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Under the Firearms Act, which took effect Dec. 1, 1998, firearms owners in Canada have until January 1, 2001 to obtain a licence (renewable every five years) and until January 1, 2003 to register each firearm (one time only).

The BC Institute Against Family Violence encourages firearms owners to comply with these requirements because:

  • the old law did not require a permit to possess a firearm, only to acquire one
  • persons at risk from family violence have a say in preventing their abuser from obtaining or keeping a licence
  • the new law will provide police with the information to enforce orders prohibiting possession of firearms and
  • police attending domestic disputes will have information about each of the firearms in the house

In 1996, 32% of all domestic homicides involved firearms. In the 59 domestic firearm homicides, rifles and shotguns were used in 70% of cases. Legally acquired firearms are also used to threaten and intimidate spouses. Separating spouses are particularly at risk of violence.

However, under the Firearms Act many of these owners will not be able to acquire a licence or will face revocation of their licence because of a history of psychiatric treatment or domestic violence.

The Canadian Firearms Registry On-Line now contains data on 425,454 gun owners and 1.3 million firearms. This system is accessed by police an average of 1500 times a day.

For more information visit:

Canadian Firearms Registry www.cfc-ccaf.gc.ca
Gun Control Coalition www.guncontrol.ca


This page last updated February 8, 2010. R. Croft.
Copyright (c) 1996 - 2018 BC Institute Against Family Violence.