CSAAA supports deferral of Firearms Marking Regulation

PETERBOROUGH, ON, May 19, 2017 / CSAAA/ - The Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) applauds the Government’s decision to defer the implementation of the Canadian Firearms Marking Regulation until more work is done on its content.

The CSAAA represents Canadian small business owners in the firearms sector including importers, distributors, wholesalers and outdoor retailers from across the country. While CSAAA members strongly support any initiative that targets illegal firearms sales and trade, the association had concerns about the now 13-year-old wording in the Canadian Firearms Regulation. The dated version does not take into account current industry practices and technologies that allow businesses to provide instant and accurate tracking of imported and exported firearms using information already marked on the firearm, specifically the make and serial number.

The association urged the Minister of Public Safety to consider re-drafting Canada’s marking regulation to reflect these more modern practices, requiring all firearms imported into or exported from Canada to have the make and a unique serial number marked on them. The current version of the outdated regulation requires a new non-unique marking that would dramatically increase the cost of imported firearms, cause safety concerns and possibly increase demand for black market firearms in Canada without adding anything to the traceability of the firearm.

“As business owners, we have a vested interest in working with the government and global community to stop the illegal sale of firearms,” said Wes Winkel, President of the Board of Directors of the CSAAA and owner of a firearms retail business. “We want all firearms sales to be conducted through a legitimate Canadian retailer operating within the regulatory environment. It’s safer for the Canadian public, and better for business.”

Winkel said the CSAAA supports the government’s decision to defer the marking regulation and has committed to working with the government toward a re-drafted version that achieves the goals outlined in the UN Firearms Protocol, the impetus for the Canadian regulation, but does not punish legitimate Canadian firearms business owners.

“The vast majority of business owners in the firearms sector are small businesses,” Winkel added. “Many of them are located in smaller, rural or northern communities where they are key employers and key contributors to their local economies. We don’t want an outdated regulation to result in unnecessary cost burdens that cause the loss of these businesses and jobs in their communities.”


For more information, contact:

Alison de Groot, Managing Director



Firearms Marking Regulation deferred until December 2018

OTTAWA, May 19, 2017 /CNW/ - The existing Firearms Marking Regulations under the Firearms Act, scheduled to come into force on June 1, 2017, are being deferred to December 1, 2018. The deferral will provide the time required to propose amendments to the Regulations in order to achieve their intended purpose, which is to help improve public safety by facilitating the ability of law enforcement to trace the criminal use of firearms.

Detailed information regarding the deferral will be available in the May 31, 2017 edition of the Canada Gazette Part II. For information regarding firearms requirements in Canada, please contact the Canadian Firearms Program at 1-800-731-4000.

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SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada

For further information: Scott Bardsley, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 613-998-5681; Media Relations, Public Safety Canada, 613-991-0657,


CSAAA UPDATE-Canadian Firearms Marking Regulation

PETERBOROUGH, ON, March 28 – On June 1st, 2017 the Canadian Firearms Marking Regulation under Bill C-10A will come into effect. The current regulation, as written, requires all firearms (as defined by the Criminal Code of Canada) imported into the country be marked “by permanently stamping or engraving on the firearm’s frame or receiver the word “Canada” or the letters “CA” and (a) in the case of a manufactured firearm, the name of the manufacturer and the firearm’s serial number; and (b) in the case of an imported firearm, the last two digits of the year of the importation.”

The markings must be made before the 60th day after its release as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Customs Act* or before transferring the firearm, whichever occurs first.

The purpose of the regulation is to meet the recommendation of the UN Firearms Protocol, a non-binding treaty to which Canada is a signatory. Once Canada has passed a gun marking regulation, it will be able to ratify this treaty.

The purpose of the UN Firearms Protocol is to stem the flow of illegal firearms around the world, specifically small arms that are turning up in conflict zones. The protocol provides a number of recommendations that would enable countries to trace the import and export of firearms within their own countries and would enable authorities around the world to trace the source of illegal weapons back to the country legally responsible for them.

The Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) - which represents legitimate firearms business owners including manufacturers, distributors, wholesales and retailers in Canada – fully supports the fight against illegal arms trafficking both domestically and globally. After all, as legally operating, responsible business owners, our members have a vested interest in identifying and preventing illegal sales which only serve to detract from our revenues as businesses and make us unsafe as citizens.

However, the Canadian Firearms Regulation as it is currently written, has several flaws. It has incorporated some of the UN Firearms Protocol recommendations that were written for countries with far less regulation than Canada already has in place. This poorly crafted regulation will result in cost increases to importers that could see the price of individual firearms increase but as much as $200; will cause safety concerns significant enough that some foreign manufacturers will not honor their warranties in Canada; may permanently damage the finish on imported firearms; and cause workplace safety concerns for importers with little or no manufacturing experience.

The regulation requires that all firearms imported into Canada bear the name of the “manufacturer” and the firearm’ serial number and be marked with a country code and year of import, or “CA17” within 60 days of the firearm being released from customs or before being transferred beyond the importers.

A “manufacturer” in Canadian law is the actual manufacturing facility where the firearm was produced, not the responsible marketing and distributing company. So, for example, a firearm imported into Canada could not be marked by the brand “Browning” it would have to bear the name of the manufacturing plant where it was made.

The regulation then requires that the firearm be “stamped or engraved” with the country code and year of import, or “CA17” for example, after being released from customs and before being transferred by the original importer. This means importers, with no manufacturing facilities or experience, will now be in the business of setting up, staffing and operating laser engraving shops. The firearms cannot be transferred to existing engraving facilities to be marked and we have not been able to identify and large engraving facilities in Canada that are willing to go through the onerous and expensive process of becoming firearms licensed.

Many of Canada’s small importers will be forced out of business under this new regulation. They will simply not be able to afford the capital investment required to meet the regulation’s requirements.

Consumers are likely to see less choice and pay higher prices for firearms in Canada. This will inevitable have a negative impact on smaller retailers which will also be forced out of business.

The CSAAA has met with the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Ralph Goodale’s, staff to present an effective and reasonable solution to this issue. We have recommended to the Minister’s staff that the regulation be re-worded to require all firearms imported into Canada be marked with the “Make” and the firearm’s unique serial number. We have demonstrated to the Minister’s staff that with the Make and serial number, any firearm anywhere in the world can be traced with one call to the brand company. Using the serial number, the responsible corporate brand can trace a firearm from it’s point of manufacture, through it’s exporter, to its importer and ultimately through the importer to the retailer.

With the simple codification of Canada’s current industry practice, Canada can pass a firearms marking regulation that achieves the stated goals of the UN Firearms Protocol with no detrimental affects on the hundreds of small businesses in the sporting arms industry.

We presented our solution to the Minister’s policy staff at a meeting on January 23rd, 2017. This position has been supported by some of our largest firearms trading partners.

It is our belief that the Minister’s staff is still in the process of considering the final wording of the regulation; but we have had no response to our calls for updates, information or direction. The Minister’s staff have been silent since January 23rd.

CSAAA members representing some of Canada’s largest importers have confirmed that they will not move forward on any capital investment in engraving capacity until they receive clear direction from the Government.

We continue to press the Minister’s office for information and direction. While we cannot advise individual businesses on a course of action, we can recommend that retailers prepare for a transition period of some kind starting in June by stocking up on inventory. Whatever the outcome, it’s going to be a bumpy ride for the next few months.

We encourage business owners to get in touch with your local Member of Parliament, the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister to voice your support for a regulation that requires a “make and serial number” as proposed by the CSAAA. Links to sample letters are included below for your reference. Or email us your message and we’ll forward to the Minister on your behalf, type “Message for the Minister of Public Safety” in the subject box.

The CSAAA will continue to work with the Government to craft a responsible regulation that effectively combats illegal arms trading while protecting the thousands of Canadian jobs and hundreds of small businesses associated with the legal, responsible sporting arms industry in Canada.

For more information, please contact us.

Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association



 (1) In this Act, release means
(a) in respect of goods, to authorize the removal of the goods from a customs office, sufferance warehouse, bonded warehouse or duty free shop for use in Canada, and
(b) in respect of goods to which paragraph 32(2)(b) applies, to receive the goods at the place of business of the importer, owner or consignee;
Release prior to accounting
32 (2) In prescribed circumstances and under prescribed conditions, goods may be released prior to the accounting required under subsection (1) if
 (b) the goods have been authorized by an officer or by any prescribed means for delivery to, and have been received at, the place of business of the importer, owner or consignee of the goods.

CSAAA Position Statement on Canada’s Firearms Marking Regulation

Canada’s robust firearms import/export regulations already comply with the recommendations of the UN Firearms Protocol – the Criminal Code Firearms Marking Regulation goes too far.

On June 1st, 2017 Canada’s Criminal Code Firearms Marking Regulation, passed into law in 2004, will come into force. The Firearms Marking Regulation is the Canadian Government’s interpretation of the recommendations contained in the UN Firearms Protocol, which Canada signed in 2001.

The goal of the UN Firearms Protocol is laudable – preventing shipments of small arms from illegally ending up in conflict zones around the world – one which Canada’s sporting arms industry supports. However, it is our position that Canada’s Firearms Marking Regulation is both unnecessary and deeply flawed. The Coming-into-Force of this regulation as written will cause catastrophic damage to thousands of licenced and lawful Canadian small businesses operating in the shooting sports sector.

CSAAA Position Statement on Canada's Firearms Marking Regulation

It is the position of the CSAAA that Canada’s Firearms Marking Regulations adds nothing to Canada’s already robust import/export regulation nor would post import marking add anything to ability of domestic or foreign law enforcement authorities to trace firearms entering or leaving the country. All firearms imported into to Canada or exported from Canada can be easily tracked through the import/export process by virtue of their unique serial number.

More importantly the Firearms Marking Regulations jeopardize a small business community at a time when our domestic economy is already vulnerable and should be the government’s top priority. The loss of these businesses/employers would mostly affect smaller, rural and northern communities – all of which the government have said are key areas of focus and investment.

The CSAAA, along with its industry partner, the CSSA, remain strongly opposed to the implementation of the Firearms Marking Regulations and respectfully request an opportunity to continue discussions of this issue with the office of the Minister of Public Safety at the Minister’s very earliest convenience.

Submitted by the CSAAA Firearms Marking Committee

Spyros Chrysochou, General Manager, Stoeger Canada (Chairperson), CSAAA Member
Mark Clifford, Regional Sales Representative, Korth Group, CSAAA Board of Directors
Steve Clouthier, Sales Manager National Accounts, VISTA Outdoor, CSAAA Board of Directors
Steve Dorey, Vice President Sales Canada, Big Rock Sports, CSAAA Member
Sean Hansen, President Freedom Ventures, CSAAA Member
John Hipwell, President, Wolverine Supplies, CSAAA Member
Hugo Laliberté, Senior Vice President, Gravel Agency, CSAAA Member
Daniel Legault, General Manager, Browning Canada, CSAAA Member
Scott Pulvermacher, Senior Product Merchant Hunting/Firearms, Wholesale Sports, CSAAA Member
Wes Winkel, President Ellwood Epps Sporting Goods, President CSAAA Board of Directors

For more information contact:
Alison de Groot
Managing Director


Tony Bernardo
Director Government Relations


CSAAA forms UN Firearms Protocol Committee to fight new import marking regulations

New marking regulations are set to come into effect in less than 12 months if nothing is done; costs and business delays will damage the $386 Million firearms import industry in Canada, affecting thousands of small businesses.

June 23, 2016, Peterborough, Ontario – In less than 12 months, June 1st, 2017, new gun-marking regulations required for Canada to comply with United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, or Firearms Protocol as it’s known, and the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, are set to come into effect in Canada.  Canada is a signatory to both treaties, but has yet to ratify either.

These new regulations will have a significant economic impact on the shooting sports industry in Canada.  They would require Canadian importers to imprint the final two numbers of the year the firearms were made — “16” for 2016, for instance — and the letters “CA” for Canada on the receivers of all firearms after the firearms have been imported into the country.  Importers would have only 60 days after clearing customs to have the imported firearms marked and would not be able to transfer them to Canadian retailers or individual purchasers until they have been marked.

The UN Firearms Protocol was adopted on 31 May 2001 by General Assembly Resolution 55/255 and entered into force on 3 July 2005 (UNGA, 2001c). For states that have ratified or otherwise formally expressed their consent to be bound by it, the Firearms Protocol is legally binding.

The United States, Israel, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen – all either significant manufacturing, importing countries or conflict areas – are not even signatories to the Protocol at all. Of the signatories, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, the UK and Northern Ireland (among others) have not ratified the Protocol. Current Status of Ratification

Under previous governments here in Canada, implementation of some of the Protocol’s regulatory requirements have been repeatedly deferred following extensive consultation with the shooting sports industry and other stakeholders and, as a result, the treaty has not been ratified.  However, with no further intervention by the current government, the regulations will automatically come into force on June 1st 2017.

The Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA), representing Canadian sporting arms manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers, continues to oppose implementation of these regulations.  We are current working on opening dialogue with the new government to provide information and background on this issue specifically.  The CSAAA has formed a special UN Firearms Protocol Working Committee that is actively engaged on several fronts.

The CSAAA continues to maintain the following with respect to the UN Firearms Protocol in general and the Canadian UN Firearms Protocol regulations:

  1. Without the participation of the major manufacturing, importing, exporting and conflict zone countries, the premise of the Protocol is moot.
  2. The basic premise of the Protocol is for countries to set up strong domestic regulations governing the importation and transfer of small arms. Canada already has a strong regulatory environment governing importers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers.
  3. The addition of a Country Code and year of importation on a firearm does nothing to improve the ability of law enforcement to track the ownership or origin of a firearm over what is already possible with the manufacturer’s mark and serial number.  All firearms imported into Canada must have a manufacturer’s identification and a unique serial number.
  4. The cost and logistics of marking a firearm following importation is significant and will have a detrimental effect on the sporting arms industry in Canada.  The trade value of non-military firearms imports into Canada in relevant consumer categories is $386 Million CAN.  That trade feeds more than 4,641 licenced firearms businesses in Canada employing thousands of Canadians.  These businesses are typically private, independent small to medium size companies providing local employment in small communities.

These are just a few of the major reasons the CSAAA will continue to work on behalf of the industry to engage the Government of Canada on this issue.

Here’s what you, as a Canadian shooting sports business owner, can do to help our cause:

  1. Become a member of the CSAAA.  The more businesses we represent, the louder our voice in Ottawa. Get your membership application here.
  2. Get informed.  We are currently building a resource website with all the background information, progress reports, calls to action and updated news.  Sign up today to receive email notifications on this issue. Sign me up. 
  3. Talk to your Member of Parliament.  Find out if he/she knows about this issue and if they would like to receive more information.  We’ll be happy to work with you to have a conversation with your local MP. Find my MP. 

For more information, contact:
Alison de Groot
Managing Director, CSAAA