The federal government deferred its plan to impose a controversial marking scheme on all guns made and imported into Canada because the 13-year-old rules are out of date and need to be rewritten, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says.
The Firearms Marking Regulations were slated to come into force on June 1 until last week, when the government quietly pushed that timeline ahead by 18 months. The rules are now set to take effect on Dec. 1, 2018.
The contentious regulations, which would help achieve compliance with a United Nations firearms treaty, have now been delayed eight times by four successive governments.
“The regulations that have been on the shelf and waiting for implementation since about 2005 were written, now over 10 years ago, and they need substantial re-writing,” Goodale said Tuesday.
“So that work is underway now to make sure that they are relevant and appropriate in current terms and not 10 years out of date. It’s an updating process that needs to be done and we’re doing that now.”
As written, the rules will require every new firearm — including air guns and paintball markers — to be engraved with the word “Canada” or the letters “CA.” Foreign guns will also have to be inscribed with the year of import.
Critics contend the regulations will add at least $100 to the price of every new firearm sold in Canada, which could hurt local businesses and make it more difficult for people to get involved in hunting and sport shooting.
Others have suggested that applying an import mark to guns that already bear a unique and traceable serial number will not make the firearms safer, or their potential misuse easier for authorities to investigate.
While the proposed regulations are not “black and white,” marking modern firearms manufactured from polymers after import would be all but impossible, said Saskatoon Gunworks Inc. co-owner Darren Reed.
Gerry Ritz, Conservative MP for Battlefords Lloydminster, said most guns used by Canadians are not the types U.N. officials are concerned about, and that the rules will only serve to make them more expensive.
Three previous governments have recognized that and deferred implementing the regulations, and the Liberal government should continue doing the same, Ritz said.
“Common sense has to prevail.”
Goodale, meanwhile, defended the regulations. He said they are necessary because “there’s a growth in the source of supply” that goes beyond established firearms manufacturers whose guns are inscribed with serial numbers.
“Our objective here is to have a system ultimately in place that will assist police forces when weapons are used in the commission of an offence, but not impose an unreasonable or expensive burden on responsible, law-abiding gun owners.”
—With Leader-Post files from Pamela Cowan
Source : https://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/controversial-gun-marking-rules-need-substantial-re-writing-goodale-says