Parliamentary Committee Notes: RCMP Transfer of Firearms


April 6, 2022




The Government considered making new Regulations under the Firearms Act to provide the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) the authority to give firearms and supporting items to the Government of Ukraine.

Proposed Response:


In late fall 2021, after months of escalatory behaviour, Russia began massing troops, military equipment and military capabilities on Ukraine’s borders and around Ukraine. The build-up lasted into February 2022, eventually totaling 150,000-190,000 troops. On February 24, President Putin announced a “special military operation” as Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The invasion began with targeted strikes on key Ukrainian military infrastructure and the incursion of Russian forces into the territory of Ukraine in the north from Russia and Belarus, in the east from Russia and the so-called LNR and DNR, and in the south from Crimea.

Canada’s financial and military contributions

Between January 2014 and January 2021, Canada provided Ukraine with more than $890 million in multifaceted assistance to support Ukraine’s security, prosperity, and reform objectives. Canada is currently considering a number of potential response options to further support Ukraine and respond to Russian aggression, in close coordination with our allies and partners.

On January 27, 2022, Canada announced the extension and expansion of Operation UNIFIER, Canada’s non-combat military training and capacity building mission to Ukraine. In addition, Canada has announced over $145 million in humanitarian assistance for Ukraine and an additional $35 million in development funding. This assistance is in addition to up to $620 million in sovereign loans offered to Ukraine since January 2022, to support its economic resilience and governance reform efforts.

Canada also recently announced that it will send weapons such as rocket launchers, hand grenades, anti-armour weapons, and ammunition to support Ukraine. These contributions are in addition to more than $57 million in military equipment that Canada has provided Ukraine from 2015 to 2021. Canada will also extend its commitment to Operation REASSURANCE, the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. Canada is deploying an additional 460 troops to the approximately 800 currently deployed.

Potential for RCMP Assistance

Recently, the RCMP was made aware of the need for assistance to provide additional support to the Government of Ukraine. Upon analysis, the RCMP has identified a number of firearms, ammunition and magazines that no longer have operational value to the RCMP and that are slated for disposal, which if given to the Government of Ukraine, could provide assistance.

Regulations (Description and Rationale)

These new regulations would have been in direct response to the emergency in international relations brought on by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine that began on February 24, 2022, which continues Russia’s blatant violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty under international law. The regulations would have sought to provide the RCMP with the authority to give a firearm, prohibited device or explosive substance to the Government of Ukraine only if the gift was made to support the sovereignty or territorial integrity of Ukraine. 

Pursuant to paragraph 117(l) of the Firearms Act, the Governor in Council may make regulations regulating the disposal or disposition of firearms.  Although new regulations must normally be laid before each House of Parliament (subsection 118(1)), subsection 119(3) of the Firearms Act provides an exception to this rule when the Minister of Public Safety is of the opinion that the making of the regulation is so urgent that the normal regulatory process should not apply in the circumstances.

These Regulations, made on an urgent basis under subsection 119(3) of the Firearms Act, would have allowed the Commissioner of the RCMP to give a firearm, prohibited device or an explosive substance, to the Government of Ukraine only if the gift is made to support the sovereignty or territorial integrity of Ukraine. 


Prepared by: [REDACTED] – Crime Prevention Branch, [REDACTED]

Approved by: Talal Dakalbab, Assistant Deputy Minister – Crime Prevention Branch, 613-852-1167

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