Millions of owners of firearms that were made prohibited on May 1, 2020, through a order made by the governor-in-council may be able to breathe a sigh of relief soon, as the Amnesty Order that was originally set to expire on October 30, 2023 looks as though it may be extended for an additional two year period, according to the Public Safety Canada website.
The amnesty order was imposed following the 2020 order, formally called Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted [Regulations] of the Criminal Code, which listed over 1,500 models of firearms, many of which were previously non-restricted or restricted. It was to allow the government time to establish a “firearms buyback” plan to compensate owners of the affected firearms for turning them over to the government.
However, after more than three years, no buyback plan has yet to be created, and owners of these firearms were running out of time to possess these firearms legally under the amnesty order. There are also several legal challenges to the original Order in Council which have yet to be resolved.
For owners of the affected firearms, they may be able to remain in possession of them for longer while the government works on their original plan for a “buyback” of those guns. However, it is our understanding that the order effectively put a stop of buying, selling, transferring and transporting the listed firearms, meaning they effectively cannot leave the home of their current owners for any reason.
Owners of these firearms do have the option of surrendering them without compensation to authorities, or exporting their firearms, as well as returning them to the manufacturer or retailer.
To qualify for the amnesty, the owners must have been lawfully in possession of the listed firearms on the day the Order came into effect, May 1, 2020, and they must hold a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL). The government plans to extend the amnesty to October 30, 2025.