September 15, 2017
EDMONTON – While awaiting the court’s decision on whether the Quebec’s government legislation purporting a provincial firearms registry is constitutionally valid, the province has gone ahead and released their draft regulations for if the courts rule in their favour.
The Quebec Firearms Registration Act passed in 2016 but it is currently held up in court as Canada’s National Firearms Association is challenging it on constitutional grounds.
“These draft regulations are very concerning,” says Sheldon Clare, president of the NFA. “These are even more onerous then the ones that were within the wasteful and ineffective federal long-gun registry that it aims to replace. If our court challenge is successful all of this should go away, but if it isn’t make no mistake: the Quebec government is coming after hunters, farmers, and sport-shooters.”
In addition to the requirements that were part of the failed federal long-gun registry, Quebec gun owners will be required to provide additional information, such as the usual storage location of firearms.
“The only justification for that requirement is to facilitate an eventual seizure of firearms by law enforcement officers. This is more evidence that the Quebec government views all gun owners as ‘would-be criminals,’” adds Clare.
Another concerning aspect of the regulations is that individuals and businesses who wish to transfer non-restrictive firearms will now be required to verify that the proposed transferee remains eligible to hold their firearms licence – meaning they will not be able to rely on their firearms acquisition licenses but have to contact the Canada Firearms Program or the Chief Firearms Officer to make such a transaction.
“The Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) is in no way capable of handling such a task, they are not set up to do that – this will not work. Businesses will suffer because of this, not to mention private sales and gun shows that operate outside of business hours when the CFP is open. It will become even more complicated and time consuming, if not impossible, to buy or sell firearms under these regulations.”
Though Quebec Public Safety Minister previously assured firearm owners that there would be no engraving required, the Quebec government is now insisting that an additional ‘unique firearms number’ be marked upon every firearm.
The only way to do that is through stamping, engraving or laser etching.
“Not only is the Quebec government targeting firearms owners, they are also breaking their word to us. Not only will this be costly for gun owners, but it will also be a logistical nightmare with over 1.2 million firearms existing currently that will have to be marked over a very short period of time,” added Clare. “Needless to say, gunsmiths are not currently equipped to perform such a large number of marking operations over a short time.”
All of this may be for naught if the NFA is successful in their court challenge against the Quebec government. The parties were in court in the beginning of this month and the ruling is expected within two months time.
Canada’s National Firearms Association is this country’s largest and most effective advocacy organization representing the interests of firearms owners and users.
For more information contact:
NFA Website: www.nfa.ca