This guest post is by Mike M and entry in our non-fiction writing contest .
The other day M.D. mentioned some whiny American politics where they wanted to remove second amendment rights and destroy everyone’s firearms. It’s over something about how because law-abiding citizens with firearms are the sole cause of every single death in the country. What utter nonsense.
Drugs, alcohol and motor vehicles cause way more mayhem than guns ever will. The only reason the whiny people who have too much time on their hands prattle on about guns is because unlike motor vehicles and alcohol, guns are no longer in everyone’s lives everyday. There was a time when nothing was more valuable than a good rifle, and that time may come again.
But that’s not the reason I’m writing. Today, I want to share with you what it takes to get a gun in Canada. I’m not talking an assault rifle or handgun, I’m talking about long guns, rifles and shotguns.
I wanted a rifle and a shotgun, so I started the process on February 2, 2012. I finally got my long gun license on May 1st, 2012. Yes, almost 3 months before I was allowed to purchase a long gun.
So here it is in a nutshell. In order to purchase and keep a gun, you need a license. This is federally mandated so it applies to all parts of Canada. There are three classifications of license: Non-Restricted, Restricted and Prohibited. Explained as follows:
A non restricted license entitles you to a rifle or a shotgun. The barrel of this gun must be 18.5” or longer. The overall length must be 26” or longer. You cannot have a stock that can be folded and the gun can still be fired. Magazine capacity is limited to 5 rounds for semi-automatics, 10 rounds for bolt or other action, and 3 shells for shotguns. *Note – capacity restrictions for center fire only, rim fire have no restrictions. You must keep your gun trigger locked in your home and stored out of sight. You must keep your ammunition in a separate locked container in a separate room.
A restricted license entitles you to any gun as mentioned in the non-restricted plus a rifle or shotgun with a barrel length less than 18.5”, as well as handguns. The handgun must have a barrel length no less than 4.25”. Any caliber is acceptable except for .28 and .32 caliber guns. You may only fire handguns at licensed ranges. You must both have a trigger lock on the gun itself and it must be kept in a locked box or safe. The ammunition must be kept in a separate room, locked up. You may only transport your handgun from your home to another location after getting a specific ATT (authorization to transport) every single time you want to go somewhere with it.
NO ONE gets a prohibited license. These are for fully automatic weapons and certain hand guns, sub machine guns, etc. Certain law enforcement personnel can have one, as well as museums for the purposes of historical display.
So far, we’ve seen that the license levels themselves are fairly restrictive. But what it takes to even get a non-restricted license is pretty intensive as well.
Getting a Non-Restricted license, step by step:
- Find a certified instructor to take your mandatory two day gun safety course. They are not common and my city only has one. He only teaches this course 4 to 6 times a year.
- After the two day course, you must pass a written and practical test. You must score at least 80% on each test.
- Your instructor will fill out a form to be sent to a government agency which proves you passed both tests.
- Twiddle your thumbs for 5 weeks while you wait for a stamped form to come back to you.
- Get the government stamped form back in the mail. This form is the proof that you passed the course and must be sent in with the application. Because apparently right after the government agency stamps the form for you they completely forget they did that and you have to send them a reminder. Yes, this is a frustration tangent.
- Complete your license application. This involves getting two signed references, and a third reference to say the passport photo you include is actually you. Also, you need to have your current conjugal partner to sign it (if you have one), and if you have a previous conjugal partner within the last two years, you have to give them the address and contact info for them (if you have it). Also you have to certify that you’re not some sort of nut job and agree to a police background check and I believe give a sperm sample or something I don’t know it was like 8 pages long or something.
- Send all that off in the mail. DO NOT SEND A CHECK for the $60 payment because apparently it takes them an extra 10 days to process. Give them your credit card number.
- Wait another 8 weeks or so.
- All goes well, you’ve written neatly, your credit card wasn’t maxed, and you didn’t have a government worker who was just off the boat and doesn’t understand English that well yet and needs extra time with google translate, you will get your license in the mail.
Now you can go buy a rifle and/or a shotgun! But you can’t go hunting yet because you have a mandatory hunting course to take before you can repeat a similar process as above to get your hunting license.
But you can go do some target shooting at a range. Or someone’s private property. As long as when you transport the gun it has a trigger lock, it’s not loaded and it’s out of sight (the last is not illegal but most police officers are ignorant of the law and will confiscate your weapon anyways. Then you’ll go to court 5 times, it’ll be thrown out but you’ll still have a $7,000 lawyer bill).
We won’t go into any more detail into getting a handgun because it’s just exhausting. Needless to say, do NOT let your whiny contingent of whiners take away your second amendment right! If you see anyone being irresponsible with their weapons, correct them. The whiners do not need more ammunition for their cause.
Good luck to you all and happy shooting!
This contest will end on June 5 2012 – prizes include:
Third Prize) Winner will receive copies of both of my books “31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness” and “Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution” and a Katadyn Siphon Water Filter courtesy of Mayflower Trading Company. A total prize value of $107.
Contest ends on June 5 2012.