Canada's gun owners fear confiscation under new law

While anti-gun activists in the U.S. are calling on Congress to pass Joe Biden’s gun ban plan, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are set to inflict new restrictions on Canadian gun owners starting tomorrow, and many gun owners worry that confiscation is just around the corner.

It’s not just gun owners complaining, as a matter of fact. Alberta’s Chief Firearms Officer Teri Bryant has sent a scathing (at least by Canadian standards of politeness) letter to federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino asking that the law’s implementation be put on ice for at least a year, and preferably indefinitely.

“Despite the federal government claiming Bill C-71 is important to our public safety, distressingly little has been done to prepare individuals, businesses or my staff,” Bryant said in a press release.

“Our office has been inundated with calls since news of the deadline emerged because Alberta firearms owners do not understand the changes and are concerned about the potential for a new backdoor long gun registry.”

“This concern has been heightened by your government’s plans under the May 2020 order-in-council to use the existing registry of restricted firearms to confiscate the property of owners who acquired firearms in full conformity with the law at the time of acquisition,” Bryant stated.

The bill was passed in June 2019 but Bryant said those licensing provisions were only announced May 11, giving those affected little time to either adopt or understand them.

The licensing provisions that were announced a week ago are set to take effect on Wednesday, which has left gun store owners and gun owners scrambling to figure out what exactly is going to change.

Even before the new law goes into effect, however, it’s already having an impact. Just as the prospect of new gun control laws tend to cause gun sales to spike in the United States, gun store owners say they’ve seen a flood of customers in advance of Canada’s new restrictions.

One Calgary gun store owner said the new legislation is burdensome, ineffective and a threat to privacy.

But James Cox said he’s seen a huge bump in sales in the past week as customers try to beat the clock before Bill C-71 takes effect.

“I’m going to send (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau thanks for all the extra business,” said Cox of the Shooting Edge, 510 77 Ave. S.E.

“People want to get the semi-autos before the registry kicks in.”

But Cox said his gratitude towards the Liberal government ends there, adding responsibility for additional verification is being downloaded on businesses.

And he said the demand for more personal information from firearms purchasers will put their privacy at risk, for no good reason.

“It’s just Liberal talking points that it’s going to get weapons off the street, but how is that?” said Cox.

“These guys are out of control … it’s going to be a nightmare.”

It certainly sounds like it, and because the right to keep and bear arms doesn’t exist in Canadian law, it’s going to be tough to make this nightmare go away. Once again the country is a cautionary tale for U.S. gun owners, who now have another vivid reminder of why it’s so important to protect and secure our Second Amendment rights for ourselves and for future generations.

Jun 25, 2022 12:30 PM ET