By now, you probably heard that the Government of Canada has “frozen” handgun sales, transfers and importations in Canada in an effort to combat gun crime, as part of amendments and measures imposed around Bill C-21.
Many prospective firearms owners and users looking at taking their safety courses and obtaining a firearm licence now question whether it is worthwhile to do both the CFSC (non-restricted) and CRFSC (restricted) since most handguns fall under the restricted category and can no longer be purchased by new licencees.
However, a quick review of Canadian gun store inventories show that there are still many fun-to-shoot sporting rifles in the restricted category available to the public, some with accessible pricing as low as $650.
For example, Firearms Outlet Canada, based Ajax, Ont., lists about a dozen restricted rifles on its “restricted” page. At the bargain end is the US M1 Carbine, a fun sporting rifle chambered in .30 Carbine. The surplus rifle at this price point comes with a folding polymer stock and one magazine. The rifle is considered restricted because of its semi-automatic action, chambering for a centrefire cartridge, and its 18″ barrel. A wood-stocked cousin is also available for just $850 from the same retailer.
The popular Kriss Vector, chambered in a popular pistol cartridge, .40 S&W, is available and in stock with the Alberta-based Wild West Shooting Centre. At $1,899, the small rifle is only slightly larger than a handgun and uses a common handgun cartridge, which broadens the possible ranges where it could be used – some indoor ranges have limited or no availability for centrefire rifle cartridge use.
Aside from restricted rifles, there are other reasons to obtain a restricted PAL even though handgun ownership is not possible at this time for new licence holders. From time to time, government job opportunities appear that required a restricted firearm licence, such as Border Services Officer, Bank of Canada security, and more. The museum industry often requires its employees to hold such licences as museums can be licenced to house collections that include firearms. Sporting goods retailers like Bass Pro Shops often require some staff to hold restricted licences as well.
Then, there is the possibility that the government will permit some type of civilian ownership of handguns once more, even if under new or different restrictions. Since firearm classification is within the purview of government at any rate, even commonly owned non-restricted rifles and shotguns could find themselves reclassified into restricted ones at the stroke of a pen.
Experience has shown that every time there are reclassifications or major modifications to Canada’s firearms laws, the public often responds with rushes to make purchases before certain firearms become unavailable. The same thing could predictably happen should some level of handgun ownership return. Those who aren’t already licenced for restricted firearms could find themselves waiting a very long time to get a course and apply for a new licence.
Those taking a restricted course alone to upgrade an existing non-restricted licence also face a longer course. The CRFSC when taught by itself is a minimum of 6 hours long when taken more than 30 days after a CFSC, instead of the usual 4 hour minimum. Some instructors do not regularly offer the CRFSC on its own, and it may be difficult to find the course just to do the upgrade in the first place. Plus, price increases may mean the CRFSC will cost more later.
Reasons to take your CRFSC at the same time as your CFSC course:
- Handgun ownership could return in some form in the future
- There are many restricted rifles still available that are fun to shoot
- Some job opportunities require the restricted PAL to apply
- If you take the CRFSC later the course is 2+ hours longer, and you may have to wait a long time for an opening
- The CRFSC may cost more to take in the future due to price increases
Here at ONfirearmsafety, we always suggest taking both the CFSC and the CRFSC at the same time. If you pass the exams, the results are good for life and you do not have to retake the course – the certificates don’t expire. Even if you choose not to apply for the restricted licence right away, you will still have the restricted safety course done already should you ever wish to upgrade.
In short, save yourself time and aggravation in the future by booking your CRFSC at the same time as your CFSC and just get it done. You’ll thank yourself later.
|CFSC/CRFSC Hamilton - FS2309||Glenwood Education Centre (Dundas)||
|Partner CFSC/CRFSC - Milton||Halton Firearms Safety School - Milton||
|CFSC/CRFSC Hamilton - FS2310||Glenwood Education Centre (Dundas)||
|CFSC/CRFSC Niagara - FS2311||Niagara Firearms Academy||
|CFSC/CRFSC Hamilton - FS2401||Glenwood Education Centre (Dundas)||
|CFSC/CRFSC Hamilton - FS2402||Glenwood Education Centre (Dundas)||