Ontario CFO on track to reduce backlog of restricted transfer requests

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)

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.

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