RIP long-gun registry. Now let’s take aim at licensing
by Ryan Shervill
Firearms licensing as we now know it in Canada needs to go. I’m sure that statement will set off alarm bells from coast to coast, with people shaking their heads in disbelief over such nonsense, but let me explain.
Over the last decade, hunters banded together with other shooters of all stripes to get rid of the reviled long-gun registry. This was a giant step forward for law-abiding firearms owners, but unless we address the major problems with the current licensing laws, the elimination of the registry isn’t really enough to help anyone who owns and uses guns.
The key issue that needs to be understood is the difference between licensing and certification. In the days before Possession and Acquisition Licences, or PALs, we had a card known as the Firearms Acquisition Certificate, which allowed people to purchase firearms. Known as an FAC, it was proof you’d undergone a criminal background check, had an interview with a police officer and there was no reason you shouldn’t own a firearm. This was a form of certification, and the only people who had to worry were criminals and those otherwise prohibited from owning firearms.