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Author Topic: BC Proposes New Firearms Laws  (Read 649 times)

IronNoggin

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BC Proposes New Firearms Laws
« on: March 04, 2021, 12:46:34 PM »

B.C. targets gang and drug violence in new gun bill

Bill would also end the sale of imitation firearms, like pellet, BB and airsoft guns, to youth

"The province says gang members will have a tougher time getting their hands on both real and imitation firearms under a new bill targeting gun violence.

The Firearm Violence Prevention Act, introduced into the B.C. Legislature on Wednesday by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, includes a series of measures to curb gang violence in the province, including penalties for people transporting illegal guns and ending the sale of imitation firearms, like airsoft and pellet guns, to youth."


Still one hell of a lot of details to come out...

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-new-gun-violence-bill-1.5935800

https://vancouversun.com/news/proposed-law-would-crack-down-on-gangsters-with-illegal-firearms-b-c-government
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IronNoggin

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Re: BC Proposes New Firearms Laws
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2021, 11:01:44 AM »

Lawyers' Review of the proposals:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBs0IHtGTnA
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IronNoggin

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Re: BC Proposes New Firearms Laws
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2021, 01:31:44 PM »

Apologies for the delay on this Folks!
Just realized the Bill is up again on the 25th of this very month.
So I decided to forgo a day of shooting, and get this one off to the politico's instead.
Feel free to modify it any way you like.
But most importantly, get your two pesos in if you are concerned before it's too late!!

March 12, 2021

Premier John Horagn
Langford – Juan de Fuca Community Office
122 – 2806 Jacklin Road
Victoria, BC V9B 5A4

Dear Premier Horgan,

I am writing as a BC Resident who enjoys our Province’s varying outdoor activities centered on camping, hunting, shooting sports and fishing.

Your government recently proposed Bill 4 - Firearm Violence Prevention Act. While the stated purpose of this proposal is to address gangs and gun violence, there are numerous examples of what I assume are unintentional ramifications for legal firearm owners, hunters and firearm course instructors. As such I am requesting that this Bill be stood down until such time as these areas of overreach can be adequately dealt with to ensure they do not infringe on these noted groups – something you took great pains to insure us you would not be doing.

Specifically:

Division 1 paragraphs 4 and 5: “A person must not transport, carry or store a loaded firearm in a boat. A person must not discharge a firearm from a boat.”

A great deal of legal hunting is conducted from various watercraft.
Much of BC’s waterfowl hunting occurs from boats designed as floating blinds and / or “duck punts”.
A large amount of big game hunting also occurs from various kinds of boats, especially so in BC’s more remote areas.
These activities have always been legal as long as said watercraft is not under power, is stationary, or propelled by oars or paddles.
What you are proposing in this bill will make such activities illegal. This certainly goes well against your statement that these changes will not negatively affect hunters, for they most certainly will.

Part 3 Paragraph: 18 A person must not possess a firearm or imitation firearm in or on any of the following:
(a) child care property within the meaning of section 20;
(d) post-secondary property within the meaning of section 23;
(e) public worship property within the meaning of section 24;
(f) school property within the meaning of section 25;

This would be interpreted such that any firearms owner, in compliance with Federal Firearms Storage Laws, who also operates a child care business would have to either shut that business down, or dispose of said firearms. I do not believe that was the intent when this was written, however it is readily apparent that what I have suggested is exactly the way a court would interpret it. Again, overreach.

Many of our Firearms Courses are held and taught in school classrooms, churches, and colleges after hours. Is it now your intent to limit the areas such course can be taught in, thereby limiting the number of course available overall in BC?

Part 4: Shooting Ranges:

This is one of the more problematic sections of the proposed bill.
Although you state that this inclusion is designed to address illegal firearm use of ranges by non-licensed criminals, there is no real time data to even remotely suggest this is an actual concern.
What it does do is place undue pressure on range operators to have a qualified individual onsite to check identification and licenses on a full time basis – something well and beyond the capacity of most small town and rural ranges.

The detailed list this section prescribes for range users is little more than a “shopping list” for the very criminals you are suggesting this proposed bill is designed to address. Were this list to fall into the wrong hands, they would have the name, address, and License number etc of each person that used the range. For this reason alone what is being proposed must be reconsidered.

Section 32 (2) A shooting range user who fails to produce a federal licence to the person on duty at a shooting range, as required under section 31 (2), must not use a non-restricted firearm, prohibited firearm or restricted firearm at the shooting range.

This section will effectively make it illegal in BC to take ANYONE without a firearms license shooting at a range. This would effectively nullify the field component of many Firearms Instruction Courses such as BC’s own CORE program. When learning how to safely and properly use firearms, it is mandatory to hold “hand’s on” sessions to demonstrate the various techniques involved. By way of this nonsensical section, are you suggesting such educational requirements are no longer of practical use? Again I do not believe that to be the intent here, however specific exclusions MUST be written in to accommodate educational purposes BEFORE this Bill proceeds any further.

The sweeping and draconian approach to range restrictions as proposed will drive larger numbers of people to use alternative, non-regulated “bush ranges” that do not provide the safety our modern firearm ranges encompass. This is not at all a desirable outcome whatsoever.

Search and seizure without warrant 59 (1) A peace officer may exercise a power referred to in section 58 (1) (a), (b) or (c), without a warrant…

Unconstitutional.

The vast majority of the balance of your proposed bill actually falls within the realm of current Federal Firearm Legislation. It is somewhat curious that your Government has chosen to readdress those same matters with a Bill of your own.

The proposed Bill as written is fraught with mistakes and problem areas that will directly and negatively affect hunters and sports shooters in this Province – something you yourself have publicly stated you will not entertain. I strongly recommend that you stand down the Bill until these errors can be properly corrected, or simply pull it all together.

I trust that you will take this advice in the spirit it was written, and commence actions to address these concerns. I also respectfully request a written response outlining just what those actions will entail.

Sincerely,


Port Alberni, BC

Cc:
Solicitor General Mike Farnworth

Katrine Conroy: Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
.................................................. .......................

Cheers,
Nog
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IronNoggin

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Re: BC Proposes New Firearms Laws
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2021, 01:37:52 PM »

John Horgan:

premier@gov.bc.ca
john.horgan.mla@leg.bc.ca

Langford – Juan de Fuca Community Office
122 – 2806 Jacklin Road
Victoria, BC V9B 5A4

Mike Farnworth:


PSSG.Minister@gov.bc.ca
PO Box 9010 Stn Prov Gov
Victoria BC
V8W 9E2

Katrine Conroy:


FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca

#2 – 1006 3rd Street
Castlegar, BC
V1N 3X6
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IronNoggin

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Re: BC Proposes New Firearms Laws
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2021, 02:53:55 PM »

Green MLA wins pause on clause in firearms bill

"The New Democrats have put a temporary hold on a clause in their new firearms legislation after accusations that they failed to properly consult First Nations.

The offending clause in the Firearms Violence Prevention Act says that “a person must not transport, carry or store a loaded firearm in or on a vehicle or boat.”

Green MLA Adam Olsen objected that the law might be used against members of his own Tsartlip First Nation and other Indigenous people who hunt from vehicles and boats.

The Green MLA continued arguing along those eloquent and persuasive lines for the better part of an hour, closing with a direct plea to Farnworth to “take a breath, take a pause.”

Whereupon Farnworth, who is government house leader as well as solicitor-general, did just that.

“Understanding the genuine concern that the member has, I am prepared, at this point, to stand this section down,” he advised the house. “I want to assure the member that there is nothing nefarious in this section. But at this point, I will stand this section down.”

The retreat might only be temporary, Farnworth warned. The New Democrats have every intention of enacting the entire bill into law before the house adjourns for its spring break on March 25."


https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/vaughn-palmer-green-mla-wins-pause-on-clause-in-firearms-bill/
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IronNoggin

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Re: BC Proposes New Firearms Laws
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2021, 01:33:00 PM »

Got a response from the Local's assistant:

Hi Matt,

Thank you for forwarding this email to our office and for sharing your concerns regarding Bill 4 the Firearm Violence Prevention Act (FVPA). As MLA Osborne’s assistant I am pleased to respond on her behalf.

The FVPA responds to recommendations made by experts in the 2017 Illegal Firearms Task Force Report to address gang and gun violence. The regulation of firearms is an area of shared jurisdiction between the federal and provincial governments and the FVPA is intended to enhance public safety in BC by closing gaps in the existing federal laws. The full report can be found here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/law-crime-and-justice/criminal-justice/police/publications/government/iftf_final_report_pdf.pdf

To ensure that any impacts to lawful firearm owners and users were mitigated, the Ministry consulted with a variety of stakeholders representing the interests of lawful firearm owners and users, including hunting and target shooting associations. The feedback received was taken into consideration during development of the FVPA.

I recognize that there are many people in our community who enjoy hunting and recreational shooting, and I can understand how there would be concerns about changes to the current regulations. I have reached out to the Ministry to get more information on the specific concerns outlined in your email, which I am happy to share below.

Section 4 and 5:

The legality of hunting from boats and vehicles can be unclear with respect to the current prohibitions on transporting a loaded firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm from a vehicle under Section 9 of the Firearm Act. Bill 4 repeals the Firearm Act and re-establishes the prohibitions under Section 9 of the Firearm Act in sections 4 and 5 of the FVPA.

The FVPA will provide clarity and allow for hunting-related permits and regulatory exemptions to be established despite these prohibitions.
Bill 4 includes a consequential amendment to Section 108(3) of the Wildlife Act to establish a clear regulatory authority to provide exemptions from the prohibitions in Section 4 and 5 of the FVPA. This will allow for the authorization of activities such as waterfowl hunting in the appropriate circumstances

The Wildlife Act is the appropriate place to house hunting-related exemptions and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General has been working with the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy on this issue.

Part 3:

Section 19(2) establishes a regulation-making authority to provide exemptions from the prohibition on firearms and imitation firearms in designated properties.

Regulations are being considered to provide various exemptions from the prohibition in Section 18, including for in-home childcare properties and firearm courses that are offered at educational institutions.

Part 4:

The record-keeping requirements for shooting ranges will close gaps in the federal record-keeping requirements and standardize record-keeping across all shooting ranges in BC.

Federal record-keeping requirements currently only apply to shooting clubs and users of restricted or prohibited firearms.
The federal requirements do not apply to shooting ranges and users of non-restricted or low-velocity firearms.
Shooting range operators will be responsible for establishing a record-keeping system and maintaining those records.
If a shooting range is staffed, the operator or another person on duty is obligated to require that users produce their identification and, if applicable, their firearms licence.

If a shooting range is unstaffed, there is no requirement to check identification or firearms licences. When a range is unstaffed, the record-keeping requirements could be satisfied by, for example, having a logbook or drop box that allows shooting range users to record their own information.

Section 28(1) of the FVPA allows the Minister to specify premises other than the premises of the shooting range where records could be kept.
The FVPA does not require all shooting range users to have a firearms licence.

Shooting range users who have a firearms licence are required to produce their licence if they are using a non-restricted, prohibited, or restricted firearm.

The requirement to produce a firearms licence does not apply if a shooting range user:
Does not have a firearms licence (e.g., a guest under the supervision of a shooting club member or the range operator), or
Is using a low-velocity firearm (e.g., an airsoft gun).

If a shooting range user does not have a firearms licence, they must provide their date of birth for the records instead of a firearms licence number.

Name and date of birth are required to so that the shooting range user can be identified.

Section 59:

The courts have held that it is not necessary to obtain a warrant to conduct a search in the described circumstances. The FVPA recognizes the common law and clearly states the intent of government to allow for warrantless searches in these circumstances to the public and the courts.
Warrantless search powers can only be exercised to search anything other than a private dwelling if a peace officer reasonably believes that the conditions for obtaining a warrant exist but delaying the search to obtain a warrant would result in loss or destruction of evidence or danger to human life or safety.

Warrantless search powers can only be exercised to search a private dwelling if a peace officer reasonably believes that the conditions for obtaining a warrant exist but delaying the search to obtain a warrant would result in danger to human life or safety.

I hope this information helps clarify the changes that are being proposed in Bill 4 and thank you again for sharing your concerns with our office.

Sincerely,

Andrea McDonald | Constituency Assistant
office of Josie Osborne, MLA
Mid Island-Pacific Rim
(pronouns: she/her/hers)

We acknowledge that we are living and working on the traditional lands of the Ahousaht, Ditidaht, Hesquiaht, Hupa¢asath, Huu-ay-aht, K'ómoks, Qualicum, Tla-o-qui-aht, Toquaht, Tse-shaht, Uchucklesaht, and Yuu-cluth-aht.
.........................................

Working on the response soon...
Nog
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IronNoggin

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Re: BC Proposes New Firearms Laws
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2021, 01:33:33 PM »

Third reading and passed:

https://www.leg.bc.ca/documents-data/debate-transcripts/42nd-parliament/1st-session/20210322pm-Hansard-n37#37B:1645

One interesting bit from the debate is that they did amend it that the act must be in compliance with treaty rights.

Too bad we didn't get the same call out for the rest of us as far as hunting rights.

To read the debate you can read the rest of the Hansard which can be sorted by subject:

https://www.leg.bc.ca/documents-data/indexes/view#42nd-parliament&1st-session&2020-Fall-Subject-Indexf&#mh146

Nog
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IronNoggin

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Re: BC Proposes New Firearms Laws
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2021, 12:01:22 PM »

Received another reply. From the two now in hand, it is obvious the Bill wasn't properly thought out nor vetted. When passing a Bill, one should not have to immediately amend other existing legislation in order to make it comply with the new bill IMO.

Dear J. M. Stabler:

Thank you for your March 12, 2021 email to the Honourable John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia, regarding Bill 4 – Firearm Violence Prevention Act (FVPA). Your email was forwarded to the Policing and Security Branch for reply.

In your email, you express concern that the FVPA targets law-abiding firearm owners and does not address gang activity and firearm violence. Your email also raises several questions and concerns regarding particular aspects of the FVPA.

The FVPA responds to recommendations made by subject matter experts in the 2017 Illegal Firearms Task Force Report to address gang and gun violence. The report can be found here:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/law-crime-and-justice/criminal-justice/police/publications/government/iftf_final_report_pdf.pdf.

The FVPA targets gang and gun violence by:

Regulating low-velocity firearms that are capable of causing serious bodily injury and imitation firearms that strongly resemble real firearms;
Establishing new offences for unsafe use of firearms, low-velocity firearms, and imitation firearms;
Prohibiting firearms, low-velocity firearms, and imitation firearms in designated places, including schools and hospitals;
Introducing measures to deter gang members from using shooting ranges;
Creating an authority to impound vehicles used to transport illegal firearms or flee from police;
Providing civil liability protection to professionals who report the potential for firearm violence by an individual to the police; and
Strengthening aspects of the Body Armour Control Act and Armoured Vehicle and After-Market Compartment Control Act.

To ensure that any impacts on lawful firearm owners and users were mitigated, the Ministry consulted a variety of stakeholders representing the interests of lawful firearm owners and users, including hunting and target shooting associations. The feedback received was taken into consideration during development of the FVPA.

I can confirm that the regulation of firearms is an area of shared jurisdiction between the federal and provincial governments. Various provincial laws including the Community Charter, Firearm Act and Wildlife Act regulate the use of firearms.

I would also like to respond to other concerns you have raised, as follows:

Bill 4 repeals the Firearm Act and re-establishes the prohibitions on transporting a loaded firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm from a vehicle in sections 4 and 5 of the FVPA. Bill 4 includes a consequential amendment to section 108(3) of the Wildlife Act to establish a clear regulatory authority to provide exemptions from the prohibitions in section 4 and 5 of the FVPA. This will allow for the authorization of activities such as waterfowl hunting in the appropriate circumstances. The Wildlife Act is the appropriate place to house hunting-related exemptions.

Section 19(2) of the FVPA establishes a regulation-making authority to provide exemptions from the section 18 prohibition on firearms and imitation firearms in designated properties. Regulations are being considered to provide various exemptions from the prohibition in section 18, including for in-home childcare properties and firearm safety courses.

The requirements for shooting ranges do not make it necessary for ranges to have staff on duty. If a shooting range is unstaffed, there is no requirement to check identification or firearms licences. The record-keeping requirements could be satisfied by, for example, having a logbook or drop box that allows shooting range users to record their own information. Section 28(1) of the FVPA allows the Minister to specify premises other than the premises of the shooting range where records could be kept and consideration is being given to allow for records to be stored in other locations.

The FVPA does not require all shooting range users to have a firearms licence. Shooting range users who have a firearms licence are required to produce their licence if they are using a non-restricted, prohibited, or restricted firearm. The requirement to produce a firearms licence does not apply if a shooting range user does not have a firearms licence (e.g., a guest under the supervision of a shooting club member or the range operator), or is using a low-velocity firearm (e.g., an airsoft gun). 

Warrantless search powers can only be exercised to search anything other than a private dwelling if a peace officer reasonably believes that the conditions for obtaining a warrant exist but delaying the search to obtain a warrant would result in loss or destruction of evidence or danger to human life or safety. Warrantless search powers can only be exercised to search a private dwelling if a peace officer reasonably believes that the conditions for obtaining a warrant exist but delaying the search to obtain a warrant would result in danger to human life or safety. The courts have held that it is not necessary to obtain a warrant to conduct a search in the described circumstances.

The FVPA received Royal Assent on March 25, 2021 and will be brought into force by regulation in 2022.

I appreciate you bringing your concerns to our attention, and trust this information is of assistance. Thank you for writing.

Glen Lewis
Associate Director, Public Safety Policy and Legislation
Policing and Security Branch
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
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