Bill C-21: Reintroduced Legislation To Whittle Away Gun Rights

Bill C-21 was introduced in the last session of Parliament, but died when there was an election called. However, it’s been reintroduced, with some changes and new content. The changes primarily impact the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act.

It was recently announced, and covered by CPAC, that imports of handguns would be stopped by August 19, 2022. This was done by a regulatory change, without any democratic mandate or process. Seems that Ottawa doesn’t want to wait or take that chance.

Of course, the “temporary” measure announced on August 5th would be effectively made permanent if and when Bill C-21 is ever passed.

None of this ever addresses the elephant in the room: most serious crimes with firearms involve illegal guns, whereas this Bill primarily targets law abiding citizens. It’s almost as if there was some coordinated effort to disarm the population.

1. Adding “Red Flag” Laws To Canadian Criminal Code

Application for emergency prohibition order
110.‍1 (1) Any person may make an ex parte application to a provincial court judge for an order prohibiting another person from possessing any firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, or all such things, if the person believes on reasonable grounds that it is not desirable in the interests of the safety of the person against whom the order is sought or of any other person that the person against whom the order is sought should possess any such thing.

Emergency prohibition order
(2) If, at the conclusion of a hearing of an application made under subsection (1), the provincial court judge is satisfied that the circumstances referred to in that subsection exist and that an order should be made without delay to ensure the immediate protection of any person, the judge shall make an order prohibiting the person against whom the order is sought from possessing any firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, or all such things, for a period not exceeding 30 days, as is specified in the order, beginning on the day on which the order is made.

Service of order
(3) A copy of the order shall be served on the person to whom the order is addressed in the manner that the provincial court judge directs or in accordance with the rules of court.

Sections 109 and 110 of the Criminal Code call for people to be subjected to weapons prohibitions following convictions for certain offences. The proposed amendments would allow ordinary citizens to file an application to have another person’s guns seized.

The hearings would generally be ex-parte, or without the participation of the other side. That doesn’t really seem consistent with due process, or fairness.

There is a provision in the Bill to remove firearms if a protection order is issued against someone for domestic violence and/or stalking. However, that’s always been a remedy.

2. Adding “Yellow Flag” Laws, Halt/Suspend Certificates

Refusal to issue — chief firearms officer
68 Insertion start(1)Insertion end A chief firearms officer shall refuse to issue a licence if the applicant is not eligible to hold one and may refuse to issue an authorization to carry referred to in paragraph 20(b) or authorization to transport for any good and sufficient reason.

Refusal to issue — Commissioner
Start of inserted block
(2) The Commissioner may refuse to issue an authorization to carry referred to in paragraph 20(a) for any good and sufficient reason.

34 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 69:
Suspension
.
69.‍1 (1) If a chief firearms officer has reasonable grounds to suspect, on the basis of information that they have collected or received from any person, that the holder of a licence is no longer eligible to hold the licence, they may suspend, in respect of that licence, the holder’s authorization to use, acquire and import firearms for a period of up to 30 days.

Revocation of licence or authorization
70 (1) A chief firearms officer may revoke a licence, an authorization to carry referred to in paragraph 20(b)Insertion end or an authorization to transport — Insertion startand the Commissioner may revoke an authorization to carry referred to in paragraph 20(a)Insertion end — for any good and sufficient reason including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing,

A firearms officer can refuse to issue a permit “for any good and sufficient reason”. However, it’s not defined what a good and sufficient reason is This would make it almost entirely discretionary, and open to abuse. A license can also be suspended on those same grounds.

3. Prohibiting Any Sales Or Transfers Of Hundguns

Authorization to transfer prohibited or restricted firearms
.
23.2 (1) A person may transfer a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm if, at the time of the transfer,
(a) the transferee holds a licence authorizing the transferee to acquire and possess that kind of firearm;
(b) the transferor has no reason to believe that the transferee is not authorized to acquire and possess that kind of firearm;
(c) the transferor informs the Registrar of the transfer;
(d) if the transferee is an individual, the transferor informs a chief firearms officer of the transfer and obtains the authorization of the chief firearms officer for the transfer;
(e) a new registration certificate for the firearm is issued in accordance with this Act; and
(f) the prescribed conditions are met.

27 On being informed of a proposed transfer of a prohibited firearm or restricted firearm under section 23.2, a chief firearms officer shall
(a) verify
(i) whether the transferee or individual holds a licence,
(ii) whether the transferee or individual is still eligible to hold that licence, and
(iii) whether the licence authorizes the transferee or individual to acquire that kind of firearm or to acquire prohibited weapons, prohibited devices, ammunition or prohibited ammunition, as the case may be;
.
(b) in the case of a proposed transfer of a restricted firearm or a handgun referred to in subsection 12(6.1) (pre-December 1, 1998 handguns), verify the purpose for which the transferee or individual wishes to acquire the restricted firearm or handgun and determine whether the particular restricted firearm or handgun is appropriate for that purpose;

These are Sections 23.2 and 27 of the Canada Firearms Act. It specifies the steps and actions needed to transfer a restricted or prohibited firearm from one party to another. Pretty straightforward. Bill C-21 would add an extra clause to that

[Section 23.2]
(d.‍1) if the transferee is an individual and the firearm is a handgun, the individual is referred to in section 97.‍1;

[Section 27]
(iv) if the proposed transfer is in respect of a handgun, whether the transferee is an individual referred to in section 97.‍1;

If a handgun is to be transferred to an individual, this would be referred to another portion of the Firearms Act. Section 97 allows the Governor in Council to restrict such sales or transfers.

4. Expanding Definition Of “Replica” Firearm

1 (1) The definition replica firearm in subsection 84(1) of the Criminal Code is replaced by the following:
replica firearm means any device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, a firearm that is designed or adapted to discharge a shot, bullet or other projectile at a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.‍4 m per second and at a muzzle energy exceeding 5.‍7 Joules, and that itself is not a firearm, but does not include any such device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, an antique firearm;

Changes to the criminal code would list that a replica firearm that can fire a projectile at a certain speed )(or with a certain amount of energy) can be prohibited. This could include things like paintball guns, which have valid recreational uses. Problem is, “exactly resemble” is subjective.

5. Other Thoughts On The Matter

There are a few small points which seem beneficial, such as making it harder for foreigners to enter Canada if they have convictions for certain firearms offences. But overall, that doesn’t offset the erosion of rights that’s being done with this legislation.

Another section would create a new criminal offence for altering the capacity of a magazine (allowing it to hold more bullets than allowed). While it sounds fine on the surface, someone with an illegal or stolen gun wouldn’t care about such things.

These measures do little to target crime. Instead, they restrict the rights of people to legally possess and use guns. Strange how that always seems to be the group of people these Bills hit.

Do read the entire Bill, as this critique is not exhaustive. It would be impractical for the Government to simply ban guns right away — though many would like to. Instead, introducing these measures bit by bit seems to be the way forward.

(1) https://www.cpac.ca/episode?id=38406422-ecdb-494b-8439-a1fbdeaf4e28
(2) https://www.laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/f-11.6/FullText.html
(3) https://www.laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/index.html
(4) https://canucklaw.ca/ottawa-to-ban-handgun-imports-august-19th-using-regulatory-measure/
(5) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/43-2/c-21
(6) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/43-2/bill/C-21/first-reading
(7) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-21
(8) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-21/first-reading

Ottawa To Ban Handgun Imports August 19th Using Regulatory Measure

The Canadian Government announced on August 5th that a national ban on the importation of handguns would take effect on the 19th, which is two weeks away. The full video is available from CPAC’s website.

There would supposedly be a small number of exceptions for the importation ban. However, it’s fair to assume that the retailers would no longer have access to new ones.

According to Ottawa, Bill C-21 would have 3 main effects:

  • National handgun “freeze”, meaning no more purchases, sales, or transfers
  • Red and yellow flag laws, to make seizures of firearms easier
  • “New tools” which apparently include stiffer sentences and new wiretapping powers

As with everything, the devil is in the details. For example, what new wiretapping powers would the police receive? They’re already allowed to apply for warrants to monitor suspected criminal activities.

Also, given this Administration’s pattern of reducing penalties for criminal offences, it seems unlikely that any changes here will be a deterrent against committing firearm offences.

Bill C-21 would be the so-called freeze on handgun movements, but apparently, the Federal Government doesn’t really want to wait for that. Banning imports would effectively shut down the market immediately. It’s troubling to see the democratic process subverted by just making an order.

Bill C-21 was introduced in the previous session, and died when the 2021 election was called. However, it’s been brought back, with some changes.

If handguns cannot be imported, sold, transferred, or gifted, how long until they are subjected to a mandatory buyback? After all, that’s what happening with what the Government calls “assault style” weapons.

(1) https://www.cpac.ca/episode?id=38406422-ecdb-494b-8439-a1fbdeaf4e28
(2) https://calgary.citynews.ca/2022/08/05/canada-temporary-ban-handgun-imports/
(3) https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/temporary-ban-import-handguns-canada-1.6542492
(4) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-21
(5) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/43-2/c-21

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Sleight-Of-Hand With Her “Abolish The ATF” Legislation

Marjorie Taylor Greene made headlines recently with her “Abolish the ATF” Bill, HR3960. Problem is, it does nothing to promote freedom for gun owners. It essentially transfers existing ATF powers to the Department of Justice, or the FBI.

Even if this Bill had a chance of passing in Congress, would this ultimately change anything for the better?

Here are a few sections which prove the point.

[Page 25]
(1) REPEAL OF NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT.—
2 Chapter 53 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is
3 hereby repealed.
4 (2) REPEAL OF FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION
5 EXCISE TAX.—Part III of subchapter D of chapter
6 32 of such Code is hereby repealed.
7 (3) Section 6103(i)(8)(A)(i) of such Code (26
8 U.S.C. 6103(i)(8)(A)) is amended by striking ‘‘the
9 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explo-
10 sives’’ and all that follows through ‘‘Department of
11 the Treasury’’ and inserting ‘‘or the Department of
12 Justice’’
.

[Page 25/26]
15 (1) Each of the following provisions of law is
16 amended by striking ‘‘Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
17 Firearms and Explosives,’’ each place it appears and
18 inserting ‘‘Department of Justice’’:
19 (A) Section 530C(b)(2) of title 28, United
20 States Code.
21 (B) Section 207 of division B of the Con-
22 solidated and Further Continuing Appropria-
23 tions Act, 2013 (28 U.S.C. 533 note).
(C) Section 207 of division B of the Con-
2 solidated and Further Continuing Appropria-
3 tions Act, 2012 (28 U.S.C. 533 note).
4 (D) Section 207 of division B of the Con-
5 solidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (28 U.S.C.
6 533 note).
7 (E) Section 207 of division B of the Omni-
8 bus Appropriations Act, 2009 (28 U.S.C. 533
9 note).
10 (F) Section 207 of division B of the Con-
11 solidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (28 U.S.C.
12 533 note).
13 (G) Section 107 of title I of the Consoli
14 dated and Further Continuing Appropriations
15 Act, 2013 (28 U.S.C. 533 note).
16 (H) Section 116 of title I of the Science,
17 State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies
18 Appropriations Act, 2006 (28 U.S.C. 533 note).
19 (2) Section 1151(c) of title XI of the Consoli-
20 dated and Further Continuing Appropriation

[Page 27/28]
8 (4) Section 2006(2) of title 28, United States
9 Code, is amended by striking ‘‘, the Director, Bu-
10 reau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives,
11 Department of Justice,’’.
12 (n) AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 31, UNITED STATES
13 CODE.—
14 (1)(A) Section 713 of title 31, United States
15 Code, is amended—
16 (i) in the section heading, by striking
17 ‘‘Service, Tax and Trade Bureau, and
18 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire-
19 arms, and Explosives’’ and inserting
20 ‘‘Service and Department of Justice’’;

21 (ii) in subsection (a), by striking ‘‘and the
22 Tax and Trade Bureau’’ and all that follows
23 though ‘‘Department of Justice of the Depart-
24 ment of the Treasury’’ and inserting ‘‘and so
25 much of the Department of Justice
as relates to
1 the administration and enforcement of provi-
2 sions transferred under the Brian A. Terry Me-
3 morial Eliminate the ATF Act’’ ; and
4 (iii) in subsection (b)—
5 (I) in each of paragraphs (1), (2), and
6 (3), by striking ‘‘either Bureau’’ and in-
7 serting ‘‘the Department’’; and
8 (II) in paragraph (2), by striking ‘‘,
9 the Tax and Trade Bureau, Department of
10 the Treasury, and the Director of the Bu-
11 reau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and
12 Explosives, Department of Justice’’ and in-
13 serting ‘‘and the Department of Jus

Read the entire Bill. From the looks of things, this was just a publicity stunt. Simply transferring powers from the ATF to the Department of Justice addresses none of the problems Greene claimed to care about.

If you ever needed a reason not to trust a Q-Anon supporter, this is it. They will say all the right things, but will never deliver anything meaningful. Then again, some people will just broadcast it without actually reading it, though others will call this out.

(1) https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3960/text?r=1&s=4
(2) https://greene.house.gov/sites/evo-subsites/greene.house.gov/files/evo-media-document/Eliminate%20ATF%20Act%20HR%203960%20Bill%20Text.pdf
(3) Eliminate ATF Act HR 3960 Bill Text
(4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEJvFFW8QAc
(5) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7zkRHzwP_g

Bill C-21: Firearms Bill Adding “Transborder Criminality” To IRPA

This Bill redefines replica firearms, and brings Red Flag and Yellow Flag Laws onto Canadian gun owners, regardless of how law abiding these people may be. It also makes changes to IRPA, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Immigration & Refugee Protection Act
Canada Criminal Code
Text Of Bill C-21

1. Gun Rights Are Essential, Need Protecting

The freedoms of a society can be gauged by the laws and attitudes they have towards firearms. Governments, and other groups can push around an unarmed population much easier than those who can defend themselves. It’s not conspiratorial to wonder about those pushing for gun control. In fact, healthy skepticism is needed for a society to function.

2. Canada Immigration & Refugee Protection Act

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
.
(2) The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness is responsible for the administration of this Act as it relates to
(a) examinations at ports of entry;
(b) the enforcement of this Act, including arrest, detention and removal;
(c) the establishment of policies respecting the enforcement of this Act and inadmissibility on grounds of security, organized criminality or violating human or international rights; or
(d) declarations referred to in section 42.1.

Criminality
.
36(2) A foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of criminality for
.
(a) having been convicted in Canada of an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by way of indictment, or of two offences under any Act of Parliament not arising out of a single occurrence;
.
(b) having been convicted outside Canada of an offence that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an indictable offence under an Act of Parliament, or of two offences not arising out of a single occurrence that, if committed in Canada, would constitute offences under an Act of Parliament;
.
(c) committing an act outside Canada that is an offence in the place where it was committed and that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an indictable offence under an Act of Parliament; or
.
(d) committing, on entering Canada, an offence under an Act of Parliament prescribed by regulations.

Bill C-21 would add Section 36(2.1) or “transborder criminality” onto this section. Presumably this refers to things like weapons smuggling, but a more precise definition would be appreciation

[SERIOUS CRIMINALITY]
36(3) The following provisions govern subsections (1) and (2):
.
(a) an offence that may be prosecuted either summarily or by way of indictment is deemed to be an indictable offence, even if it has been prosecuted summarily;
.
(b) inadmissibility under subsections (1) and (2) may not be based on a conviction in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered and has not been revoked or ceased to have effect under the Criminal Records Act, or in respect of which there has been a final determination of an acquittal;
.
(c) the matters referred to in paragraphs (1)(b) and (c) and (2)(b) and (c) do not constitute inadmissibility in respect of a permanent resident or foreign national who, after the prescribed period, satisfies the Minister that they have been rehabilitated or who is a member of a prescribed class that is deemed to have been rehabilitated;
.
(d) a determination of whether a permanent resident has committed an act described in paragraph (1)(c) must be based on a balance of probabilities; and
.
(e) inadmissibility under subsections (1) and (2) may not be based on an offence
.
(i) designated as a contravention under the Contraventions Act,
.
(ii) for which the permanent resident or foreign national is found guilty under the Young Offenders Act, chapter Y-1 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, or
.
(iii) for which the permanent resident or foreign national received a youth sentence under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

36(3)(b) is changed to include transborder criminality in grounds, if a person has been pardoned, or acquitted finally. Similarly, 36(3)(e) brings transborder criminality into consideration for young offenders. These are just a few quotes from IRPA, the Immigration & Refugee Protection Act.

3. Changes Bill C-21 Would Make To IRPA

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
44 Paragraph 4(2)‍(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is replaced by the following:

(c) the establishment of policies respecting the enforcement of this Act and inadmissibility on grounds of security, organized criminality, violating human or international rights or transborder criminality; or

45 (1) Paragraphs 36(1)‍(a) to (c) of the French version of the Act are replaced by the following:

a) être déclaré coupable au Canada d’une infraction prévue sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable d’un emprisonnement maximal d’au moins dix ans ou d’une infraction prévue sous le régime d’une loi fédérale pour laquelle un emprisonnement de plus de six mois est infligé;
.
b) être déclaré coupable, à l’extérieur du Canada, d’une infraction qui, commise au Canada, constituerait une infraction sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable d’un emprisonnement maximal d’au moins dix ans;
.
c) commettre, à l’extérieur du Canada, une infraction qui, commise au Canada, constituerait une infraction sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable d’un emprisonnement maximal d’au moins dix ans.

(2) Paragraphs 36(2)‍(a) to (c) of the French version of the Act are replaced by the following:

a) être déclaré coupable au Canada d’une infraction prévue sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable par mise en accusation ou de deux infractions prévues sous le régime de toute loi fédérale qui ne découlent pas des mêmes faits;
.
b) être déclaré coupable, à l’extérieur du Canada, d’une infraction qui, commise au Canada, constituerait une infraction sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable par mise en accusation ou de deux infractions qui ne découlent pas des mêmes faits et qui, commises au Canada, constitueraient des infractions sous le régime de toute loi fédérale;
.
c) commettre, à l’extérieur du Canada, une infraction qui, commise au Canada, constituerait une infraction sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable par mise en accusation;

(3) Subsection 36(2) of the Act is amended by adding “or” at the end of paragraph (b), by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (c) and by repealing paragraph (d).

(4) Section 36 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):

Transborder criminality
(2.‍1) A foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of transborder criminality for committing, on entering Canada, a prescribed offence under an Act of Parliament.

(5) The portion of subsection 36(3) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
Application

(3) The following provisions govern subsections (1) to (2.‍1):

(6) Paragraph 36(3)‍(b) of the English version of the Act is replaced by the following:

(b) inadmissibility under subsections (1) to (2.‍1) may not be based on a conviction in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered and has not been revoked or ceased to have effect under the Criminal Records Act, or in respect of which there has been a final determination of an acquittal;

(7) The portion of paragraph 36(3)‍(e) of the English version of the Act before subparagraph (i) is replaced by the following:

(e) inadmissibility under subsections (1) to (2.‍1) may not be based on an offence

46 Paragraph 37(1)‍(a) of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:

a) être membre d’une organisation dont il y a des motifs raisonnables de croire qu’elle se livre ou s’est livrée à des activités faisant partie d’un plan d’activités criminelles organisées par plusieurs personnes agissant de concert en vue de la perpétration d’une infraction prévue sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable par mise en accusation ou de la perpétration, hors du Canada, d’une infraction qui, commise au Canada, constituerait une telle infraction, ou se livrer à des activités faisant partie d’un tel plan;

47 Paragraph 55(3)‍(b) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(b) has reasonable grounds to suspect that the permanent resident or the foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of security, violating human or international rights, serious criminality, criminality, transborder criminality or organized criminality.

48 Paragraph 58(1)‍(c) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(c) the Minister is taking necessary steps to inquire into a reasonable suspicion that they are inadmissible on grounds of security, violating human or international rights, serious criminality, criminality, transborder criminality or organized criminality;

49 Subsection 68(4) of the Act is replaced by the following:

Termination and cancellation
(4) If the Immigration Appeal Division has stayed a removal order against a permanent resident or a foreign national who was found inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality, criminality or transborder criminality, and they are convicted of another offence referred to in subsection 36(1), the stay is cancelled by operation of law and the appeal is terminated.

50 Paragraph 100(2)‍(b) of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:

b) il l’estime nécessaire, afin qu’il soit statué sur une accusation pour une infraction prévue sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable d’un emprisonnement maximal d’au moins dix ans.

51 Paragraphs 101(2)‍(a) and (b) of the French version of the Act are replaced by the following:

a) une déclaration de culpabilité au Canada pour une infraction prévue sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable d’un emprisonnement maximal d’au moins dix ans;
b) une déclaration de culpabilité à l’extérieur du Canada pour une infraction qui, commise au Canada, constituerait une infraction sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable d’un emprisonnement maximal d’au moins dix ans.

52 Paragraph 103(1)‍(b) of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:

b) il l’estime nécessaire, afin qu’il soit statué sur une accusation pour une infraction prévue sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable d’un emprisonnement maximal d’au moins dix ans.

53 Subsection 105(1) of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:

Sursis
105 (1) La Section de la protection des réfugiés ou la Section d’appel des réfugiés sursoit à l’étude de l’affaire si la personne est visée par un arrêté introductif d’instance pris au titre de l’article 15 de la Loi sur l’extradition pour une infraction prévue sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable d’un emprisonnement d’une durée maximale égale ou supérieure à dix ans tant qu’il n’a pas été statué en dernier ressort sur la demande d’extradition.

54 Paragraph 112(3)‍(b) of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:

b) il est interdit de territoire pour grande criminalité pour déclaration de culpabilité au Canada pour une infraction prévue sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable d’un emprisonnement maximal d’au moins dix ans ou pour toute déclaration de culpabilité à l’extérieur du Canada pour une infraction qui, commise au Canada, constituerait une infraction sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable d’un emprisonnement maximal d’au moins dix ans;

55 (1) Subparagraph 113(e)‍(i) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(i) an applicant who is determined to be inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality with respect to a conviction in Canada of an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years for which a term of imprisonment of less than two years — or no term of imprisonment — was imposed, and

(2) Subparagraph 113(e)‍(ii) of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:

(ii) celui qui est interdit de territoire pour grande criminalité pour déclaration de culpabilité à l’extérieur du Canada pour une infraction qui, commise au Canada, constituerait une infraction sous le régime d’une loi fédérale punissable d’un emprisonnement maximal d’au moins dix ans, sauf s’il a été conclu qu’il est visé à la section F de l’article premier de la Convention sur les réfugiés.

Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations
58 The portion of section 19 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

Transborder crime
19 For the purposes of subsection 36(2.‍1) of the Act, indictable offences under the following Acts of Parliament are prescribed
:

It says that certain indictable offences under the following Acts are prescribed, but then it doesn’t list them. Is there an oversight here?

59 Paragraph 229(1)‍(d) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
(d) a deportation order, if they are inadmissible under paragraph 36(2)‍(b) or (c) of the Act on grounds of criminality or under subsection 36(2.‍1) of the Act on grounds of transborder criminality;
60 Paragraph 230(3)‍(c) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
(c) is inadmissible under subsection 36(1) of the Act on grounds of serious criminality, under subsection 36(2) of the Act on grounds of criminality or under subsection 36(2.‍1) of the Act on grounds of transborder criminality;

This Bill would add “transborder criminality” as a reason to prevent someone from entering Canada, to imprison, or to deport. While this sounds fine, some clarity would be appreciated.

4. IRPA Also Lets Inadmissibles In Legally

Temporary resident permit
.
24 (1) A foreign national who, in the opinion of an officer, is inadmissible or does not meet the requirements of this Act becomes a temporary resident if an officer is of the opinion that it is justified in the circumstances and issues a temporary resident permit, which may be cancelled at any time.

Public policy considerations
.
25.2 (1) The Minister may, in examining the circumstances concerning a foreign national who is inadmissible or who does not meet the requirements of this Act, grant that person permanent resident status or an exemption from any applicable criteria or obligations of this Act if the foreign national complies with any conditions imposed by the Minister and the Minister is of the opinion that it is justified by public policy considerations.

As addressed here, here, here and here, there are at least 2 provisions in IRPA that allow people who are otherwise inadmissible to be LEGALLY let it. This happens daily.

5. Confusion Around Sentencing Range

Bill C-21 includes increasing the range of sentences for several gun crimes from a 10 year maximum, to a 14 year maximum. This is one of the truly reasonable sections of the legislation.

Replacement of “10” and “ten” with “14”
14 The Act is amended by replacing “10” and “ten” with “14” in the following provisions:
(a) paragraph 95(2)‍(a);
(b) paragraph 96(2)‍(a);
(c) the portion of subsection 99(2) before paragraph (a) and subsection 99(3);
(d) the portion of subsection 100(2) before paragraph (a) and subsection 100(3); and
(e) the portion of subsection 103(2) before paragraph (a) and subsection 103(2.‍1).

That being said, Bill C-22 (another piece before Parliament), seeks to eliminate the mandatory minimum sentences on many serious gun crimes. Overall, these are very strange, and somewhat conflicting portions.

Bill C-21: Redefining Replica Firearms, Turning Them Into Prohibited Weapons

This Bill brings Red Flag and Yellow Flag Laws onto Canadian gun owners, regardless of how law abiding they may be. It also redefines what a “replica” is, and potentially causes more problems.

1. Gun Rights Are Essential, Need Protecting

The freedoms of a society can be gauged by the laws and attitudes they have towards firearms. Governments, and other groups can push around an unarmed population much easier than those who can defend themselves. It’s not conspiratorial to wonder about those pushing for gun control. In fact, healthy skepticism is needed for a society to function.

2. What Criminal Code Currently Says

replica firearm means any device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, a firearm, and that itself is not a firearm, but does not include any such device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, an antique firearm; (réplique)

The Criminal Code, under Section 84(1), already has a definition for a replica firearm, and it’s a pretty clear one. However, this would make changes to it regarding energy of the discharge, and speed.

3. Changes Bill C-21 Would Make To Code

1 (1) The definition replica firearm in subsection 84(1) of the Criminal Code is replaced by the following:

replica firearm means any device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, a firearm that is designed or adapted to discharge a shot, bullet or other projectile at a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.‍4 m per second and at a muzzle energy exceeding 5.‍7 Joules, and that itself is not a firearm, but does not include any such device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, an antique firearm; (réplique)

(2) Section 84 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (3.‍1):

Certain firearms deemed to be prohibited devices
(3.‍2) For the purposes of sections 99 to 101, 103 to 107 and 117.‍03, a firearm is deemed to be a prohibited device if
(a) it is proved that the firearm is not designed or adapted to discharge a shot, bullet or other projectile at a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.‍4 m per second or at a muzzle energy exceeding 5.‍7 Joules; and
(b) the firearm is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, a firearm, other than an antique firearm, that is designed or adapted to discharge a shot, bullet or other projectile at a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.‍4 m per second and at a muzzle energy exceeding 5.‍7 Joules.

From this new definition, could air guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns and pellet guns now be considered prohibited weapons? After all, many do “resemble” regular firearms.

By this new definition, many of those guns available for purchase by the general public might qualify. They aren’t designed for the same capacity as real ones. But “exactly resembling, or resembling with near precision” could be very subjective. It also raises the question of what kind of due diligence a person should do to ensure that their gun is not resembling (exactly, or with near precision), a prohibited weapon.

Since these aren’t standard firearms there’s no way to get a license to own them, unless that’s coming next. Is this a way to ban other types of “guns”, or is this just poor wording?

Bill C-21: Yellow Flag Laws To Temporarily (Or Indefinitely) Suspend A Gun License

Red Flag Laws were covered previously. Bill C-21, would also allow for a Chief Firearms Officer to suspend or revoke the license of a person based on “reasonable grounds”. However, the wording is vague, and a reasonable interpretation is that a suspension could be renewed indefinitely. It also calls into question the due process options the person would have.

1. Gun Rights Are Essential, Need Protecting

The freedoms of a society can be gauged by the laws and attitudes they have towards firearms. Governments, and other groups can push around an unarmed population much easier than those who can defend themselves. It’s not conspiratorial to wonder about those pushing for gun control. In fact, healthy skepticism is needed for a society to function.

2. What The Firearms Act Currently Says On This

Refusal to Issue and Revocation
Marginal note: Licences and authorizations
.
68 A chief firearms officer shall refuse to issue a licence if the applicant is not eligible to hold one and may refuse to issue an authorization to carry or authorization to transport for any good and sufficient reason.

Marginal note: Registration certificates
.
69 The Registrar may refuse to issue a registration certificate, authorization to export or authorization to import for any good and sufficient reason including, in the case of an application for a registration certificate, where the applicant is not eligible to hold a registration certificate.

Marginal note: Revocation of licence or authorization
.
70 (1) A chief firearms officer may revoke a licence, an authorization to carry or an authorization to transport for any good and sufficient reason including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing,
(a) where the holder of the licence or authorization
(i) is no longer or never was eligible to hold the licence or authorization,
(ii) contravenes any condition attached to the licence or authorization, or
(iii) has been convicted or discharged under section 730 of the Criminal Code of an offence referred to in paragraph 5(2)(a); or
(b) where, in the case of a business, a person who stands in a prescribed relationship to the business has been convicted or discharged under section 730 of the Criminal Code of any such offence.

Marginal note: Registrar
.
(2) The Registrar may revoke an authorization to export or authorization to import for any good and sufficient reason.

Previous Version
Marginal note: Revocation of registration certificate
.
71 (1) The Registrar
.
(a) may revoke a registration certificate for a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm for any good and sufficient reason; and
.
(b) shall revoke a registration certificate for a firearm held by an individual where the Registrar is informed by a chief firearms officer under section 67 that the firearm is not being used for a purpose described in section 28.

Marginal note: Automatic revocation of registration certificate
.
(2) A registration certificate for a prohibited firearm referred to in subsection 12(3) (pre-August 1, 1992 converted automatic firearms) is automatically revoked on the change of any alteration in the prohibited firearm that was described in the application for the registration certificate.

Marginal note:Notice of refusal to issue or revocation
.
72 (1) Subject to subsection (1.1), if a chief firearms officer decides to refuse to issue or to revoke a licence or authorization to transport or the Registrar decides to refuse to issue or to revoke a registration certificate, authorization to export or authorization to import, the chief firearms officer or Registrar shall give notice of the decision in the prescribed form to the applicant for or holder of the licence, registration certificate or authorization.

Marginal note: When notice not required
.
(1.1) Notice under subsection (1) need not be given in any of the following circumstances:
.
(a) if the holder has requested that the licence, registration certificate or authorization be revoked; or
.
(b) if the revocation is incidental to the issuance of a new licence, registration certificate or authorization.

Marginal note: Material to accompany notice
.
(2) A notice given under subsection (1) must include reasons for the decision disclosing the nature of the information relied on for the decision and must be accompanied by a copy of sections 74 to 81.

Marginal note: Non-disclosure of information
.
(3) A chief firearms officer or the Registrar need not disclose any information the disclosure of which could, in the opinion of the chief firearms officer or the Registrar, endanger the safety of any person.

Marginal note: Disposal of firearms
.
(4) A notice given under subsection (1) in respect of a licence must specify a reasonable period during which the applicant for or holder of the licence may deliver to a peace officer or a firearms officer or a chief firearms officer or otherwise lawfully dispose of any firearm, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device or prohibited ammunition that the applicant for or holder of the licence possesses and during which sections 91, 92 and 94 of the Criminal Code do not apply to the applicant or holder.

Marginal note: Disposal of firearms — registration certificate
.
(5) A notice given under subsection (1) in respect of a registration certificate for a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm must specify a reasonable period during which the applicant for or holder of the registration certificate may deliver to a peace officer or a firearms officer or a chief firearms officer or otherwise lawfully dispose of the firearm to which the registration certificate relates and during which sections 91, 92 and 94 of the Criminal Code do not apply to the applicant or holder.

Marginal note: Reference
.
(6) If the applicant for or holder of the licence or registration certificate refers the refusal to issue it or revocation of it to a provincial court judge under section 74, the reasonable period of time does not begin until after the reference is finally disposed of.

The Chief Firearms Officer or the Registrar already have significant powers in the Firearms Act to suspend or revoke licenses and authorizations for “any good and sufficient” reason”. Of course, this is very vague, and open to interpretation.

There is also the option to refuse to disclose information that could “endanger a person”. In practice, this can mean the person who made such a complaint to get the gun seizure would not have to be confronted by the person they accuse.

This Bill will go even further, and allow for 30 day suspensions of licences. Of course, nothing says that a suspension can’t be renewed — or another one handed out — 30 days later.

3. What Bill C-21 Would Change To Firearms Act

28 The heading before section 68 of the Act is replaced by the following:

Refusal to Issue, Suspension and Revocation

29 Section 68 of the Act is replaced by the following:

Refusal to issue — chief firearms officer
68 (1) A chief firearms officer shall refuse to issue a licence if the applicant is not eligible to hold one and may refuse to issue an authorization to carry referred to in paragraph 20(b) or an authorization to transport for any good and sufficient reason.

Refusal to issue — Commissioner
(2) The Commissioner may refuse to issue an authorization to carry referred to in paragraph 20(a) for any good and sufficient reason.

30 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 69:

Suspension
69.‍1 (1) If a chief firearms officer has reasonable grounds to suspect, on the basis of information that they have collected or received from any person, that the holder of a licence is no longer eligible to hold the licence, they may suspend, in respect of a licence, the holder’s authorization to use, acquire and import firearms for a period of up to 30 days.
.
Notice
(2) A chief firearms officer shall give notice in writing of the suspension to the holder of the licence. The notice shall include reasons for the decision, the nature of the information relied on for the decision, the period of the suspension and a copy of this section and sections 69.‍2 and 70.
.
Non-disclosure of information
(3) A chief firearms officer need not disclose any information the disclosure of which could, in their opinion, endanger the safety of any person.
.
Termination of suspension
(4) A chief firearms officer shall terminate the suspension at the expiry of the period referred to in subsection (2) or, if they are satisfied that the grounds for the suspension no longer exist, at any time before the expiry of that period. The chief firearms officer shall give notice in writing of the termination of the suspension to the holder of the licence.

Prohibition on use, acquisition and importation
69.‍2 The holder of a licence shall not use, acquire or import firearms while their authorizations to do so are suspended under subsection 69.‍1(1).

31 (1) The portion of subsection 70(1) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

Revocation of licence or authorization
70 (1) A chief firearms officer may revoke a licence, an authorization to carry referred to in paragraph 20(b) or an authorization to transport — and the Commissioner may revoke an authorization to carry referred to in paragraph 20(a) — for any good and sufficient reason including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing,
(2) Subsection 70(1) of the Act is amended by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (a) and by adding the following after paragraph (a):
(a.‍1) where the holder of the licence uses, acquires or imports a firearm while their authorizations to do so are suspended under subsection 69.‍1(1); or

32 Section 71 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):

Automatic revocation of registration certificate
(3) A registration certificate for a handgun is automatically revoked on the failure of the holder to provide to a chief firearms officer, during the 180 day period referred to in subsection 58.‍01(2), the information required to update the registration certificate for that handgun.

33 Subsection 72(6) of the Act is replaced by the following:

Reference
(6) If the applicant for or holder of a licence or registration certificate refers the refusal to issue it or revocation of it to a provincial court judge under section 74 they shall, within 30 days after referring the matter, deliver to a peace officer or otherwise lawfully dispose of any firearm that they possess. Sections 91, 92 and 94 of the Criminal Code do not apply to the applicant or holder during that time.

Order — return of firearm
(7) If the decision of the chief firearms officer or the Registrar is confirmed, the judge shall, if a firearm was delivered to a peace officer under subsection (6), order the return of the firearm to the applicant for or holder of the licence or registration certificate, in order for the applicant or holder to lawfully dispose of it.

A Chief Firearms Officer can revoke a license for any “good and sufficient” reason. The information can come from anyone, and there is no requirement that the person be named, if done for safety reasons. In short, there is no real right to confront the accuser.

A license can be suspended for 30 days. However, it doesn’t look like there is anything that would prevent necessarily the suspension from being renewed.

While this portion of Bill C-21 is pretty bad, a lot of these rules were already on the books. This just seems to make it easier to issue a 30 day suspension without a real investigation.

4. Challenging Case In Provincial Court

74(2) Limitation period
.
(2) An applicant or holder may only refer a matter to a provincial court judge under subsection (1) within thirty days after receiving notice of the decision of the chief firearms officer, Registrar or provincial minister under section 29, 67 or 72 or within such further time as is allowed by a provincial court judge, whether before or after the expiration of those thirty days.

75(3) Burden of proof
.
(3) At the hearing of the reference, the burden of proof is on the applicant or holder to satisfy the provincial court judge that the refusal to issue or revocation of the licence, registration certificate or authorization, the decision or the refusal to approve or revocation of the approval was not justified.
.
Marginal note: Where hearing may proceed ex parte
.
(4) A provincial court judge may proceed ex parte to hear and determine a reference in the absence of the applicant or holder in the same circumstances as those in which a summary conviction court may, under Part XXVII of the Criminal Code, proceed with a trial in the absence of the defendant.

A few things to point out when challenging this is court:

First, there is a 30 day time limit to initiate the proceedings. While the Court “may” allow an extension for applications filed after that, they don’t have to, and there is no guarantee they will. So, be aware of this.

Second, the burden is on the Applicant to prove that the revocation or refusal to issue is unjust. The Firearms Officer doesn’t have to prove anything.

Third, in limited cases, the Judge can proceed ex-parte, which means “without the Parties”. In practice, this will mean the person who applied may not be able to attend.

An overall impression: while this 30 day suspension is certainly bad news, the Firearms Act was already pretty stacked against the rights of gun owners. This certainly doesn’t help.

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