On April 12, 2016, Liberal Senator Céline Hervieux Payette has introduced Bill S-223 in the Canadian Senate. This bill is the most serious threat to the firearms owners’ community since Bill C-68. Here is a link to it:
The main features of Bill S-223 are as follows:
- Current firearms categories are replaced with:
- Hunting firearms;
- Circumscribed firearms; and
- Prohibited firearms.
- Unlike now, “prohibited firearm” is the new “default category”. If a particular firearm is not included in one of the other two categories, it is “prohibited” by default.
- To qualify as a “hunting firearm”, government approval will be required by way of Order in Council for any specific model.
- “Circumscribed firearms” include current “restricted firearms”, as well as all center-fire semi-automatic shotguns and rifles, other than .22 rimfire rifles.
- As a result of re-classification to “circumscribed firearms”, all semi-automatic shotguns and rifles will become illegal for hunting purposes.
- Except for collection purposes, possession of “circumscribed firearms” will only be allowed at shooting clubs and registered storage facilities. The owner of such a firearm will not even be allowed to transport it himself, or keep it at home.
- This bill is meant to come into effect one year after its royal sanction. In essence, firearms owners will have one year to register their semi-auto rifles and shotguns, and find a suitable storage facility (few of which currently exist) to store them, along with their handguns and other restricted/prohibited firearms.
It is quite obvious that one of the goals of this bill is to make ownership of semi-automatic firearms so onerous that people will surrender them to the police to be destroyed.
What is the NFA doing and what can you do?
We are working to ensure that Liberal party MPs understand that passing such a law would be a major problem for them in the next federal election. If it were to pass, we want to ensure that such law would cause a huge uproar in the firearms owning public that would not die down.
In the view of the NFA, the best thing to do is to write a polite, but directly worded letter to the Federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Canada, Ms. Wilson-Raybould. Copy your letter to the Minister of Public Safety, Ralph Goodale.
Tell these politicians in your own words that more firearms legislation is not acceptable. It is clear from the research that more firearms laws only affect the law-abiding, and not the criminal elements in society. Tell them that you want Bill S-223 defeated, and that you want the government to focus on the economy and other important matters, not more gun laws. Firearms legislation is expensive and does nothing to prevent crime.
Write them both at this address:
House of Commons