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Oct. 8, 2014
For Immediate Release


OTTAWA – Garry Breitkreuz, Member of Parliament for Yorkton-Melville, applauded Canada’s Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney yesterday as he introduced legislation that will meet the Government of Canada’s objective of cutting red tape for law-abiding firearms owners while enshrining safe and simple firearms policies.

“This legislation is further reward for nearly two decades of extensive work on the firearms file,” said Breitkreuz.  “I appreciated the opportunity to work with Minister Blaney on these changes to the Criminal Code that will enable the government to take steps to ensure the rights of lawful firearms owners are respected.”

The amendments to the Firearms Act and Criminal Code will do the following:

  • Create a six-month grace period at the end of the five-year licence to stop people from immediately becoming criminalized for paperwork delays; 
  • Streamline the licensing system by eliminating the Possession Only Licence (POL) and converting all existing POLs to Possession and Acquisition Licences (PALs);
  • End needless paperwork around Authorizations to Transport by making them a condition of a licence for certain routine and lawful activities such as target shooting, returning to an individual’s home following a Chief Firearms Officer’s (CFO) approval of the transfer of ownership; and going to a gunsmith, a gun show, a Canadian port of exit, or, a peace officer or a CFO for verification, registration or disposal;
  • Provide for the discretionary authority of CFOs to be subject to limit by regulation;
  • Make classroom participation in firearms safety training mandatory for first-time licence applicants;
  • Amend the Criminal Code to strengthen the provisions relating to orders prohibiting the possession of firearms where a person is convicted for an offence involving domestic violence;
  • Authorize firearms import information sharing when restricted and prohibited firearms are imported into Canada by businesses; and
  • Provide the Governor in Council with the authority to prescribe firearms to be non-restricted or restricted. Such decisions will be carefully considered and take into account advice from firearms experts.


These legislative steps will help streamline the Firearms Act by making changes that will improve efficiency and enhance Canada’s public safety objectives. 

“I’m particularly pleased that the new rules will limit the arbitrary and discretionary powers of the provinces’ chief firearms officers, giving elected government – not unelected bureaucrats – the  ability to set national standards across the country,” continued Breitkreuz.

The legislation also contains measures to better protect victims of crime by prohibiting firearms ownership for those convicted of domestic violence.

“Overall, I am very pleased to see this legislation go forward.  It’s another step in the right direction for Canada’s firearms community, and I hope M.P.s will back hunters, farmers and sport shooters by supporting this legislation,” concluded Breitkreuz.