The Canadian Shooting Sports Association did an in-depth writeup titled The FULL Story on Canada’s Firearm Licence Revocation System.
What follows is as brief an overview of Canada’s firearm license revocation system. It is not meant to replace the CSSA’s resource, but to augment it.
Section 70 of the Firearms Act contains Canada’s licence revocation provisions. It gives broad discretion to a Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) to revoke an individual’s Possession and Acquisition Licence.
70 (1) A chief firearms officer may revoke a licence, an authorization to carry or an authorization to transport for any good and sufficient reason including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing,
(iii) has been convicted or discharged under section 730 of the Criminal Code of an offence referred to in paragraph 5(2)(a); or
Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety, rose in the House of Commons on February 6, 2020, and said the current law is too restrictive, hence the need to broaden this already expansive provision.
Mr. Speaker, the laws that are currently available that enable law enforcement to seize firearms and to revoke licences are limited in their application and it is only in the circumstances where reasonable, probable grounds exist and only in circumstances where a seizure of a firearm has taken place that a firearm can be revoked.
This is untrue.
Minister Blair is, at best, disingenuous. At worst, just like his boss did the day before, he is intentionally misleading the Members of the House of Commons and, along with them, all Canadians.
For any good and sufficient reason is an extremely wide net.
Contrary to Minister Blair’s assertion, it is a Chief Firearms Officer who decides what “good and sufficient reason” means on a case-by-case basis.
- Did you make a stupid and angry comment on Facebook?
- Did you make a comment on Twitter that, when read out of context, sounds threatening to another human being?
- Did you threaten someone with physical harm? Could someone reasonably misinterpret your statements in that manner?
- Did you get a speeding ticket and spout off at the officer giving you a ticket?
Any or all of these could be deemed “good and sufficient reason” in the eyes of a Chief Firearms Officer, and could result in your firearm licence being revoked.
Yes, you can go to court to challenge the revocation of your Possession and Acquisition Licence, but until a judge in a court of law deems otherwise, your licence is revoked.
Blair’s characterization of the law is disheartening, because he knows better. He used these provisions many times, by his own admission, during his long career as a police officer and Chief of the Toronto Police.
I honestly don’t know how the government can expand on the current licence revocation system. It’s already so broad you can fly a 737 through the gap without the wings touching both ends of the spectrum.
What do you think? Please let me know in the comments below.