Our Bill C71 Discussion and Q&A was a great success. We again would like to thank all of our members as well as our Board Of Directors for making it possible.
We took a few questions and concerns back to CFP for clarification. Please see their response below:
1. Quebec already has a “registry” for non-restricted. Will the CFO transfer all info over to Federal, or is C71 just additional record keeping?
The amendments to the Firearms Act and the Firearms Licences Regulations require that all businesses across Canada record and retain information pertaining to their possession and disposal (including transfers) of non-restricted firearms. Businesses will hold these records; they will not be centrally stored with the Canadian Firearms Program. Businesses will be required to keep records of possession and disposal (including transfers) of non-restricted firearms for a period of 20 years.
There is no relationship between these federal requirements and any requirement that may be in place at the provincial level. That being said, businesses in Quebec may already be collecting and storing some of the information required by federal legislation and regulations in order to meet provincial requirements. Neither the Firearms Act nor the Regulations prescribe the format in which businesses must retain the federally prescribed records.
Transferor (sellers) of non-restricted firearms in Quebec will still be required to obtain a reference number from the Registrar of Firearm even thought there is a provincial registration requirement for non-restricted firearms in Quebec.
2. Regarding the two pieces of identification… is that requirement for restricted transfers as well, or is it business as usual?
The amendments to the Conditions of Transferring Firearms and Other Weapons Regulations were made to support the issuance of a reference number for the transfer of non-restricted firearms. The amended section of the Firearms Act which enacts the licence verification mechanism, section 23(1), applies only to the transfer of non-restricted firearms. There have been no changes to the mechanism for transferring restricted or prohibited firearms.
3. We all know that when purchasing firearms from an estate, the executor is authorized to do that. How does this affect purchases from unlicensed individuals? Is the seller going to identify himself as committing an offence? Does this preclude the purchase of firearms from unlicensed individuals?
Generally, an executor is accorded the same privileges as the deceased while the estate is being settled. To act and to get information on the estate firearms, the executor must provide required documentation to the Canadian Firearms Program (specifics can be found on the CFP web site https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/firearms/executors-and-heirs).
If a request for a reference number for the transfer of a non-restricted firearm is initiated by an unlicensed seller, the request will be forwarded to the Registrar of Firearms for further review.
4. We need clarification on this one: Does lending or sending in a firearm for repair require a verification number?
Under the amendments to the Firearms Act, a reference number is only required where one or more non-restricted firearms is proposed for transfer. Within the Firearms Licences Regulations, transfer means “sell, barter, or give”, implying a permanent change of ownership. When a non-restricted firearm is not being transferred, a reference number is not required.
The lending of firearms is addressed in section 33 of the Firearms Act. There have been no edits to this section, and no changes to the mechanisms for lending firearms. As lending does not constitute a transfer, a reference number is not required. However, if the person to whom the firearm was lent were to subsequently offer to purchase the non-restricted firearm from the owner, the owner would have to obtain a reference number before transferring the non-restricted firearm.
5. Is record-keeping or a verification number required if an individual brings a firearm to a gunsmith for a “quick repair”(I., scope mounting)? They do not leave the firearm with the gunsmith; they remain in the building while the firearm is being worked on.
The amendments to the Firearms Act and the Firearms Licences Regulations require that all businesses across Canada record and retain information pertaining to their possession and disposal (including transfers) of non-restricted firearms. As such, the business would have to keep record of their coming into possession of the non-restricted firearm, and their subsequent return to the owner.
In this example, a reference number would not be required as leaving a non-restricted firearm with a gunsmith for repair or modification does not constitute a transfer. If the gunsmith were to subsequently offer to purchase the non-restricted firearm from the owner, the owner would have to obtain a reference number before transferring the non-restricted firearm to the gunsmith.
6. Biggest question, when will businesses be given direction on keeping these records?
On the day that the new legislation and regulations were announced, affected businesses (with an email address on file with the Canadian Firearms Program) were sent an email notification of changes to conditions on their Firearms Business Licence. This was followed by a formal notification, sent by mail, to all affected businesses. Information on business record keeping has been posted on the Canadian Firearms Program web site, and will continue to be updated to provide guidance based on inquiries being received from the business community.