transport firearms, except from store to home and between home and target range. Gunshows, gunsmiths, border crossings and airports require special permission. If you want to pick up your gun from the gunsmith on your way to a match, you’ll need an ATT. How about dropping off your gun at the gunsmith after a range session? Another ATT. If you want to take a gun from the store to the gunsmith, another ATT. From the gunshow to a gunsmith? Another ATT.
- The Canadian Shooting Sports Association nicknamed Bill C-71 the “Federal Firearms Owners Harassment Act.”
- Gun Registry, Costs: Bill C-71 forces gun stores to keep detailed transaction records on every firearm buyer and every firearm purchase for 20 years. This will increase costs that will be passed on to customers. It also 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.
- Paperwork and Penalties for Violent Criminals: Zero.
- Subscribe to TheGunBlog.ca for updates, info and the latest tools and resources. Please consider supporting us if you like what you’re reading.
- Write to your elected officials at all levels: federal, provincial, municipal.
- If appropriate in your situation: Invite people shooting to share your joy, write letters to the editor of newspapers, invite politicians and media to visit your club or range.
Looking Beyond Bill C-71
- Bill C-71 may pass easily because the Liberal Party has a majority in the House of Commons and strong support in the Senate. (The Liberals promised to strip away gun rights in the last election, and they won a majority.)
- The Liberals are now examining a “full ban” on more than a million handguns and other firearms owned by PAL holders.
- We need to look beyond Bill C-71 to where we can act next.
- Contact political candidates who support your rights and help them get elected. It’s never too early to get on their mailing list.
- Join your favourite gun-rights association, hunting association or renew your membership.
Where Can You Get More Info?
- Subscribe to TheGunBlog.ca for the latest news and updates, including occasional info that isn’t published online.
- Click here to see all our coverage on Bill C-71.
- Click here to see our most-popular articles on Bill C-71 from April to June.
- Three Top Cops Don’t Support Banning Guns From Lawful Owners
- New Gun Law: More Bans, More Police Powers, More Paperwork (20 March 2018)
- New Gun Law Is ‘Warning Sign’ of More Bans, Lawyer Runkle Says (20 March 2018)
- Government Says C-71 Could Grandfather Gun Owners After New Bans (23 March 2018)
- ‘Secret’ RCMP Files on Firearm Classification-Registration, 2010 (28 March 2018)
What Do Firearm and Hunting Associations Say?
- Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights
- C-71, Simplified Bill Analysis and Contentions (27 March 2018)
- Canadian Shooting Sports Association
- National Firearms Association
- C-71 NFA Executive Summary and Analysis by Guy Lavergne (22 March 2018)
- Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association
- Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
- British Columbia Wildlife Federation
If you are a firearms owner, it is important to stand with us as we do everything in our power to influence meaningful changes before it becomes law.
Visit https://t.co/xA7UMQ0T5b for information on Bill C-71.
— OFAH (@ofah) September 25, 2018
Where Can You Find Government Info on Bill C-71?
Bill C-71 Timeline
- Mar 20: Introduction and first reading in House of Commons
- Mar 28: Vote on second reading in House of Commons
- May 08 – Jun 07: Review by House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU)
- Jun 12: SECU report with amendments
- Sep 24: Third reading and vote in House of Commons
- Sep 25: Introduction and first reading in Senate
- Sep 27: Second reading in Senate, 1. (André Pratte)
- Oct. 03: Second reading in Senate, 2. (Tony Dean)
- Oct. 16: Second reading in Senate, 3. (Pierre Dalphond)
- Oct. 23: Second reading in Senate, 4. (Raymonde Gagné, Response: David Tkachuk)
- Nov. 07: Second reading in Senate, 5. (René Cormier)
- Nov. 08: Second reading in Senate, 6. (Ratna Omidvar, Response: Dennis Glen Patterson)
- Nov. 20: Second reading in Senate, 7. (Marc Gold)
- Nov. 21: Second reading in Senate, 8. (Éric Forest, Response: Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu)
- Nov. 22: Second reading in Senate, 9. (Mary Jane McCallum)
- Nov. 28: Second reading in Senate, 10. (Chantal Petitclerc)
- Nov. 29: Second reading in Senate, 11. (Pamela Wallin)
- Dec. 11: Second reading in Senate, 12. Vote. (Don Plett, David Richards)
- Dec. 11: Referral to Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (SECD).
- Pending: Feb. 18: First meeting at Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.
Read: Bill C-71 May Fail to Pass Before Election, iPolitics Reports (18 Dec. 2018)
About The Bill C-71 Book
- The Bill C-71 Book represents a significant milestone in the history of Canada’s firearm community.
- First time that a book is published on a draft gun law.
- First major collaboration between TheGunBlog.ca, Canada’s leading gun-rights media, and the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA), the leading gun-rights advocacy group.
- CSSA gave paperback copies of The Bill C-71 Book to more than 100 Members of Parliament and staff, and sent one to every Senator.
- MPs and Senators quote The Bill C-71 Book in their speeches or mention it.
- Thousands of individuals have downloaded the PDF and/or bought the book on Amazon.
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