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The non-restricted SKS carbine SAFETY ISSUE

Special Business Bulletin No. 89

November 14, 2014


A non-restricted Russian SKS carbine has been found to discharge in a full automatic manner, raising public safety concerns.


The firearm was purchased in Ontario by an individual who turned it in to the police of jurisdiction following discovery that it fires in automatic mode; the situation was subsequently brought to the attention of the Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) of Ontario. The RCMP Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) has since provided technical support. The CFP examined and tested the non-restricted Russian SKS carbine in question and uncovered several safety concerns:

  • It fires in automatic mode only (there is no semi-automatic mode).
  • The firearm is prone to discharge unintentionally.
  • The firearm can be fired by simply releasing the cocking handle.
  • It does not include a functional safety mechanism.

The CFP also examined 20 other samples of the same non-restricted Russian SKS carbine and found that they operated in a semi-automatic fashion only.

Implications and Inspection Protocol

This is a product safety issue for Russian SKS carbine importers and retailers because there is an increased risk to the public if the firearm fires in a different manner than semi-automatic.

Review the attached Inspection Protocol for SKS Carbines and use it to safely verify the firing mode of all Russian SKS carbines in your business inventory. If you discover any Russian SKS carbines capable of full automatic fire, immediately quarantine the firearm, store it safely and contact your Chief Firearms Officer. Thank you for your cooperation.

For more information, contact your CFO by calling the CFP at 1-800-731-4000 or by visiting the CFP website.

To facilitate future communication between the Canadian Firearms Program and your agency, please forward your agency e-mail address to: Thank you!