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How would Bill C-71 affect individual owners of Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) and Swiss Arms (SA) firearms?

Information for clarification

Bill C-71 proposes changes that would impact some firearm owners in Canada. The information outlined below is intended to provide guidance to CZ/SA firearm owners should Bill C-71, as introduced in the House of Commons on March 20, 2018, become law.

Should Bill C-71 (as introduced on March 20, 2018) become law, your Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) model 858 firearms may be affected in one of two ways:

  • they may become prohibited, or
  • the classification may stay the same (either non-restricted or restricted)

Because not all CZ firearms would be impacted by changes in their classification a determination would need to be made as to whether the firearm(s) you own would be affected by Bill C-71, should it become law.

Bill C-71 also lists a number of specific Swiss Arms (SA) firearms. Some of these SA firearms are currently prohibited (and fall under an Amnesty Order), while others would become prohibited should Bill C-71 (as introduced on March 20, 2018) become law.

If you own a CZ/SA firearm, the steps below can help you identify how Bill C-71 would affect you. They explain the grandfathering requirements and how to avoid potentially being in illegal possession of a firearm should Bill C-71 become law.

Step 1: Determine the classification of my firearm

You could refer to the self-assessment guide to determine if Bill C-71 would affect your CZ firearm.

Should it be determined that your CZ firearm would be affected, it would become prohibited should Bill C-71 become law. You would then need to proceed to Step 2.

Should it be determined that your CZ firearm would be unaffected by Bill C-71, it would retain its current classification (either non-restricted or restricted). If your CZ firearm is currently classified as restricted, it should already be registered with the Registrar of Firearms (as required by existing legislation).

Bill C-71 lists a number of SA firearms, some of which are currently classified as prohibited firearms, and others which would be classified as prohibited if the Bill becomes law. For these firearms you would need to proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: If Bill C-71 becomes law, do I want to retain ownership of my prohibited CZ or SA firearm?

If Bill C-71 becomes law, and you do wish to retain ownership of your prohibited CZ/SA firearm, you would then need to proceed to Step 3 to determine whether you would be eligible for grandfathering, and Step 4 to identify the steps that would need to be taken.

If Bill C-71 becomes law, and you not wish to retain ownership of your prohibited CZ/SA firearm, you could:

  • transfer (i.e., sell, trade, give) your CZ/SA firearm to an individual or business (including museum) with the appropriate licence privileges
  • export the firearm to another country (in accordance with legal requirements), or
  • have the firearm turned in for disposal (i.e., destruction)

Step 3: If Bill C-71 becomes law, how would I qualify for grandfathering?

Currently restricted CZ/SA firearms

If your CZ/SA firearm is currently classified as restricted, it should already be registered with the Registrar of Firearms (as required by existing legislation). You must have a PAL with restricted privileges in order to register a restricted firearm.

Provided that your currently restricted CZ/SA firearm was properly registered on June 30, 2018, please see additional criteria below which would need to be met for you to qualify for grandfathering, should Bill C-71 become law.

Currently non-restricted CZ/SA firearms

For CZ/SA firearms that are currently non-restricted, but which would be classified as prohibited should Bill C-71 become law, you would be required to take the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course (if not already taken) and have your licence appropriately upgraded with restricted privileges (if not already done).

Please see additional criteria below which would need to be met for you to qualify for grandfathering.

Eligibility criteria for being grandfathered to possess CZ/SA firearms

If Bill C-71 becomes law, you would need to meet the following criteria to qualify yourself for grandfathering*:

  • you possessed one or more affected CZ or SA firearms on June 30, 2018, and
  • you held a valid registration certificate on June 30, 2018 (for firearms currently classified as restricted), or apply for a registration certificate (in cases where the firearm is not classified as restricted) for your firearm within one year of the grandfathering provisions coming into force, and
  • you have continuously been the holder of a registration certificate for one or more affected CZ or SA firearms beginning on June 30, 2018 (for firearms currently classified as restricted) or continuously hold a registration certificate beginning on the date a registration certificate is issued (in cases where the firearm is not classified as restricted)

*PLEASE NOTE: For grandfathering purposes, listed CZ firearms are treated as a different class from listed SA firearms. In other words, possession of a listed CZ firearm on June 30, 2018 would not allow an individual to be considered for grandfathering privileges for a listed SA firearm, and vice-versa.

*ADDITIONAL NOTE: Non-restricted and restricted CZ firearms which do not meet the Criminal Code definition of a prohibited firearm at the time the provisions come into force could not be used as the basis for obtaining grandfathering privileges.

If you do not want to keep a non-restricted or restricted firearm that would become prohibited should Bill C-71 become law, you would need to properly transfer or dispose of your firearm in one of the approved methods noted in Step 2.

Step 4: If Bill C-71 becomes law, how would I apply for grandfathering?

Should Bill C-71 receive Royal Assent, the proposed changes to classification for CZ/SA firearms listed in Bill C-71, and the grandfathering provisions, would come into force on a date to be determined by Governor in Council.

To have your CZ/SA firearm considered for grandfathering, you would need to submit an application to the Registrar of Firearms. Your application would need to be submitted to the Registrar within one year of the grandfathering provisions of Bill C-71 coming into force.

Registration applications for affected CZ/SA firearms will only be accepted should Bill C-71 receive Royal Assent and related provisions be brought into force.

You could apply for grandfathering even if you have not yet obtained the required restricted privileges on your PAL, but you would need to complete the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course and upgrade your licence privilege.

PLEASE NOTE: Your application to have your firearm grandfathered would not be processed until you have completed the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course and upgraded your licence.