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Gun Primers

Natural Resources Canada Is Bang On With Draft Regs For Handloading Ammo

Canadian Shooting Sports Association

Canadian Shooting Sports Association

Canada - -( Let the bells ring out and the banners fly – Canadian ammunition purchasers and handloaders have a champion in Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

After eight full years of grappling with new draft regulations to store and acquire handloading components and ammunition, the Conservative government has acted with clear-headed resolve.

Hats off to Natural Resources Canada Minister Joe Oliver who took the time to understand that propellant powders and ammo are not a fire hazard, and have nothing to do with firearm safety.

Canada has had laws on the books for decades regulating the sale, transport and storage of propellant powders and ammunition and quite frankly, they were archaic, confusing and dangerous to our community.

We will be happy to see them thrown upon the scrap heap of lousy legislation.

The new limits imposed will not undermine the aspirations of Canadian sport shooters. And, having these proposed limits in the books precludes the need that future governments might feel to impose new measures that could be less sensitive to the needs of handloaders.

Minister Oliver and his team at the NRCan Explosives Branch understand the shooting sports. Whether sports shooters are handloaders or not, there is every reason to celebrate the NRCan draft regulations as printed in the Canada Gazette for public input. Before NRCan recommended the new generous limits of primers and ammo, the ancient former regulations stated that sports shooters were limited to possess “a reasonable quantity.”

The definition of “reasonable” depends entirely upon the interpreter. Responsible firearms owners have been burned by some police and judges whose interpretations are unbelievably ignorant of the shooter’s world. As long as actual amounts were unstated and left up to the (often anti-gun) whim of enforcers, the risk of unreasonable punishments loomed large.

Suffice to say that when the NRCan recommendations are adopted, an individual will be allowed to store a very appropriate amount of ammo, more than 99.9 percent of sport shooters would ever wish to store. And, of course, the Explosives Act does not regulate brass and bullets, just primers and powder. The new limit is the NEQ, or Net Explosive Quantity, as opposed to the “number of rounds” one can legally possess.

See where this is going? A competitive shooter can buy lots of ammo when it’s on sale and keep it stored at home without worry of reprisal. It almost sounds like we’re live in a free country, doesn’t it?

We would like to extend the personal thanks of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association and the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action (CSSA/CILA) to Minister Joe Oliver and his excellent staff, Director General Patrick O’Neill, Chief Inspector Jean-Luc Arpin, former Chief Inspector Chris Watson (ret) and his 2IC, Dave McCullough (ret) and of course, the good folks at the Prime Minister’s Office.

This is a considerable victory for sport shooters, hunters, trappers, farmers and collectors everywhere. We appreciate that the Conservative government has sufficient faith in gun owners to table regulations that don’t penalize us for who we are.

CSSA/CILA/CSAAA has worked closely with NRCan (Explosives Branch) on this important project for the past eight years. We hope to see more of this kind of collaboration between the public- and private-sectors in the years to come. Thank you for listening, Minister Oliver!

The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada’s firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities. Website

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