National Firearms Association
Canada's Most Effective Firearms Owners Associationhttp://www.nfa.ca
TRANSFERRING A RIFLE OR SHOTGUN UNDER THE NEW BILL C-21:
Underlining is for the purposes of this paper, and is not the same as in the Bill.
Section 8, page 5, creates this wording:
23(1) A person may transfer a firearm if, at the time of the transfer…
Note that the above wording includes an ordinary rifle or shotgun ("a firearm").
(b) the transferor [a dealer or an individual] has no reason to believe that the transferee is not authorized to acquire and possess that kind of firearm;
Note that this concatenates with the items below to prevent the transfer until a formal authorization is issued by a CFO, and prevents the transferor from transferring any firearm until he knows that a CFO's authorization has been issued.
(c) In the case of a transfer to an individual [by a dealer or another individual], the transferor informs a chief firearms officer and obtains the authorization of the chief firearms officer for the transfer…and
(e) the prescribed conditions are met.
Now: how is the authorization obtained?
Section 9, page 5, creates this wording:
27. On being informed of a proposed transfer of a firearm under section 23, a chief firearms officer shall
Note that the above wording includes an ordinary rifle or shotgun, and that the actions below are mandatory ("shall").
Note the power of the word "verify." Verify means "To confirm or substantiate by oath or affidavit" (Black's law dictionary, 6th Edition) or "make sure that something is true, accurate, or justified; swear to or support (a statement) by affidavit" (Concise Oxford Dictionary). It requires the CFO to search records and computer files to find the information listed below, and to be certain enough to make an affidavit certifying the correctness of his analysis:
whether the transferee holds a licence [that requires a licence record check],
whether the transferee is still eligible to hold that licence [that requires a criminal record check, and a complete check to make sure that the transferee has not fallen into ineligibility under FA s. 5(2)(a)(I), (a)(ii), (a)(iii), (b), or (c) in the interval since he was issued his firearms licence], and
Note that the inclusion of FA s. 5(c) in the above list makes this a very complex investigation, and not just a CPIC check or check of recent criminal records--and that it must be done for every transfer.
whether the licence authorizes the transferee to acquire that kind of a firearm…
decide whether to approve the transfer… [That gives a lot of unjustifiable power to the CFO.]
Note that there is no requirement for the CFO to notify either the transferor or the transferee of his decision, which is a recipe for inability to determine the cause of a delay in authorization. ANALYSIS and RED WARNING: This wording sets up a very complex method of transferring an ordinary rifle or shotgun, and creates very real problems.
Obviously, the CFO has to do a lot before he can "authorize" such a transfer. What he "shall" do requires complex analysis of a human being, and the presence or absence of a licence is clearly not enough for him to be able to "verify" the things he is required to "verify."
The additional workload will require more staff in the office of each CFO. Probably more extra staff will have to be added to the CFO offices than the number of staff persons released from the current central processing site.
I submit that the bureaucrats who drafted the changes to FA s. 23 and 27 have produced a nightmare. For example, is the "authorization" by the CFO to be verbal or in writing? Is the "notification" of the CFO to be verbal or in writing? If either is to be verbal, what will happen in a court case involving a transfer that may not have been done to the standard, " the prescribed conditions are met" [FA s. 27(a)(iii)]? This pattern, if adopted, leads inevitably into a system in which all the "notification" and "authorization" is done in writing, in order to provide the necessary records. Instead of a simple transfer of registration done at one national central processing sites (RCMP), transfers of ordinary rifles and shotguns will be done at each CFO's office, and there will be confusion when a rifle or shotgun is transferred from the jurisdiction of one CFO's office to the jurisdiction of another CFO's office. The confusion will probably be worse than a registration transfer, which does not require so much CFO activity.
The transfer of a "restricted" or "prohibited firearm" requires an equivalent amount of activity in the Registrar's office, so the cost of transferring such a firearm will be approximately double the cost of transferring a non-restricted ordinary rifle or shotgun. The cost of transferring an ordinary rifle or shotgun will be higher than the current cost.