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

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

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

(Black Press file photo)
Charges laid against two suspects in pre-Christmas home invasion

An 88-year-old woman was hospitalized after being bear-sprayed in the face Dec. 18, 2020

Liam and Tyler Spaans, (L-R), are two of the current lifeguards at the Houston Leisure Facility. (Houston Leisure Services file photo)
Leisure facility anticipates need for lifeguards

Has been challenged in the past

Residents rank snow removal as a high priority within District boundaries. (Houston Today file photo)
Road work and snow removal ranked as important in citizen survey

But residents also expressed dissatisfaction with each

The Topley Fire department will be using the funding towards new gear. (File photo)
Topley Fire Protection Society gets a $100,000 grant

Society among 132 recepients of the province’s Community Gaming Grant

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read