What Is Bill C-71?
- Bill C-71 is the Canadian government’s new law against federally licensed gun owners and stores, 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 will directly affect everyone who buys or sells any firearm, or about 6,000 PAL holders every day, seven days a week.
- Bill C-71 Overview
- Bans “Non-restricted” rifles owned by more than 10,000 families, reclassifying them as “Prohibited” and confiscating them 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 are the leading media reporting and analyzing 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. It is an Amazon bestseller. You can buy it below.
Bill C-71 Legal Status
- Bill C-71 began taking effect on 21 June 2019. Some parts kick in later.
Buy The Bill C-71 Book
- Amazon bestseller.
- Best overview of Bill C-71 in plain English.
- Quoted or mentioned by MPs and Senators in the House of Commons and the Senate.
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
- Status in Parliament
- Press Release, 20 March 2019
- Government Website
- RCMP Website
- Library of Parliament: Legislative Summary of Bill C-71 (Dec. 2018)
- 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.
- 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 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, 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 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
The Senate votes today on Bill C-71, as medical professionals we realize this bill does nothing to combat escalating violence in communities across Canada. C-71 targets law abiding firearms owners & the 4,500 businesses in the firearms industry. This is bad public policy.
— Doctors for Firearm Safety & Responsibility (@docs4firearmsr) May 28, 2019
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.
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
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