I wanted to write this article because I see a lot of Canadian gun owners online are really anxious, to the point of losing sleep, about the upcoming gun bans promised by the Liberal party, and I wanted to lay out some practical options. This is not a defeatist attitude, it’s being realistic about options if/when the ban goes through.
Right off the hop: join the CCFR, write and meet your MP with your concerns, etc, etc. There also may be a route to file for an appeal to the revocation of your registration. This post will assume that you’ve done all that and the ban goes ahead anyways.
There are two aspects of the gun ban platform to consider:
- They’ve said they’re going to allow municipalities to enact their own handgun bans or other controls.
- The Liberal party has explicitly said they’re going to ban “military style assault weapons” using an Order In Council (OIC)
Municipal Handgun Ban
The municipal handgun ban will likely take a while, because it’s a real mess of legislation that will be required and some experts doubt whether it would be constitutional. However, once legislation is in place, cities like Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto would be expected to push a ban forward. Because these cities don’t have money for it, they would likely NOT “buy back” these handguns. Handgun owners would be stuck selling them on the second-hand market or turning them in for destruction. Some cities may choose to require central storage, which will increase the cost of owning a handgun for most people.
Municipal Ban Option 1: Sell/Turn in
If/when handguns are banned in these large cities, prices for handguns on the secondhand market will really drop because of how many motivated sellers there will be. Accessories like holsters, mags, red dots, etc will also likely drop in value.
If you’re in a left leaning city like Toronto or Montreal, and you have an expensive collection, you may want to consider selling some of your pricier handguns before a ban is enacted and the value of those handguns drops.
If you’re in a right leaning city, you may want to have budget freed up so you can buy some of the many second-hand handguns that will be up for sale.
Non compliance is not a viable option with handguns as they are registered and tracked to you. The pony police knows where you live and how many handguns you have. Registration always leads to confiscation.
Municipal Ban Option 2: Move
Shitty option and I almost don’t want to include it as an option, but some will choose it. I hesitate because moving gun owners out of big liberal cities will further divide Canadians, and we need voters and gun owners in those big cities to win hearts and minds and vote. It doesn’t do anyone any good if all the gun owners are in Alberta and we all vote Conservative just to lose federally and have our rights stripped even more.
That said, if you’re tired of arguing and love to shoot IDPA or IPSC, moving to a more gun friendly municipality might be your course of option.
Assault Weapon Ban
The assault weapon ban is a bit harder because we have no idea what the Liberal party is going to include in this ban. They’ve explicitly said that the AR15 and Mini14 will be included, but we can assume that they’ll be including many more firearms. Bill Blair explicitly said they’re building a list of firearms which will be set to prohibited classification by an Order In Council (OIC). This is a fast-track, executive order to prohibit firearms and may be their stop-gap way of prohibiting the guns now, then figuring out legislation for a buy-back later. You won’t get an ATT for your prohibited firearm, so legally speaking, it’ll be on house arrest in limbo.
Option 1: Wait/Sell to the Gov
The Liberal party described buying these prohibited firearms “at fair market value”. How true that is. . .who knows, but I have my doubts that they’ll valuate firearms at anything more than retail. Accessories, add-on triggers, optics, etc. will likely not be considered. Just like the handgun ban, a ban on many popular semi auto rifles will cause accessories to drop in value as owners try to sell them on CGN.
If you own an AR and want to re-use the parts off the platform, you may want to just sell the stripped lower to the feds and keep the other parts. Those other parts could be used on newly developed firearms like the upcoming bolt action LPC. And because OAL, not barrel length, is the restriction on bolt action rifles, you could build a NR bolt action LPC with your 14.5″ AR15 barrel if you wanted (legal barrel length will depending on the buffer tube you pick.)
Some people are calling the CFO and setting the registration for their AR’s to “frame only” in anticipation. I’m not sure if that’s really going to be required or not as the other parts are not registered or tracked.
Option 2: Sell now
The market is stable right now, and there is no panic yet. Selling now may be the best bet to maximize the money you get. At the very least, selling expensive semi-auto rifle specific accessories like triggers, forends, optics mounts, etc that are sitting on the shelf would be a good move if you’re short on cash. If the market prices depress too much, it might be better to go with a different option.
Option 3: Deactivation
Some people like the look and want to display their firearms. For those owners, they could have the firearm deactivated, verified by an official verifier, and then display. This may be the unfortunate route that some owners of historical milsurp firearms may choose.
Another similar option to deactivation is to sell just the registered part of the firearm to the gov (such as the AR15 lower), then use an airsoft lower for display. This route would not have any ugly deactivation cuts or welds.
Option 4: Storing/Non compliance
A lot of people will choose to not comply. Non compliance is not an option with AR15’s because they’re registered and they know where you live. Not complying on the other firearms they prohibit carries the risk of getting a criminal charge if you’re ever caught with a prohibited firearm. Say your house burns down and the firefighters find the smoldering remains of an Mini-14, or your vengeful ex spills the beans to the cops, or if you use it to defend your home and family.
Just as the gun laws of the mid 90’s created thousands of paper criminals, so to will these laws.
BUT, on the chance that the minority Liberal government gets toppled and a more firearms friendly or neutral party gets in and legislation is cancelled, you get to keep your stuff and you don’t take a bath on the price.
Like I said up top, this article is for people who are feeling anxious about what’s coming, and to explore options. I am not endorsing any of these options and I am not a lawyer. You have to figure this out your own way.