ARCHIVED — Vol. 146, No. 15 — July 18, 2012

Registration

SOR/2012-138 June 29, 2012

FIREARMS ACT

Firearms Information Regulations (Non-restricted Firearms)

P.C. 2012-941 June 28, 2012

Whereas, pursuant to section 118 of the Firearms Act (see footnote a), the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness had a copy of the proposed Firearms Information Regulations (Non-restricted Firearms), in the annexed form, laid before each House of Parliament on June 13, 2012;

And whereas the proposed Firearms Information Regulations (Non-restricted Firearms) were referred to an appropriate committee of each House of Parliament and, with respect to the Senate, the committee reported on June 21, 2012 and, with respect to the House of Commons, the committee reported on June 20, 2012;

Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, pursuant to paragraph 117(a) of the Firearms Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Firearms Information Regulations (Non-restricted Firearms).

FIREARMS INFORMATION REGULATIONS (NON-RESTRICTED FIREARMS)

INTERPRETATION

Definition of “non-restricted firearm”

1. In these Regulations, “non-restricted firearm” means a firearm other than a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm.

NON-RESTRICTED FIREARMS

Licences

2. A person cannot be required, as a condition of a licence that is issued under the Firearms Act,

  • (a) to collect information with respect to the transfer of a non-restricted firearm;

  • (b) if they collect such information, to keep a record of it; or

  • (c) if they keep such a record, to keep it in a form that combines information that identifies the transferee with information that identifies an individual firearm, links such information, or enables such information to be combined or linked.

COMING INTO FORCE

Registration

3. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

REGULATORY IMPACT
ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

1. Background

Prior to the Firearms Act, legislative controls over the possession, transfer and use of firearms were governed entirely by the Criminal Code. Beginning in 1979, firearms businesses, pursuant to the Code, were required to keep inventory and transaction records (including the purchaser’s name, address and Firearms Acquisition Certificate Number) for all firearms, and to produce these records at the request of a firearms officer, for the purposes of inspection. Business records were required to be kept for a period of five years, following which they could be destroyed. Failure to maintain records was a criminal offence.

With the implementation of the Firearms Act (the Act) in 1998, new requirements for the lawful possession of firearms, including universal licensing and registration, were established. The Act also provided for the appointment, either provincially or federally, of a Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) for each province and territory. Pursuant to the Act, the administrative responsibility for issuing and revoking firearms licences, including business licences, was assigned to CFOs. In issuing a business licence, the Act authorizes CFOs, under section 58, to attach any reasonable condition to the licence that the CFO considers desirable in the particular circumstance and in the interests of public safety. Section 102 of the Act authorizes CFOs to conduct business inspections.

With the requirement that all firearms inventory and transaction records be captured in the centralized registry, the obligation for businesses to maintain such records was removed from the Firearms Act in 2004 in order to eliminate redundancy. However, CFOs continued to attach record-keeping requirements, in place since 1979, as a condition of business licensing.

The Ending the Long-gun Registry Act (Bill C-19) received Royal Assent and was brought into force on April 5, 2012. This Act repeals the requirement for individuals and businesses to register non-restricted firearms (i.e. long-guns) and requires the Commissioner of Firearms and the CFO for each province and territory to ensure the destruction of all existing long-gun records under their control. Bill C-19 did not affect controls regarding universal licensing or the registration of restricted and prohibited firearms.

2. Issue

Bill C-19 expressly provides for the destruction of all records and copies of those records relating to the registration of non-restricted firearms. Notwithstanding the clear spirit and intent of Parliament to eliminate the federal long-gun registry, some CFOs continue to require the collection and keeping of point-of-sale data related to the transfer of long-guns. Specifically, some businesses are currently required to retain information on the name of the purchaser, their firearms licence and the characteristics of the firearm, such as the serial number, make, model, type, action, gauge and calibre.

Should the Regulations not be made, it is the Government’s view that some businesses could continue to be required to keep registration-type records on long-guns. Such a requirement conflicts with the spirit and intent of Bill C-19 (i.e. that registry-type information regarding such firearms would no longer be maintained under the Firearms Act).

3. Objectives

The objective of this proposal is aimed at ensuring that businesses would not be required as a condition of a licence to collect and retain information in respect of the transfer of non-restricted firearms. These Regulations will not preclude businesses from keeping registry-type records for their own purposes (such as inventory or guarantees/warranty), should they wish to do so.

4. Description

The Regulations will ensure that businesses cannot be required, as a condition of a licence, to collect and keep information with respect to the transfer of long-guns. While businesses may continue to keep records in any manner they choose, they will not be required to keep the information in a form that combines or links the identity of a purchaser with information about the specific non-restricted firearm being purchased. This removes the obligation on businesses to keep records that link a long-gun to a specific owner. These Regulations are designed to ensure that a long-gun registry is not recreated under federal authority.

5. Consultation

On June 13, 2012, the Regulations were tabled in Parliament and referred to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security in the House of Commons. Both the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee and the Public Safety and National Security Committee reported the Regulations back to the Senate and the House of Commons, respectively, without amendments.

6. Rationale

Despite Bill C-19, some businesses continue to be required, as a condition of a licence, to collect and keep point-of-sale data with respect to long-guns. These Regulations will ensure that the spirit and intent of Bill C-19, to eliminate the federal long-gun registry which links a purchaser to a specific long-gun, is respected.

7. Implementation and enforcement

Communications efforts will focus on licensed firearms businesses and CFOs. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) will issue communications bulletins to licensed firearms businesses (with advance notification to CFOs) and law enforcement agencies. In addition, the CFP will provide messaging in the form of scripts to front-line staff who may receive calls from business clients.

8. Contact

Lyndon Murdock
Director
Public Safety Canada
Law Enforcement and Policing Branch
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0P8
General inquiries: 613-944-4875
Fax: 613-954-4808
Email: firearms@ps.gc.ca

Footnote a
S.C. 1995, c. 39

Footnote b
S.C. 1995, c. 39