August 19th Import Ban

The “handgun import ban” came into effect on August 19th at 12:01 am. Registration applications for handguns will be reviewed by the Registrar. On receipt of the registration application, the Registrar may contact the business to confirm the date of importation.

The Canadian Firearms Program states:

”For handguns already in the country, businesses may continue to complete their registration application using Business Web Services. As is currently the case, the Registrar reviews all incoming registration applications and may contact the business to request additional information, as required.
In response to the changes brought forward by Global Affairs Canada on August 19, 2022, I’ve confirmed that the Registrar will contact the business on receipt of a registration application for handguns already in the country to request supporting documentation such as a waybill or a Canada Customs Coding form, etc. in order to confirm the date of import. On confirmation of the import date, the application will be finalized.”

Upon application, the registration process should take 1 to 2 business. There are no current backlogs or delays. If any businesses experience delays or complications, please reach out right away.

Handgun parts and accessories have not been halted at this time, and handguns are not yet prohibited.
Import Permits

Information on obtaining an import permit is available at the following website:

1. GAC Notice to Importers No. 1090:
2. Step by step Description of applying for an Import Permit for Firearms, Related Goods and Ammunition:

3. Application Form for Import Permit:

4. If required by the exporting country, the prospective importers must also apply for an International Import Certificate, in addition to the import permit. Step by Step Description of applying for the International Import Certificate:
Specific questions on the process and forms can be addressed to GAC’s Export Controls Operations Division at 343-203-4331 and by email at [email protected]

Exemptions for handgun imports can be found on the GAC website and should reflect the same exemptions as the Bill C-21 structure.

Replica Firearms & Bill C-21

Airsoft in Canada (ASIC) collected data indicating that the industry contributes $75 to $100 million to the economy in Canada. This industry is made up of over 318 businesses that employ an estimated 1500 Canadians. It has been determined that over 70% would lose half their revenue, and 50% of these businesses would close their doors for good.

Our ‘Replica Firearm Committee’ consisting of major industry stakeholders (Gamo, Umarex, Gravel, ASIC).

This committee of industry experts is tackling the replica firearm portion of Bill C-21 by working with Public Safety to get clear direction on government initiatives, lobbying to have replica firearms removed from the Bill, offering alternative solutions and raising community and industry awareness on the negative impacts of Bill C-21 without the benefit of increased public safety.

Bill C-71 | Reference Numbers & BWS

We estimate that 30% of customers that attempt to purchase a non-restricted firearm either doesn’t know the email address that is on file with the Canadian Firearms Program, or simply don’t have an email address. When a customer comes in after the call center closes (evenings/weekends) there is absolutely no way to request a verification number to complete the transaction without an email. People are driving hours to purchase the firearm they want, and leaving empty handed because of an email address.

During a meeting with the Canadian Firearms Program we suggested finding alternative authentication criteria. CFP will discuss this with their legal team and find out what other criteria could be used instead of an email.

We need call in services available after hours and weekends. There are too many website outages, customers without emails, etc. These issues are costing businesses tens of thousands of dollars. CFP mentioned that most of the BWS issues can be resolved if the user “clears their cache”. If alternative criteria (other than an email) can be used, this should resolve the issue of customers without a valid email.

Recently, when businesses call into the business phone line (3466), they are told they will not do non-restricted transfers through that line and are transferred to the 4000 line to sit on hold for nearly an hour and sometimes get disconnected. The CFP team was unaware of this change and issue, and will be going back to address it. CFP is also working on getting queues increased and hiring more staff.

If the customer has a valid email, and the BWS portal works, there are still way too many licensed coming back as “failure to provide the reference number.” This means a reference number will not be generated and goes to the CFO for review to be approved or declined. There is no way to follow up online on this to see if or when the reference number has been issued as there is still no search option for reference numbers. The only way to check is by phone and the phone lines are overloaded. Dealers are losing storage space with firearms waiting for approval. CFP has gone back to their technical team to investigate these issues.

Please continue to email [email protected] if you have cleared your web browser cache and are still experiencing issues. We can get CFP into direct contact with you and get this issue resolved as quickly as possible. We are putting on pressure to ensure these issues are resolved quickly.

CFO Wait Times

Ontario is seeing extremely long wait times for transfers and licensing. Approximately 500 transfers are recieved per day, and the CFO Office is able to complete about 500 per week.

The Ontario CFO’s office is understaffed and overloaded. Many staff members are strictly working on licensing, which is also extremely behind. The office is trying to hire 5 new staff members, but this process takes months.

We have been working with the Canadian Firearms Program to help make transfers, licensing and transportation more efficient. You can now apply for authorization to transport (an ATT) online through the RCMP Web Services portal. This new feature should relieve a small amount of the workload, but we are still pushing for better service.

Apply for an Authorization To Transport ONLINE and avoid the long wait times with the CFP call center.

Canada Post Shipping Ammunition

Approximately 25% of the country cannot receive business-to-consumer ammunition shipments as they live outside of brown truck shipping zones. This means that Canadians living in remote areas that have a right to hunt and a need to protect themselves against wildlife cannot get ammunition shipped to them.
Realistically, Canada Post is the only shipping company that has the ability to ship ammunition to all of Canada.

CSAAA has investigated UN codes, offering this information to Canada Post. Globally, there is a huge separation between the classifications of dangerous goods. Small quantities of ammunition are not classified in US or Europe as Dangerous Goods since ammunition is a stable product and not highly explosive.
Canada Post classifies ammunition as a “dangerous good” under explosives. CSAAA is requesting that Canada Post change classifications so that ammunition is not under explosives allowing small quantities of ammunition to be shipped from business to business or business to consumer. Canada Post is discussing this with their transportation team so that we can get ammunition shipped Canada wide.

Write Your MP

While we reach out to members of Parliament daily to discuss the reality of Bill C-21, the impact on our industry and the lack of impact this will have on increasing public safety, reaching out to your own MP is still important in this fight.

If you have not already contacted the MP in your riding to discuss the position the current government has put your business in, please see our template with talking points below that can be used as reference for writing your MP as a concerned business owner.

“This Bill “freezes” the legal transfer of licensed handguns. Handgun and handgun accessory sales make up over 30%-40% of business for most retailers in Canada. Hunting and firearm businesses alone contribute over $5 billion dollars to Canada’s GDP and support over 45,000 jobs. Are we really willing to shut down such a huge part of an industry that contributes to Canada’s employment rates and economic growth for laws that will not increase public safety? This means people will lose their jobs, their livelihoods, and businesses that have been in families for generations.
Bill C-21 will also prohibit “replica firearms”. The airsoft (replica firearm) industry contributes $75 to $100 million to the economy in Canada. This industry is made up of over 318 businesses that employ an estimated 1500 Canadians. It has been determined that over 70% would lose half their revenue, and 50% of these businesses would close their doors for good. There are approximately 64,000 citizens that make up the replica firearm community and a whopping 70% don’t even own “real” firearms.

Most aspects of Bill C-21 are very concerning, and so is the lack of clarification in the Bill. I believe that this sets businesses and individuals up for failure.
I completely support the goal of increasing public safety, however, this Bill will not do so. I invite you to ask any questions or for further clarification on any points that have been made or request more information on the tight restrictions, we already follow.’’

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