Government Measures to Reduce Gun Violence and former Bill C-71

Classification: Unclassified

Branch/Agency: CSCCB/Public Safety

Government Measures to Reduce Gun Violence and former Bill C-71


The Government of Canada’s commitments to strengthen gun control measures in response to the Nova Scotia shootings, as well as, bring into force provisions in former Bill C-71.

Proposed Response:


Firearms-related homicide doubled from 2013 to 2017 (134 to 267) but fell slightly in 2018 (249). Shootings have now become the most common method of homicide. According to police, gang violence accounted for approximately 52% of firearms-related homicides in 2017 and 51% in 2018.

This rising firearms-related violence is fueling public concern and giving rise to demands for federal action to curtail the availability of firearms in Canada.

On April 18-19, 2020, an unlicensed gunman in Nova Scotia used illegally-acquired long guns and handguns  while killing 22 victims including one minor, two correctional service employees, and an RCMP officer.  In the aftermath of the events in Nova Scotia, there have been renewed calls from gun-control advocates to ban assault-style firearms.

Bill C-71, An Act to amend Certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms

Bill C-71, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms, received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019.

Several provisions, including those clarifying that  firearms seized by police are considered forfeited to the Crown, and those allowing remaining long-gun registration records specific to Quebec  to be transferred to that province,  came into force upon Royal Assent.

Provisions in the Act that will come into force at a later date, by Order-in-Council and once administrative changes have been made, will:

Current Status:

Bringing the regulations into force will require a series of both parallel and sequential initiatives. First, a funding decision will be required to facilitate the administrative and technical changes needed to support the regulatory changes. The draft regulations will need to be finalized, which will involve consultations with implicated parties. The regulations would then need to be tabled in both Houses of Parliament for at least 30 sitting days, before being brought into force through Orders-in-Council.

In parallel, the RCMP would require up to 24 months to implement the new provisions, with “deeming” and ATT provisions to be completed within the first 12 months and the remaining provisions thereafter (licence verification, licence eligibility, and vendor record-keeping).

Work is underway to develop a funding proposal to support the new provisions.


Prepared by: Ashley St-Georges, Junior Policy Analyst, Policy Development, Firearms and Operational Policing Policy, [Redacted].

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