Seized firearms are seen on display during a Toronto Police Service press conference to update the public on the results of raids, which took place across the GTA on Thursday, in Toronto on Friday, June 22, 2018. An internal government note says several federal gun-control measures that received royal assent over a year ago, including expanded background checks, might not come into effect before 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Goffin

Gun-control reforms passed last year might not be fully in place until 2022: memo

In May, government enacted a ban covering 1,500 models and variants of what it considers assault-style weapons

Several federal gun-control measures that received royal assent over a year ago, including expanded background checks, might not come into effect before 2022, says an internal government memo.

A briefing note prepared in June for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says a series of steps must be taken before all of the provisions in Bill C-71 are in place.

Some elements of the bill, including those clarifying that firearms seized by police are considered forfeited to the Crown, came into force upon royal assent in June 2019.

Several other measures, however, require regulatory, administrative and technical changes.

They include expanding background checks to determine eligibility for a firearms licence to the entirety of a person’s life, not just the last five years. It would also broaden grounds to cover an applicant’s history of intimate partner violence and online threats.

The note, drafted to help Blair answer questions in the House of Commons, says other provisions that have yet to come into force will:

— Require the purchaser of a non-restricted firearm, including many hunting rifles and shotguns, to present a firearms licence, while the seller would have to ensure the licence’s validity;

— Require vendors to keep records of non-restricted firearm transactions;

— Remove the authority of cabinet to “deem” firearms to fall under a less restrictive class, irrespective of Criminal Code definitions;

— Require a separate Authorization to Transport (ATT) when taking restricted and prohibited firearms to any place except to an approved shooting range.

Prior to these provisions coming into force, the government must secure funding for the RCMP to update its information management and technology systems, as well as test the systems to ensure the transition is “seamless for both individual owners and retailers,” the note says.

Draft regulations would also have to be finalized, which will involve consultations with affected parties, the note adds.

“The regulations would then need to be tabled in both Houses of Parliament for at least 30 sitting days, before being brought into force through orders-in-council,” it says.

“In parallel, the RCMP would require up to 24 months to implement the new provisions, with ‘deeming’ and ATT provisions to be completed within the first 12 months and the remaining provisions thereafter (licence verification, licence eligibility and vendor record-keeping).”

Implementing the outstanding changes necessary for C-71 remains a priority for the Liberal government, said Mary-Liz Power, a spokeswoman for Blair.

Work is “underway to develop a funding proposal to support the new provisions,” she said.

READ MORE: Feds ban more than 1,500 assault-style rifles in Canada

Cpl. Caroline Duval, an RCMP spokeswoman, said while funding had not yet been allocated to the Mounties, the police force’s Canadian Firearms Program has initiated discussions with Public Safety Canada on the implementation plan.

The Liberals see Bill C-71 as the first in a series of measures aimed at ending gun violence.

In May, the government enacted a ban covering some 1,500 models and variants of what it considers assault-style weapons, meaning they can no longer be legally used, sold or imported.

Erin O’Toole, the newly chosen Conservative leader, was among those who denounced the ban at the time.

The Liberals have also promised legislation that would:

— Empower police, doctors, victims of domestic abuse and families to be able to raise a flag on those who pose a risk to themselves or an identifiable group;

— Toughen secure storage laws to help prevent the theft of firearms;

— Open the door to more resources and stronger penalties for police and border services officers to help stop the flow of weapons over borders and target the illegal trafficking of firearms.

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

gun control

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford has a COVID-19 rate 10 times higher than Chilliwack

Abbotsford has been much harder hit by COVID-19 than its neighbour to the east

MEDICAL MOMENTS: Dr. Andrew Edelson has served Mission for more than 45 years

Why Mission? ‘Mostly because it’s such a wonderful community,’ he says

BC launches 22 new primary care networks, including one in Mission

Will be adding family physicians, a nurse practitioner and a social worker

Abbotsford veteran survives cancer scare, celebrates 95th birthday

Second World War veteran Andy Anderson receives socially distanced birthday party after health scare

Bank robber who was on the lam receives three years in jail

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Abbotsford, Sidney and Vancouver

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

B.C. VOTES 2020: Speculation tax misses speculators, B.C. Liberals say

Andrew Wilkinson, John Horgan clash over housing costs, solutions

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to $10-a-day child care and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts

Wind warning for White Rock, South Surrey

Gusts up to 90 km/h expected from Richmond to Langley Friday (Sept. 25) morning

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Most Read