Monthly Archives: May 2017

Inventory Change: Savage MKII FXP

We have updated our inventory to include a better bolt-action rifle for safe use by students in courses.

The new gun is a 2017 Savage MKII FXP. Weight of this rifle is 5.5 lbs (plus the scope, bipod, magazine and ammunition).

This rifle will replace an existing gun which has taken a great deal of wear-and-tear, the Canadian iron-sights .22LR Lakefield MKII.

A synthetic stock will allow for more wear-and-tear by rookie users. The barrel is free-floating. It’s made of carbon steel, with a satin finish. Stock is a black graphite polymer synthetic.

As our armourers have removed the firing pin, the gun is now safe for use in the Canadian Firearms Safety Course where it joins a number of other disabled service guns.

This .22LR – made in Westfield, Massachusetts – will be used to help educate new students in a safe environment, where with dummy-rounds-only we foster the safest possible learning experience for all students.

Major differences from the Lakefield MKII (the same rifle, but 30 years older and made once upon a time in Ontario) it replaces include a bipod, magnified rifle scope, an AccuTrigger, longer charging handle, and a working extractor mechanism.

New Firearms Petitions: E-575 Silencers, & E-1093 CFAC Training

[Displayed: OurCommons.ca Logo]

It seems that the sport shooting community in Canada has been making good use of a new government website allowing for electronic petition filing. OurCommons.ca has a section solely dedicated to this, so participating at a meaningful level is now easier for Canadians. A number of sport shooting websites have since picked up these stories.

Previously, we had heard of petition E-575, which asks the government to consider legalizing “sound moderators”. These are currently Prohibited devices in Canada. Legalization status varies, but there seems to have been a trend towards deregulation of these devices in other places.

A Glock pistol with a silencer affixed to the barrel.

To the uninitiated, a sound moderator is more commonly known as a silencer. They’re also sometimes called “suppressors” – but this can refer to the muzzle-flash of light upon firing, or the sound the gun makes, or both.

E-575 does not yet appear to have widespread public support – this columnist would suggest that might have something to do with the false impression many people get when they think of the Hollywood notion of silencers – everyone knows what a video game or action-movie silenced gunshot sounds like, right? Pew. The idea in the plot is that nobody else can hear it and so it’s more sneaky and diabolical.

While fun to watch, even the recent flick Jon Wick: Chapter 2 did have a scene showing an impossibly quiet silencer.

A Chris Knight National Post editorial noted on Feb 8: “…Their battles provide opportunities for the movie to wink at its own violence. There’s a hilarious scene in which the two combatants attach silencers to their weapons and tone down their gunplay so much that their shootouts in a crowded train station goes unnoticed by New York commuters…” (read more of the movie review here).

In any case, you can read up plenty of places online for more on how silencers don’t really make guns extremely quiet – usually only somewhat less deafening. They could be a good way to reduce potential hearing damage at gun ranges. Veteran shooters who did not wear ear protection in the past often suffer from painful tinnitus. Here is a good follow-up read about silencers/suppressors – on the main topic’s Wikipedia page.

On to our next petition. This May, petition E-1093 is making the rounds, sponsored by Michelle Rempel, MP for Calgary Nose Hill. Here’s the readout of what the petition calls for:

“Whereas:
We, the undersigned, residents of Canada draw the attention of the House to the following: That given that the Minister of Public Safety’s unelected Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee will shape the future of firearm regulation in our country, its members must adequately understand and represent the very people affected by its recommendations, being Canada’s shooting community. Therefore, your petitioners, call upon the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to require individuals appointed to the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee to have earned their Possession and Acquisition License (PAL), without which they lack a baseline understanding of the activities they are tasked with regulating.”

So the petition today is asking that members of the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee (who will have forthcoming serious input on Canada’s allowable firearms and regulations) should be required to take the Non-Restricted Canadian Firearms Safety Course (all civilian shooters need to complete that to get their basic license).

The Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee has a stated mandate since 2006 “…to provide advice on measures to reform Canada’s firearm policies, laws and regulations to ensure an up-to-date firearms regime that will keep Canadians safe.”

As a busy Saskatchewan PAL/RPAL gun training outfit, we feel a great deal of responsibility to ensure we can justify any of our students passing the course – we as responsible instructors don’t just rubber stamp course participants, and we regularly fail students who don’t “get it”. More often than not, we can convince a student who fails to return to us again for another course, where they treat the process more seriously before we issue their paperwork to send to the RCMP.

We all have to share the same gun ranges, rooted in safety. If somebody misbehaves – does not follow proper safety procedures – everyone else also faces serious danger.

We’re ALL Aiming for Safety!

If Canada’s licensing system requires new gun owners to meet a basic set of training and rules through the CFSC to get their PAL, shouldn’t CFAC regulators of guns also have a strong understanding of the course content being taught therein? 

This type of policy could see widespread support. 

We hope that regardless of the outcome of E-1093, members of the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee will duly inform and educate themselves responsibly to a common standard as well.

We encourage all safety-oriented Canadians to sign E-1093, and to remember to confirm the link that is sent by email afterwards to ensure they are counted properly!

RGSL runs Non-Restricted and Restricted gun license safety courses in Regina and Saskatoon. Check out the list of upcoming classes here.

Firearms Marking Regulations Deferred to December 1, 2018

[Displayed: United Nations Emblem]

[UPDATE 1: 5/18/2017 – Government of Canada Order-in-Council document, related, appears. Text of the OIC legislation is pasted below the email exchange.*]

Some of our students have been asking us about the UN Arms Treaty, and related Firearms Marking Regulations which were scheduled to come into force at the start of June. These rules will generally mean that imported guns will need to be stamped or engraved on the firearm’s frame or receiver the word “Canada” or the letters “CA” and the last two digits of the year of importation. One student in particular wondered aloud if guns they already owned would be subject to any engraving requirements.

We emailed the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program on Apr 4, 2017 so we could get some clarity to this upcoming event in a couple weeks:

“Hi there,

Just wondering, with the new regulations coming for the marking of firearms on June 1 2017, I am unclear on some of the wording.
http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2015/2015-07-29/html/sor-dors195-eng.php is where I found most of the information I was looking for, but specifically I wanted to know about existing guns that are already in Canada.
If I have guns that are in my safe, am I required to go out and mark them now as an individual? The regulations talk a lot about manufacturers and importers but I just own firearms already and am not sure if I need to mark them or not and if so which details to do.
Thanks,
Peter
Saskatchewan”
RCMP/CFP recently responded on May 17, 2017:
“Hello Peter,
We apologize that you have not yet been contacted.  I will forward your inquiry again.  Please note that we were recently advised that the coming into force date for the Firearms Marking Regulations has been deferred to December 1, 2018.
Currently, markings on firearms are a voluntary practice and are not required to appear on firearms manufactured in, or imported to, Canada. Further questions on the regulations and their coming into force date can be directed to Public Safety Canada at 1-800-830-3118 or https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/bt/cntct-frm-en.aspx?t=2.
Sincerely,
[CFP Representative]”
So there you have it guys and gals – Dec 1, 2018 will be the legislative coming-into-force date according to the CFP. We shall wait for further word from the RCMP and Public Safety Canada.

[*UPDATE 1: Here is the Order-in-Council text, as first reported by TheGunBlog.ca, and by Christopher di Amani. The language in the OIC does not offer certainty to the December 1, 2018 – that would be published later in the Canada Gazette to become official, and that may all take some time.]

“Whereas the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness is of the opinion that the change made to the Firearms Marking Regulations by the annexed Regulations Amending the Firearms Marking Regulations is so immaterial and insubstantial that section 118 of the Firearms Act should not be applicable in the circumstances;

And whereas the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness will, in accordance with subsection 119(4) of that Act, have a statement of the reasons why he formed that opinion laid before each House of Parliament;

Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, pursuant to section 117 of the Firearms Act, makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Firearms Marking Regulations.”

It appears to sound like the government has understood the regulations to be too confusing, “immaterial and insubstantial” is how they put it. The precis (description) of the OIC on the government website reads:

“Regulations Amending the FIREARMS MARKING REGULATIONS to defer the coming into Force date of the Regulations in order to permit the Government of Canada to develop amendments to the Regulations so that they achieve their intended purpose of enabling the tracing of crime guns by law enforcement agencies.”

OIC Source (accessed on 5/18/2017 but with a publication date noted for 5/31/2017)

RGSL runs Non-Restricted and Restricted gun license safety courses in Regina and Saskatoon. Check out the list of upcoming classes here.

Old-School Cool: 1946 U.S. Army Video – How Gas Firearms Work

Today we are taking a trip back in time to 1946, when the U.S. War Department prepared this official training film which goes over a few different new (at the time) methods of using gas to cycle a rifle. It’s still relevant today, and offers a simple take on how modern semi-automatic guns function.

It even has old-timey music and narration (meant for theatres), and has huge fake models of the different types of actions! The quality of the information is surprisingly good by 2017 standards for something 71 years old.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn exactly how gas is used to cycle a firearm, this is around the period in the world’s history when semi-automatic and automatic guns had finally come about – guns like the M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle proved among the first useful gas-powered automatic guns. Many people recognize the M1 Garand as being one of the most iconic battle rifles of World War II, but it was also one of the first widely-deployed semi-automatic rifles.

Check out the video to learn from the War Department’s 1946 Army Service Forces “Fundamentals of Small Arms Weapons 2: Types of Operation”, which was at the time produced by the Army Pictorial Service (Signal Corps).

Not much has changed since 1946 when it was a great revelation that firearms could be made to have a very fast rate of fire using these three methods. Manual actions are things like bolt actions and lever actions. “Gas operation”, “blowback operation”, and “recoil operation” are still the main cartridge-cycled methods used today.

To learn more about different types of firearm operating mechanisms (and to get your gun license in Canada), check out our list of upcoming courses here!