A Look Into Our Future from the Great White North

Marty from our northern suburbs writes:

Hi Fellow North American,
I wasn’t sure where to send this message, but I am a Canadian citizen living in Canada and an avid reader of thetruthaboutguns.com. I thought I’d send a brief description of what I live with here in Toronto as a firearms owner abiding with regulations of firearms as dictated by my government. You may want to post this so others across the USA see what may be in your future . . .

I won’t go into the details of Canadian Firearms classification but interested people can look here. Background: I am a 48-year-old male, born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I possessed my first long rifle in 1980 at the age of 16.

I now hold a Restricted Possession/Acquisition licence which must be renewed every five years. I’m allowed to own and shoot pistols, long rifles and shotguns of any time except full-auto and pistols with barrels shorter than 4.2″. Those are prohibited and require a special classification on your licence which isn’t given any longer. Only people grandfathered into the firearms program from previous ownership get that special classification.

I own a .45 pistol and can’t take it out of the house except to a range that allows restricted weapon use. I can head to the range any time of the day or night, but it must be a direct trip without stops along the way. The gun must be securely locked in my trunk in its own case with trigger lock and the ammo kept in a separate case. I must hold an ATT (Authorization To Transport) certificate in order to take my guns to the range and the range was required to tell the government I had a membership in order for me to get the ATT in the first place. If I cancel my range membership, I lose my ATT.

The same rules apply to shooting my semi-auto .223. It has an 8.9″ barrel so it’s also classified as restricted and may only be shot at a range. I can’t shoot it on a family member’s farm as that is illegal.

My magazines are limited to 10 rounds (pistol) and 5 rounds (!) for a Long Rifle. My 30-round magazines are pinned so they only accept 5 rounds. If the rivet (pin) gets loose or falls out, I am holding a prohibited device and will go to jail if caught. There is a legal loophole that allows one type of 10 round AR-style magazine to be used in Long Rifles since that particular magazine was designed for pistols. ???

To sell or buy a restricted firearm, I must pass a check with the government, providing my licence info and telling them the make, model, calibre, barrel length and serial number of my purchase and then wait up to a week for the sale to be authorized. I am then issued a piece of paper that I must carry to the range in my gun case stating I’m the legal holder of the gun in the event the police stop and question me. Oh, and if I’m transferring or selling a restricted gun, I’m supposed to get a temporary ATT so I may take the gun to the post office to ship it. It’s issued for one day only and it’s only good to transport the gun from my house to the post office.

I also have a non-restricted shotgun. Its a Chinese made Remington 870 clone with an 8.5″ barrel. Somehow this is classified as non-restricted and I can legally shoot it on a farm for example. Although, if I sawed off a barrel of a regular 870 to make it 8.5″, I would go to jail for having a prohibited weapon.

I need to show my Firearm licence photo ID when I buy ammo and the store keeps a paper ledger notepad with my licence number and name plus a list of what I purchased. If a criminal steals the ledger, he would have access to this data and a convenient list of gun owners to rob.

There is no CCW here in Canada for civilians.

Although we are no longer registering non-restricted firearms, there is still much to be done to reverse the unfairness to legal gun ownership in Canada. I hope you folks never get to this stage.

Your brother in arms,
Marty