The legal implications of these new measures are broad. Some are critical of this act because it is not exactly clear about which weapons will be restricted, and which will not be. It states that the bore (the inside of the gun barrel) diameter must be less than 20 millimetres; otherwise, the weapon is prohibited. Furthermore, guns that can discharge projectiles greater than 10,000 joules are now banned. Many firearms owners are critical of these restrictions due to their inconsistencies; certain shotguns and firearms are now outlawed, while others remain legal.
Current owners of firearms have been granted a two-year amnesty period. This regulation is meant to protect individuals who own newly-outlawed guns. The amnesty grants exceptions for First Nations peoples who use firearms to trap, hunt, or sustain themselves and their families according to treaty rights. Firearms owners should take note that this amnesty period expires on April 30, 2022 – which means that if you carry an outlawed gun past this date, it is classified as criminal possession and you will be subjected to charges. The government has also stipulated a grandfathering regime, in which weapon owners will be permitted to keep their newly-outlawed guns, as long as they are not used. Details of this regime have not yet been disclosed.
During the amnesty period, the government will be rolling out a buy-back model for current owners of firearms. It has not yet been specified whether this buy-back will be mandatory or voluntary. Many are skeptical about how the government will afford to purchase so many newly-outlawed weapons. Until the buy-back program is in place, it is advised that owners keep their firearms stored securely. Delivering your weapon to a police officer before the buy-back program is implemented means that you will not receive compensation. To return a weapon, make sure to first schedule an appointment to make arrangements before a delivery. COVID-19 confines this even further; during the pandemic, physical distancing measures mean that you may be restricted from delivering your weapon or arranging for a pick-up.
Gun legislature is a complicated, bureaucratic process that may leave firearm owners concerned about their legality. In this case, it’s best to consult legal counsel. If you are looking for a firearm lawyer in Winnipeg, contact Brodsky Amy & Gould. We can help you understand and comply with the new legislation proposed by the Liberal government. From regulations regarding the proper storage of weapons to unauthorized possession, we can help you adhere to the new policies implemented in the Firearms Act.