The Canadian Firearm Program IT team will be able to provide an implementation date for a much-needed “filter function” for the Reference Number Report soon.
Also, a business will soon be able to request a reference number on behalf of an individual when the individual is selling the non-restricted firearm to the business.
CFP will be moving ahead with developing the requirements and liaising with the IM/IT folks to build the change into a future release of BWS. CFP wished to note the level of effort for this may be significant and take some time due to the many other priorities currently on the books to roll out.
Email continues to cause issues for anyone requesting a Reference Number online. Businesses and employees are seeing 30%+ of customers either don’t know which email they have on file or don’t use email at all. This is causing loss of business, the unfair inability of a citizen with a firearms license to obtain a non-restricted firearm, and more strain on the already understaffed and overburdened call-in center, if calling is even an option then.
During the development of the online License Verification portals, the Canadian Firearms Program assessed the feasibility of using other data elements (when the buyer or seller does not have an email address). It was determined that an email would be required for both the buyer and the seller to promote an efficient online service and eliminate the manual process of mailing notices for those requests submitted online. BWS will not allow alternative verification criteria, and CFP will not extend the call-in center hours at this time.
Businesses were recently running into issues of being redirected from the call-in business line. This was brought to the attention of CFP, and they can confirm that the problem has been resolved. Some of the agents misunderstood an update in the protocol. This has now been clarified and rectified with the agents, and businesses are to be served with all requests that come through the business hotline, including License Verification.
On top of email and call center issues, many licenses are sent for verification. When a Reference Number cannot be issued through BWS, a notice is provided to the buyer and seller stating that the reference number cannot be issued. The notice also says that if there are questions or they are seeking additional information, call the contact center. The file will only be reviewed if the buyer or seller calls the contact center, which will initiate the Registrar to assess the failure and seek Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) review if required.
If the Registrar or CFO determines that a Reference Number can be issued, a notice will be e-mailed or mailed (if no e-mail was on file) to the buyer and seller with the Reference Number. The buyer will be contacted if a Reference Number cannot be issued.