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Trudeau Files New Law to Criminalize Canadian Gun Owners

Bill C-21 aims to simplify gun confiscations, allow municipalities to criminalize handgun owners, and invent new crimes and penalties.

Trudeau Files New Law to Criminalize Canadian Gun Owners

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proposed Bill C-21 today as a new law against federally licensed gun owners, as he works to weaken citizens, hurt the firearm market, and kill modern shooting sports. The draft law is broad, complex, and misguided.

Bill C-21 Info

How Bill C-21 Affects Canadian and U.S. citizens with a Canadian PAL (Possession and Acquisition License for firearms):

A. All Gun Owners

  • You risk losing any or all of your guns if the government changes the firearm-classification regime to simplify prohibitions and confiscations.
  • An expanded “red-flag” system will allow anyone (your doctor, your ex, a stranger, …?) to ask a judge to confiscate your guns, and grant police the power of warrantless search and seizure.
  • An expanded “yellow-flag” system will make it easier to suspend your gun license.
  • You risk new or increased jail for unlawful gun buying, selling or importing (“straw buying,” “smuggling,” “trafficking”).
  • You risk jail for unpinning an ammo mag (in addition to jail for having a standard-capacity mag).

B. Handgun Owners

  • You could be forced to move to a new town or to give up your handguns if your municipality criminalizes handgun ownership, storage or transportation.
    • The mayors of Vancouver and Surrey in British Columbia said today they will criminalize handgunners.
    • The mayors of Toronto and Montreal have said previously they favor such bylaws.

C. Gun Owners Targeted By 01 May 2020 Confiscations

  • Lockup Option (Confiscation at Death, Without Payment): You risk jail unless you satisfy new paperwork and storage rules to keep your blacklisted guns until death, or until a future government repeals the confiscation order.
  • Payoff Option (Confiscation By April 2022, With Payment): No info on how much money the government will offer you to surrender your guns for destruction by 30 April 2022.

D. Businesses, Airsoft, ATCs

  • You risk jail if your business depicts violence in gun ads.
  • You risk jail if you buy or sell certain airguns and airsoft guns.
  • The RCMP will take over Authorizations To Carry (ATC) guns for self-protection from provincial CFOs.

Reject the Giant Blank Check

  • Bill C-21 omits crucial details on how it would work, leaving cabinet to define the specifics if the law passes.
  • Asking members of parliament to vote on open and undefined legislation is like asking them to sign a giant blank check.
  • The rule of law requires legislation to be clear, certain, consistent, defined, predictable, and easy to understand and apply.
  • Bill C-21 should be defeated.

Bill C-21 Context

  • Bill C-21 targets Canada’s 2.2 million men and women who have a federal firearm Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) authorized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and 4,500 firearm businesses.
  • The new crimes and penalties build on past policies and promises of the governing Liberal Party as it works to suppress safe and responsible citizens who have guns for protection, hunting, sport, and other legitimate uses.

Bigger Picture: Criminal By Default

  • Canadian politicians designed the laws on personal gun ownership to be complex, confusing and costly, without evidence of any benefit.
  • Every gun user is targeted by the Criminal Code, and the law says every gun user is a criminal unless they have the right paperwork.
    • Everyone who buys, sells, owns, uses, transports, imports, or exports any firearm at any time risks being charged with a crime, even if they did nothing harmful.
  • Many sections of the Criminal Code treat gun owners as “guilty until proven innocent,” a violation of fundamental principles of justice.

Demonize and Disinform

  • Trudeau, Minister Bill Blair and their Liberal colleagues used today’s media briefing on their planned law to mischaracterize PAL holders as violent criminals and terrorists, or as accomplices and enablers.
    • “Getting these weapons off our streets and out of the hands of criminals means less violence,” Trudeau said. “We’re not targeting law-abiding citizens who own guns to go hunting or for sport shooting.”
  • The Liberals promoted Bill C-21 and its new crimes aimed at safe and responsible citizens as improving public safety, without any evidence for the claim.
  • Almost nothing in Bill C-21 targets violent criminals or terrorists.

Opposition to Bill C-21

  • Conservative Party of Canada: The Conservatives opposed the bill, without pledging to repeal it if elected to government.
  • Alberta Government: Opposed


Will Bill C-21 Become Law

  • Prospects for Passage
    • Likely: If it gets enough support from the NDP, Bloc Québécois, and Green Party, which are hostile to gun users.
    • Unlikely: If the government passes the bill before the next election, which many people expect this spring.
  • Prospects for Defeat

For related Canadian gun control articles written by Firearms News see:

Who Will Save Canadian Gun Rights?

Canada's New Gun Ban - An Interview with Nicholas Johnson of

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