OPP Sgt. Wayne Johnson at the Ontario Chief Firearms Office confirmed yesterday the office has made significant progress reducing the backlog of restricted transfer requests from dealers, reducing the backlog from 3,300 just three weeks ago to approximately 700 at the end of the day yesterday. The office processed nearly 1400 transfers yesterday alone.
The improvement comes after receiving a letter of complaint from the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) on behalf of Ontario retailers. The CFO implemented a plan that included one day a week of "all hands" assigned to processing transfer requests. Now, all CFO staff are trained and able to process transfers. Sgt. Johnson said the practice will remain in effect when demand increases in order to avoid future backlogs.
Sgt. Johnson explained that volume has risen dramatically over the past year; the office regularly receives between 150 and 300 transfer requests per day and more on weekends. Staff frequently come in Monday morning to find more than 500 new requests have come in over the weekend. In an earlier conversation, Johnson explained that the office used to staff up on weekends to keep the backlog at bay, but a lack of budget support for the department has meant less funding for overtime or increased staffing.
The CSAAA will be meeting with the new Ontario Chief Firearms Officer OPP Superintendent Dwight Peer, Sgt. Johnson and other key members of the CFO staff to improve dialogue between the department and the firearms business community.
For more information, contact:
Alison de Groot
Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA)