[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:
Just wondering, with the new regulations coming for the marking of firearms on June 1 2017, I am unclear on some of the wording.
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.
RCMP/CFP recently responded on May 17, 2017:
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.
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.”