I am informed by the Departments of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Justice as follows: a ) The firearms program is a national investment in public safety that is supported by the vast majority of Canadians. Over the first six years of operation, $487 million was invested in this program. Even when adding in the estimated investment of $139 million for this year, the total for seven years would still represent less than $3 per Canadian, per year of operation.
This investment comes with the public safety benefits of a licensing and registration system that helps keep firearms from those who should not have them. Since December 1, 1998, over 4,000 firearms licences have been refused or revoked by public safety officials. To date, there have been 32 times more revocations than over the last five years under the old program. b ) As to the projected impact of this program on the economy:
(1) While certain members of the recreational firearms community suggest that active firearms owners are leaving the shooting sports as a consequence of the individual licensing and firearms registration requirements included in the Firearms Act, there is no indication that this is true.
There are some indications that individuals who owned firearms but no longer use them have chosen to dispose of their unused firearms rather than apply for a licence and register firearms they no longer want, use or need.
(2) Nothing in the Firearms Act precludes Canadians or non-residents from hunting in Canada. Any decline in hunting participation rates may reflect changing Canadian demographics and increased opportunities for Canadians to actively participate in other recreational activities that were not broadly available in the past.
Many hunting and outdoor organizations understand that cultural attitudes towards hunting and the shooting sports have changed significantly and are expending significant resources to attempt to bring new entrants into the hunting and shooting sports.
(3)-(5) This question is not in the purview of the Department of Justice and should be directed to tourism and natural resources authorities. Nothing in the Firearms Act precludes law abiding Canadians or non-residents from participating in hunting and shooting sports in Canada.
(6) Nothing in the Firearms Act precludes aboriginal Canadians from participating in their traditional lifestyles. Nothing in the Firearms Act, other than licensing requirements to meet public safety requirements, limits the business opportunities for any Canadian to offer any service to any hunter or shooter in Canada.
(7) The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade presently controls the export and import of firearms and ammunition. When the export and import provisions of the Firearms Act come into force DFAIT export permits will be deemed as authorizations to export under the Firearms Act, while authorizations to import will subsume DFAIT import permits. There should therefore be no extra cost to international trade arising from implementation of the Firearms Act.
(8)-(9) Nothing in the Firearms Act precludes Canadians or non-residents from participating in shooting sports in Canada. Any decline in shooting sport participation rates may reflect changing Canadian demographics and increased opportunities for Canadians to actively participate in other recreational activities that were not broadly available in the past.
(10) The Firearms Act provides for the licensing of firearms businesses. Nothing in the Act precludes a business from operating within the terms of its licence.
(11)-(12) The Firearms Act does not regulate the sales of such materials in any manner.
(13) The Firearms Act gun show regulations are not yet in force. The changing demographics of firearms ownership may be reflected in the participation rate at gun shows. However, it should be noted that these changes may just reflect the result of other recreational opportunities being available to all Canadians in all seasons.
(14) The changing demographics of firearm ownership may be reflected in the participation rate at gun clubs and shooting ranges. However, it should be noted that these changes may just reflect the result of other recreational opportunities being available to all Canadians in all seasons.
Nothing in the Firearms Act prevents Canadians from participating in the shooting sports. In fact, the Firearms Act requires that long gun ranges be inspected and certified by a chief firearms officer to ensure that they meet safety standards. This is the first time that long gun ranges have had to meet any safety standard whatsoever.
(15) The Firearms Act provides that Canadians can continue to maintain their firearms collections and that new entrants may begin firearms collecting. Museums may be licensed to maintain firearms in their collection.
(16) The Firearms Act provides a framework to regulate movie supply companies. Nothing in the Firearms Act prevents licensed production supply houses from porviding materials to productions.
(17) Nothing in the Firearms Act precludes Canadians or non-residents from participating in historical re-enactments.
(18) Nothing in the Firearms Act precludes Canadians from participating in activities in which they participated in before the coming into force of the Firearms Act. While the forces of demographic change and the free choice of other recreational activities may have resulted in a decline in active participation in hunting and shooting sports, there is nothing to indicate that any decrease was the direct result of the introduction, passage, coming into force or implementation of the Firearms Act.