This is Part 3 in our series on the UN Marking Scheme and what it means for Canadian gun owners.
Canada –-(Ammoland.com)- Will Canada’s domestic firearms industry survive the implantation of the UN Marking Scheme?
The short answer? Maybe, but it will be significantly changed.
Our domestic firearm industry is not large enough, nor is it profitable enough, to absorb the huge start-up and annual expense for marking firearms. Nor will consumers be willing to foot that tab in the form of higher firearm and ammunition costs.
The long answer is contained in the rest of this article. Let’s begin.
Canada imports approximately 650,000 firearms (including airguns) per year.
A time and cost analysis conducted by a major Canadian firearm importer revealed its best time to mark a firearm, including setting it up in the machine and returning it to its factory packaging, was approximately 20 minutes. That means a single Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) operator with two assistants could successfully mark 24 firearms per day (3 per hour x 8 hour work shift) with a single laser engraver.
Simple math says the number of man-days required to process 650,000 firearms at the rate of 24 per work day is 27,083 man-days. There are 248 work days per year allowing for statutory holidays. That means Canadian firearm importers would require 109 highly trained technicians (with 218 assistants) working on CNC marking machines every single work day of the year to process the firearms imported into Canada in a single year.
The cost of those technicians, using a base rate of $28 per hour (not including benefits) and minimum wage for the assistants ($10.70/hr) would yield a total salary cost per year (not including benefits) of $10,703,201.60.
Each technician must have their own Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Laser Engraving machine at a startup cost of about $75,000 for the laser engraving machine. That’s almost $8.2 million just for the CNC Laser Engraving machines.
Every firearm must have a set of fixtures to hold every individual make and model of firearm that importer handles. Every single make and model of firearm requires laser engraving fixture specifically for that make and model at a cost of roughly $3,000 each. You cannot use the fixture of a Beretta 92 handgun for a Sig Sauer P-226. Nor can you use the fixture for a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun on a Ruger 10/22 rifle. For ease of figuring, let’s say there are only 100 different firearms imported into Canada annually. There are A LOT more than that, but this will keep the math simple.
Each of the 109 laser engraving technicians requires 3 sets of each fixture for each firearm. That’s $32.7 million dollars alone for the fixtures to hold just 100 firearms in each of the engraving machines.
Admittedly, some importers will need less fixtures, but others may need more. Since firearm importers do not have machine shops where these machines can be set up, they must either build or lease a suitable building to house the firearm marking portion of their business. Warehouse space rents for roughly $4-5 per square foot, so a warehouse space of 300′ x 100′ would cost a minimum of $120,000 per year to lease.
Those spaces must be alarmed and be guarded around the clock seven days a week. Those costs will surely be respectable.
Every single firearm importer in Canada must build or lease a space, populate it with CNC Laser Engraving machines and capable staff and guard it around the clock.
Every. Single. Importer. Every single importer will bear these costs. Overnight, the smaller firearm importers may close up shop or become re-sellers of very expensive used firearms. The cost of implementation is simply too high. The larger importers, if they can see a business case for the massive expenditure and a path to recouping those costs from everyday Canadians, may move forward. But only if they can see a path to sustainability that allows them to remain profitable.
It’s not hard to see why the costs are so astronomical to implement the UN’s Firearm Marking scheme.
The figures here cover only the basics of what is required to implement the UN Marking Scheme and are by no means complete. Yet just this short list of expenses, with the $40.9 million start up costs being amortized into the totals, and an annual total over $10.8 million to engrave 650,000 firearms annually are staggering. Add in all the other costs not mentioned here, such as heat, lights, power, administration, computer systems and software, etc., and it’s not hard to comprehend why the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) – the firearm industry group that lobbies on behalf of hunting and shooting in Canada – estimates the total cost to apply “CA 17” to a firearm could reach into the hundreds of dollars per firearm.
Is this massive expense worth it when the systems in place in Canada and at firearm manufacturers TODAY already allow us to track a firearm from place and date of manufacture, to the date of arrival at Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for import into Canada, to the final Canadian firearm distributor?
Can Canada’s firearm industry survive these enormous costs applied to every firearm imported into the country?
Sadly, it is very unlikely.
In short order, the number of Canadian firearm importers may dwindle to single digits where only the largest importer could stand a chance of surviving such a massive tax – all to duplicate existing systems that track firearms imported into Canada.
But if you can’t ban guns, the next best thing to do is to collapse the industries that import them, right?
If you disagree with Canada’s looming implementation of the Firearm Marking Regulations, please write to the following people and express politely why you think this is a bad idea for Canada.
- The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
- Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale
- Your own federal Member of Parliament
You can find the contact information for MPs and Minsters here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members