Welcome back to part 3 in our series on Canadian Firearms Control, steps through the years that have brought us to the current controls for Canadian citizens and their firearms.
You might remember in the end of our last post we said how in 1990 Bill C-80 was introduced and shut down, but that most of the topics address in C-80 would end up in C-17 which would in fact be passed, well in 1991-1994 Bill C-17 was introduced and it did pass in the House of Commons in November and continued on to the Senate for approval and also the Royal Assent in December. This bill required applicants to provide a photo ID and two references, it also imposed a mandatory 28 day waiting period for an FAC, as well as mandatory safety training.
In 1995 Bill C-68 was brought before the House in February, and was approved by the Royal Assent and the Senate in December. There were four major changes that this bill brought. First the criminal code amendments would impose harsher penalties for certain crimes using firearms, also this created the Firearms Act, that would take the administrative and regulatory aspects of licenses and registrations out of the criminal code, the new license system was also to replace the FAC system, and you would need to register all firearms regardless of the type.
The 1990’s were definitely a time when firearm laws and control changed drastically. In January of 1996 new control put into place required mandatory minimum sentences for serious crimes involving firearms. The Canada Firearms Centre (CFC) was put in charge of developing the regulations, systems and infrastructure that would be needed to implement the Firearms Act.
After all the changes and new regulations were put into place everything seemed to calm down until 2001, when Canadians needed a license in order to possess and acquire a firearm. The National Weapons Enforcement Support Team (NWEST) was created, in order to suppose law enforcement in the war on illegal firearms movement, among many other jobs they are responsible for.
January 1, 2003 made sure that individuals needed a valid license and registration certificate for any and all firearms in their possession, this also extended to include non-restricted rifles and shotguns. Any vendor selling firearms was now required to carry a valid business license along with proper registration certificates for all firearms in their inventory.
Over the next few years there were amendments and bills introduced and some aspects were changed while others remained the same, we will always have changes and additions to any firearm controls until the end of time, which is just how things seem to be going. In 2008 Bill-C24 was introduced but like Bill C-21 , C-24 died on the order paper in September. The rest of the Public Agents Firearms Regulations were put into place on October 31, 2008. Police and other government agencies that use or hold weapons are required to report all weapons in their possession.