Ontario CFO puts plan in place to reduce transfer wait times

Good news for Ontario firearms retailers! The Ontario Chief Firearms Office has confirmed the office has taken steps to address the backlog of transfers for restricted purchases.

After receiving numerous reports from Ontario retailers that delays in the processing of transfer requests were resulting in up to 25% cancellations of purchases, the CSAAA wrote the Ontario CFO asking for concrete action to stop the revenue losses. The CSAAA's letter was tabled at a management meeting last week and on Friday, a spokesperson for the CFO confirmed an action plan is now being implemented.

Starting on Thursday, April 19, the CFO will essentially shut down all other services and put "all hands" on the job of processing transfers. The "all-day, all-hands" initiative will continue for one day per week until the backlog is cleared.

The office confirmed they are struggling with budget and staffing issues resulting from an operating budget that hasn't increased in 10 years.

While the CSAAA expressed appreciation for the response to the current transfer issue; we have ongoing concerns about the CFO's ability to handle the additional duties that will fall to the service if Bill C-71 is passed as written. It's not clear at this point if any of the $325M in funding announced by the Liberal Government to fight gangs and gun crime will be going to the Provincial CFOs despite the fact that they will have increased demands under the proposed legislation.

For more information, contact:

Winkel responds to new firearms legislation

The Federal Liberal government has introduced its new legislation to tighten the control and licensing of firearms, but according to CSAAA board of directors’ president Wes Winkel, Bill C-71 in many ways is much ado about nothing.

“Have you ever gone to the doctor for testing and they ask you to drink that big pink liquid? You feel like you will have trouble swallowing it and you’ll be full of gas? Well, that’s a metaphor for this,” Winkel said. “We are dealing with many different facets here, but breaking it down, there are several things that don’t equate.”

Under the new legislation, companies that sell firearms will be required to keep detailed records of firearm sales, as well as firearm purchasers. These records will not be shared with the government on a regular basis, however they will be available to the police via a judicial warrant if deemed necessary.

The new law also means increased background checks for the acquisition of licenses, including the “life history” of a purchaser – including their mental state and behaviour. Vendors will also have to verify the validity of a purchaser’s license with the Canadian Firearms program before completing the transaction.

The new regulations also mean firearms owners have to obtain formal authorizations to bring restricted and prohibited firearms – including handguns – to gunshows or a gunsmith. Classification of firearms does not change under the new legislation – non-restricted, restricted or prohibited – but the governing council now has jurisdiction to determine the classification of firearms without political interference.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale stated: “With this legislation and other measures, we are taking concrete steps to make our country less vulnerable to the scourge of gun violence, while being fair to responsible, law-abiding firearm owners and businesses.”

Winkel contends that in many ways, the new rules contradict this point and simply don’t equate. “Just taking my business hat off here, in many ways this lowers the trust in your government when they prohibit firearms and you haven’t done anything wrong. And in a lot of cases, many of the things they are asking vendors to do here are already an industry standard.”

And as far as the CSAAA is concerned, having “big brother” watching every aspect of record keeping won’t lead to a more efficient or functional industry. Winkel used a recent example where the chief firearms officer visited a gun shop. He deemed the store’s record keeping was not up to par, and he subsequently removed the vendor’s firearms vending license. Yet, there was no proof the firearms had found their way into a criminal situation or that the store was a public safety concern.

“They simple said this location was too messy and ordered it to close up shop. This was A insulting but B dangerous. It might be the intent of the current government to regulate what is already an industry standard, but now that those parameters are in place, they subsequently could determine things aren’t up to snuff because there are stricter rules in place. It takes the onus of responsibility away from the government and places it solely on the vendor. And now, all firearm businesses will do is comply with the law – they may not use their own detection methods to make sure firearms aren’t going the wrong way – processes which may have been far more stringent.”

Another murky point, Winkel maintains, is the concept of license validity. “We as businesses can attest what the magic keywords are – city of birth for example. That sounds like a simple thing, but the problem is some people are born out of the country, there are spelling errors, there are language difficulties . . . these create issues for registration. Also, what happens when the registration Web site in down for maintenance for several hours? So, a guy drives hours to pick up his firearm, and no, he can’t pick it up? This just doesn’t make sound business sense. We are in an industry where things can’t be made more difficult with process.”

Background checks are another issue. If taken at face value, the regulation is very open to interpretation, Winkel said. “So, if you have been treated for a mental illness – if you have been diagnosed for depression and are being treated for example – and you have had a violent incident in your past, even though those two things might not coincide, there is a lot of danger there,” he noted. “You may have been in fight when you were 20 and were charged with assault, but now you are a 60-year-old man with depression and are being treated for it . . . the two things have nothing to do with each other. But because it meets the new key points, you may lose your license. And now, because licenses are tied with possession in the firearms act, you have to get rid of your guns – you can’t keep them in your home.

“The last thing the Canadian Mental Health Association wants is people to be scared to talk to their doctor about having a mental health issue. But this is what is going to happen if you are a gun collector. If you talk about, you will lose your guns. Gun owners will be scared to get treatment. And frankly. . . that’s ridiculous.”

Now that new regulations are firmly in place, Winkel hopes the Federal government will continue to work with the CSAAA and industry leaders before any future decisions are made regarding the Canadian firearms industry.

– Matt Nicholls, special to the CSAAA

CSAAA to represent sporting arms business owners at Guns & Gangs Summit in Ottawa

CSAAA President Wes Winkel has been invited by the Minister of Public Safety's office to represent Canadian sporting arms businesses at the government's Guns and Gangs Summit in Ottawa on Wednesday.
"We're not sure what to expect, but we want to be sure we are fully aware of the discussion taking place and able to offer our technical expertise on firearms, current regulations in practice, as well as feedback on the feasibility of ideas and how they would affect sporting arms business owners in Canada," said Winkel.
"As the representatives of hundreds of responsible small business owners employing an estimated 25,000 Canadians, it is our mission to ensure our members are not unfairly represented in this process or unduly harmed by any proposed initiatives. We believe our business members can, and should, be part of the solution to the issue of illegal and criminal firearms transactions, while respecting and protecting the lawful sale and use of sporting arms in Canada," added Winkel.

CSAAA responds to MEC decision to drop VISTA Outdoor brands


For immediate release

PETERBOROUGH, ON March 2, 2018 – As representatives of Canada’s sporting arms business owners, the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) was extremely disappointed to hear the recent decision by Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) to abandon VISTA Outdoor as a supplier and appalled at the vilification of VISTA and its employees.

It is an emotional time and the CSAAA has been careful not to step forward during a time when passions are running high and reasonable discussion is not yet possible. However, we cannot stand by when good people, working in a responsible Canadian industry are being targeted unfairly.

There are nearly 4,500 firearm and ammunition businesses in Canada, employing and estimated 25,000 Canadians. Most of these are small business owners. These are hard working Canadians with families, supporting their local communities, raising their kids, and just as concerned about the safety and well-being of their families as every other parent and citizen.

By making an emotional decision in response to the demands of an ill-informed membership base in the wake of a very tragic event occurring outside of Canada, MEC has unfairly smeared these Canadian business owners and their employees and put their jobs and livelihoods at risk all for the sake of a few minutes of good PR.

The outcry from MEC members stemmed from VISTA Outdoor’s ownership of Savage Arms; which manufacturers modern sporting arms. In Canada, we have a very stringent firearms culture and regulatory environment and while these firearms are available in Canada, they are classified as restricted, requiring extensive training and background checks to obtain a license, and fire one bullet at a time from a magazine limited to five rounds. In practical terms, they are no more dangerous in Canada than a typical hunting rifle.

Savage Arms Canada, a longtime member of the CSAAA, employs nearly 140 people in the small town of Lakefield, Ontario where they have been manufacturing sporting rifles since 1969 (originally as Lakefield Arms).

Canadian firearms businesses and owners operate in one of the most regulated environments in the world. “If there was any evidence that further restricting law abiding business owners and gun owners would make our country safer, our industry members would be on board,” said Wes Winkel, president of the CSAAA and owner of Ellwood Epps Sporting Goods in Orillia, Ontario.

School shootings are at the heart of the current public debate over firearms regulations, and this is an issue for all Canadians, including CSAAA members. All of us want to know our children are safe when they are at school. But Canada’s regulatory environment already provides the most stringent protection around the purchase and ownership of firearms. No additional firearms regulations are going to prevent a disturbed individual from carrying out a deranged plan to attack a school. The real solution needs to focus on access to our schools and it is the position of the CSAAA that metal detectors in schools are the most effective preventative measure we can take to protect our schools from this type of crime.

Metal detectors have been a proven method of enhancing security and are currently used in stadiums, government buildings, court houses, airports and banks. Why would we not take this simple step to secure our children from all dangerous weapons entering their schools?

And most importantly, our focus, and our tax funding, needs to be spent on the most proven violence prevention efforts that focus on key public health strategies at the individual, community and societal levels to better identify and prevent violent behaviour.

“While no method of security brings 100 per cent protection, it is time that our society stops wasting time and resources on ineffective gun control and starts directing their efforts on proven security measures to protect our children,” said Winkel. “There is no evidence that escalating the level of red tape on licensed, law-abiding gun owners in Canada will enhance the safety of our children at school. For our society to continue to push and pay for these initiatives prevents us from getting to real solutions.”


For more information, contact

Alison de Groot, Managing Director

Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA)

P.O. Box 2343,

Peterborough, ON K9J 7Y8





Interviews with Mr. Wes Winkel, President CSAAA, are available, please contact us to arrange. Founded in 1973, the CSAAA represents Canadian manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers in the sporting arms industry. We promote our members’ commitment to the legal sales of firearms, ammunition, archery equipment and hunting and shooting sports accessories. . We support and promote hunting and shooting sports as heritage activities and our small business owners as meaningful contributors to their local and our national economies.

Industry leader Daniel Legault passes away at 59

It is with great sadness we share the news of the passing of Daniel Legault, longtime General Manager of Browning Canada and a true leader of the shooting sports industry. Mr. Legault passed away late Saturday, February 24th at the age of 59 after a stoic fight against cancer.

Mr. Legault is survived by his wife Mrs. Josée Simard, his children Jean-François (Marie-Claude Huot) and Stephanie (Benoit Brunet), his grandchildren: Samuel, Anthony and Émy, his sister Sylvie, his brother Pierre, his brothers-in-law , sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces and other relatives and friends.

The family will receive condolences on Friday, March 2nd from 2 to 5 pm and from 7 to 9 pm at:

Goyer Funeral Complex
105 boul. Desjardins Est

The family has asked that donations in remembrance of Mr. Legault be directed to the Pallia-Vie Foundation. Please see the link below to send condolences.



5th Annual Canadian Reception at SHOT Show

Join us, Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 7 PM, at the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas!

The Canadian Reception at SHOT is moving up, way up!  The Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) and the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSAA) are pleased to present the 5th annual Canadian Industry Reception at the SHOT Show. This event provides an importing social networking opportunity for Canadian industry professionals attending SHOT Show.

This year's event will be held on the 108th Floor of the Stratosphere Tower, 2000 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, home of the most spectacular view in Las Vegas. There will be plenty of hors d'oeuvres and friendly libations.

Register early as space is limited.  Pre-registration is required.  Sponsorships are also available. Register or sponsor online here: http://conta.cc/2y8lPDj

CSAAA 2018 Trade Show Registration Open

CSAAA 2018: Ottawa - February 11-12 & Calgary - February 18-19

The Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) National Trade Show is quickly becoming Canada’s SHOT Show. This event features Canada’s leading distributors and wholesalers showcasing the top firearms, ammunition, archery, apparel and accessory brands for the hunting and shooting sports retailer. With Canadian product availability and pricing!

After a number of successful years growing this event in Calgary, Alberta, the CSAAA is pleased to announce we are expanding east in 2018! We are adding an additional event in at the EY Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, February 18-19, 2018.

With 30,000 square feet of exhibit space in Ottawa and 25,000 square feet of space in Calgary, CSAAA 2018 will be the largest dealer-only buying show in Canada.

Mark your calendars for CSAAA 2018 EAST and WEST! Download and complete your exhibitor or dealer attendee registration today!

CSAAA 2018 Attendee Registration_Ottawa

CSAAA 2018 Attendee Registration_Calgary

CSAAA 2018 Exhibitor Registration


CSSA President Steve Torino testifies on Bill C-47

OTTAWA, ON, November 8, 2017--Steve Torino, President of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) recently testified before the Foreign Affairs Standing Committee on Bill C-47.

Bill C-47 is a legislative package that will enable the government of Canada to enter the Arms Trade Treaty. According to Tony Bernardo, Executive Director of the CSSA, C-47 codifies a number of practices the Canadian government has been doing for years but opens the door to the possibility the United Nations could be used as an excuse to resurrect the extinct Long Gun Registry.

CSSA brought its concerns to the federal government. CSSA President, Steve Torino, testified to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to outline the concerns its membersh have regarding the implementation of this bill and more importantly, the error of entering the Arms Trade Treaty.


Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Mr. Steve Torino (President, Canadian Shooting Sports Association): Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of this committee for inviting me to comment on Bill C-47 and to answer any questions I can in this regard. I would also like to present some relevant background information which may be pertinent to this bill.

I am president of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, and I chaired the Firearms Advisory Committee for the Liberal government from 1996 to 2006, and co-chaired the Firearms Advisory Committee for the Conservative government from 2006 to 2014. I was also an advisor to the Canadian delegation to the United Nations on the Arms Trade Treaty and related programs from 2006 to 2014.

The Arms Trade Treaty covers not only conventional arms used in conflicts, but civilian legal arms, ammunition and related parts and accessories as well. Since Bill C-47 contains amendments to the Export and Import Permits Act, allowing the accession to the Arms Trade Treaty, it should be stated that Canada is basically a nation of importers of these products, and that any amendments to current policies and practices can have an impact on this $5 billion per year industry and its clients - the end-user.

CSSA members are concerned with possible negative effects from the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty and Bill C-47, including a possible curtailment of exports to Canada of currently available civilian firearms, ammunition and related parts and accessories. Canada’s annual imports of civilian firearms, ammunition, parts, and accessories exceeds $400 million as per Statistics Canada. In addition, there is concern in the firearms community of a possible return to a firearm and ammunition registry, alluded to in Article 12 of the Treaty.

The inclusion of brokering into Bill C-47 appears to be a major amendment to the Export and Import Permits Act and the Criminal Code. To the best of our knowledge, there are no illegal brokers operating in Canada who would be affected by this amendment, and all legal brokers in our opinion are in compliance with Canadian standards. So the thought arises as to what events and subsequent consultations have occurred in this regard which would lead to this amendment.

Canada’s rules regarding the import and export of conventional arms and small arms and light weapons already exceed the ATT guidelines. Canada’s practices for export are well-established. Canada’s import and export controls exceed UN treaty requirements and are in line with those of our principal allies and partners in the major export controls regimes. It is our experience that Canada’s export controls officials are very involved in analyzing each proposed transfer.

Much of the balance of Bill C-47 seems to refer to codifying current policies and practices or creating modifications thereto.

Current world conflicts raise questions as to the efficacy of the controls in the Arms Trade Treaty, when a myriad of weapons appear in the hands of insurgents who are labelled as undesirable to peace in the affected regions. As well, the source of such weapons used in the present series of “terrorist” attacks worldwide pose similar queries.

The current Arms Trade Treaty was supposed to be passed by consensus. Yet when the consensus could not be reached in April of 2013, it was passed by simple majority vote in the UN General Assembly. And in its current version, section 20 of the Arms Trade Treaty clearly states that any future changes to the treaty will be passed by a 75% majority of the state parties present for the vote.

This simple majority vote by the state parties could change Canada’s current working policies, putting decisions in the hands of state parties, who, in some cases, have serious conflict issues of their own, and who could possibly interpret any proposed changes to the Arms Trade Treaty in the light of their own issues. This interpretation could, and possibly might, have some unintended and unwanted consequences for Canada, since our controls far exceed those of most state parties.

When Canada enters this treaty, and I gather it will, we would be subject to any changes made by other nations without much say on our part in the final outcome. This can be viewed as not necessarily the best situation to maintain our decision-making abilities in a sovereign Canada.

It is our recommendation to include language in Bill C-47 that would remove the spectre of this legislation creating a future firearm registry, in keeping with the commitments of this government.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

2018 SHOT Show Buyer Program: Registration Open

The U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Embassy in Canada is pleased to invite you to join our U.S. Embassy 2018 Buyer Delegation to the SHOT Show, January 23-26, 2018 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV. You are encouraged to also pass this invitation along to any of your colleagues that may be interested in attending.  Please note that all registrants must have a unique email address.

The cost to join the U.S. Embassy 2018 Buyer Delegation is US$25 (Approx. CDN$31) payable by credit card.  The following are the benefits you will receive:

  1. Complimentary Registration for the exhibition hall admission (US$70-US$350 savings).
  2. Limited complimentary seats for Educational Seminars:  There are limited complimentary seats available that will be provided upon request on a first come, first serve basis.
  3. Use of the International Trade Center (ITC) with conference rooms for private meetings(Hostesses will be available to assist with scheduling and multi-language translators on-site if required.)
  4. Badge printing in the International Trade Center (ITC) to avoid regular registration lines.
  5. Special VIP/IBP recognition badge holder (red fabric holder) so our delegates will be visible to exhibitors.
  6. Complimentary Wi-Fi and computer access with printing in the ITC.
  7. Invitation to International Reception
  8. Continental Breakfast and snacks each official show day in the ITC.


Attendance as part of our delegation is RESTRICTED to commercial BUYERS or INFLUENCERS to theshooting, hunting and outdoor trade and commercial buyers of military, law enforcement and tactical products and services only.

Please indicate your interest in being part of the delegation by registering at:

Once we received your registration, we will send you a questionnaire to complete and ask you to provide us with the following information:

1. A copy of current and valid government-issued photo identification (e.g., driving license, passport, etc.).

2. Documentation demonstrating direct, current professional affiliation to the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade, or commercial involvement in the military, law enforcement or tactical markets.

3. Purchase orders or invoices showing purchases made from U.S. exhibitors from SHOT Show 2018.If you have already registered to attend the SHOT Show, please let me know if you would like to be registered as part of our delegation.

For more information contact:
Lucy Cicero Latka
Sr. Commercial Specialist (Government Procurement, Defense and Security)
U.S. Embassy Ottawa
U.S. Department of Commerce | International Trade Administration
(613) 688-5219; lucy.latka@trade.gov