Team CSSA E-News Special
Team CSSA is pleased to provide you with this handy reference guide to the various firearm policies of the fourteen candidates vying for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.

For those of you who purchased a Conservative Party of Canada membership by the March 28 deadline, this is especially important for you. 

With the Liberal government set to introduce new gun laws in Parliament this spring, we cannot stress enough the importance of choosing a Conservative leader we can trust to effectively represent the interests of Canada's law-abiding gun community. 

Details on how to vote can be found  here.

The next Conservative leader may well be the next Prime Minister of Canada in 2019!

*The final CPC leadership debate will take place in Toronto on April 26 at 6 p.m


Canada is one of the safest and most law-abiding countries in the world, where the freedom to pursue personal interests that do not harm others is enshrined in our constitution and laws.  

When it comes to firearms, no one is arguing that risks to public safety caused by the behaviour of criminals must be dealt with swiftly and decisively.  Enforcement of firearms legislation needs to be appropriately directed at those who disregard the law and intentionally put lives at risk.  This is the category of individual that will get my full attention.

Unfortunately in the current political climate too much focus of resources and regulation is directed at the law-abiding firearms community.  The evidence has shown that the millions of hunters and sports shooting enthusiasts in this country conduct themselves with both a respect for the law and a within a culture that prioritizes safety first. It is unfair and improper to treat these Canadians as if they are engaging in suspicious activities that warrant excessive scrutiny.

As prime minister my government will be committed to:

* Rewriting the Firearms Act to ensure classification of firearms are based upon objective performance  characteristics, not simply by appearance (as in the case of the AR 15).
* Removing the classification of firearms from the mandate of the RCMP.
* Establishing an independent firearm classification body made up of civilian and professional stakeholders, including manufacturers and the police, accountable to elected officials - not bureaucrats.  
* Ensuring that classification changes causing confusion and uncertainty to existing firearms​, (i.e., non-restricted to restricted, or restricted to prohibited), are not permitted.
* Decriminalizing administrative firearms offences such as having an expired license.
* Ensuring that legally owned firearms are seen as personal private property under the law.

Canadian Firearms laws are broken, and I want to fix them.

At the whim of a bureaucrat, firearms are assigned new classifications. 

Legally purchased firearms are being made illegal, even though no laws have changed. 

This needs to stop. 

The firearms laws are so complicated, and so convoluted, that they have become the perfect example of injustice in the name of justice. 

To fix this, I propose we replace the current Firearms Act with clear legislation based on reason, not on fear. 

Firearms ownership is part of our shared Canadian heritage. We are a country founded on the fur trade. This needs to be recognized. 

I also recognize that we need to protect public safety and avoid the excesses that exist south of the border. 

There are three main areas to look at when considering firearms legislation. Licensing; classification of firearms; and magazine sizes. 

I do not propose that we replace our current licensing system. Instead, we should ensure that firearms safety courses are more readily available, especially in rural and remote areas. 

I will double the length of firearms licenses from 5 to 10 years. 

Firearms license-holders are automatically subjected to daily background checks. If a firearms license-holder commits a crime, his or her license is revoked. There is no need to go through the renewal process every 5 years. 

We need to provide clear, non-arbitrary legislation for what constitutes a non-restricted, restricted, or prohibited firearm. 

Firearms should not be classified based on how they look, but on how they function. 

I propose the following classifications: 


(a)   a firearm that is not a prohibited or restricted firearm. 


(a) a fully-automatic firearm,

(b) a firearm that is adapted from a rifle or shotgun, whether by sawing, cutting or any other alteration, and that, as so adapted, is less than 660 mm in length.

(c) a firearm that is listed as prohibited prior to June 20, 2016. 


(a) a firearm that is not a prohibited firearm,

(b) a handgun that is not a prohibited firearm,

(c) a firearm that is designed or adapted to be fired when reduced to a length of less than 660 mm by folding, telescoping or otherwise.

This is in line with the Simplified Classification System, adopted by Conservative members at the Policy Convention in Vancouver last year. 

The current regulation of magazine sizes is irrational. Our internationally competitive shooters are forced to practice with magazines below standard capacity. 

This makes no sense. It’s clear that those who are not inclined to follow the law will not be deterred by having to remove a rivet from a magazine. 

My proposal would repeal the ineffective, and frankly nonsensical, magazine capacity restrictions. 

The classification of firearms should not change by the whim of the RCMP, or cabinet. It should require a change in law through Parliament to re-classify a firearm. 

To respect our Canadian tradition of firearms ownership, and the principle of fairness, I would have the Canadian government reimburse all firearms owners for their loss of property resulting from the implementation of Bill C-68, and any subsequent legislation that caused the confiscation of their legally purchased firearms. 

This policy, like all my policies, is based on freedom and responsibility, fairness and respect.

I believe it is the right answer for firearms legislation in Canada.

As Public Safety Minister in the Harper government, I got thousands of letters from law abiding citizens asking to be treated with dignity and not like criminals just because they liked hunting or sport shooting. These are fundamental traditional and patrimonial Canadian activities.

It is no wonder liberals treat legitimate firearm owners with such disdain. They are considered second class Canadians. The Liberals clearly outlined their vision with Liberal Justice Allan Rock saying :  "I came to Ottawa with the firm belief that the only people in this country who should have guns are police officers and soldiers."

I disagree very strongly with that view.

As a response, I introduced and passed the " Common Sense Firearm Licensing Act (C-42)" with the help of dedicated conservative parliamentarians like MP's Garry Breitkreuz from Saskatchewan and Robert "Bob" Sopuck from Manitoba.

However, we are not done yet. We need to further fix the Liberals’ wrongdoings without compromising safety. Therefore, today I present you with my "Respect for gun owners” reform.

With the  Charter of Rights of Gun Owners, I will reaffirm the rights of law abiding gun owners and add oversight by hiring an ombudsman to protect their rights. I will also streamline the complicated and biased firearm classification system. Instead of having the RCMP deal with it, I will transfer the Canadian Firearms Program directly to the Ministry of Public Safety, where it should always have been.

I want to restore the service standards which I put in place and which the Liberals just abolished a few months ago for the new firearms evaluation process. I want to avoid bureaucrats dragging their feet to promote a hidden agenda. I want to avoid erratic decisions like the Swiss Arms nightmare by putting a fair and transparent review process in place.

Finally, I will restore the precious Firearms Advisory Committee which was scrapped by the Liberals. In the past, this committee’s advice proved invaluable.

I want to keep our country safe and keep illegal guns out of our streets without strangling law abiding citizens with tons of worthless red tape.

I did it and will keep doing it because that is the right thing to do.
I thank you for your attention. It's time to restore sanity in Ottawa. 

Michael voted for the elimination of the long gun registry, and does not support the re-introduction of a long gun registry. As a rural MP and a farmer, he understands the importance of this issue. 

“I believe that government should not interfere in the legal use of firearms by hunters, farmers, sport shooters and other law-abiding citizens. Hunting and other legal uses of firearms are an important part of Canadian culture and an important part of a rural way of life."

Canada has a long-standing tradition of using firearms for hunting and for recreational purposes. My grandfather was a farmer in Manitoba. He hunted ducks and geese and was an active member of Ducks Unlimited. I grew up in Fort McMurray where hunting is a part of the fabric of life for many. 

So I understand the importance of firearms to law-abiding Canadians right across this country. Very often, firearms are cherished possessions with a great deal of sentimental value, invoking memories of our parents and grandparents. 

I supported the Harper government’s decision to scrap the long-gun registry and, as Prime Minister, I will never institute another. I believe the current regulations we have regarding firearms are adequate but I think we can improve the regulatory system in the following ways: 

  1. We should recognize that guns are personal property and should be treated as such by the government.
  2. There is too much subjectivity in the classification system. It should be replaced with clear objective criteria to ensure certainty for gun owners.
  3. Firearms classifications should not be the sole purview of the RCMP. Those decisions should be made by an organization made up of Canadian citizens including primarily those who use guns — farmers, sports shooters, and hunters — as well as law enforcement.
  4. Gun licenses should be good for 10 years (from the current 5) to reduce the paperwork burden for law-abiding gun owners. 

These are the policies that I will implement as Prime Minister.


My background and experience with firearms, compared to other leadership candidates, is extensive and credible.

I joined the military at 17 and I served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 20 years at the rank of LCol.

I served as a Range Safety Officer on handgun, rifle and machine gun ranges.

I am a firearm owner myself and am a competitive sport shooter (IPSC – Black Badge qualified, Cowboy Action Shooting).

My firearms action plan includes:

  • Launching a comprehensive review of the Firearms Act,including all relevant sections from C-51, C-17, and C-68 
  • Removing the RCMP from the regulation and rule-making role they currently possess.  The RCMP should not both make rules and enforce them - this is a conflict of interest.
  • Opening the Chief Firearm Officer position to all qualified and experienced Canadians.  I am not convinced that only a police officer can be a CFO
  • Creating a Firearms Advocate/Ombudsman with an official mandate to represent millions of law-abiding gun-owning Canadians in their struggles with Ottawa bureaucracy
  • Promoting the construction of new target ranges to give more Canadians opportunities to safely enjoy recreational firearms use
  • Implementing a more simple and open firearm classification system, including changes to rules around ammunition, magazines and barrel requirements
  • Increasing the renewal period for licenses from 5 to 10 years
  • Rescinding the onerous UN Firearm Marking regulations.  Every firearm already has a unique identifier – its serial number. 

I understand firearm issues because I am a firearm owner myself and because I am regularly at the range with other firearm owners.

The government needs to stop targeting law abiding gun owners and instead focus its energies on stopping the criminal use firearms.


March 29, 2017

Hunting in Canada is $15-billion industry. It provides thousands of jobs in manufacturing, distribution, sales, and tourism. Kevin O’Leary believes this important sector needs to be supported through the following actions:

Plain Language Re-write:

The 144-page Firearms Act is convoluted and impossible for gun owners, shooting clubs, and even police to understand.  An O’Leary government will repeal the Act and replace it with sensible laws that Canadians can actually understand. This will be based on the resolutions from the 2016 CPC policy convention to:

  • Not deprive Canadian citizens of their legally acquired firearms.
  • Recognize that civilian firearm ownership is a Canadian Heritage.
  • Streamline firearms classification by adopting the Simplified Classification System.
  • Order a review of firearms-related laws to identify parts of those Acts that have no public safety value

Law Making and Classification:

Justin Trudeau removed firearms experts from the firearms advisory committee in a wrong-headed political move. An O’Leary government would reverse this decision and appoint industry experts to this committee to ensure it receives balanced advice.

An O’Leary government would also make changes to move law making back to Cabinet, and have the RCMP focus on enforcement. An O’Leary cabinet will be held accountable for their decision and will not hide behind the arbitrary and unaccountable classifications made by nameless and faceless bureaucrats.

As part of its commitment to a plain language re-write, an O’Leary government will support a simple classification system, and will not restrict firearms based on appearance. For example, the AR-15 should NOT be classified as a restricted firearm. As one of the most common hunting firearms in the world, an O’Leary government will remove this unjust restriction and permit them to be used for hunting.

UN Markings: 

Justin Trudeau’s move to implement the UN Marking Regulations in Canada is ridiculous and unnecessary. Everything Canada needs to trace firearms is already contained in the serial number and other information on firearms. By requiring these regulations in Canada, Trudeau is unnecessarily burdening our firearm industry in a punitive way. An O’Leary government would reverse this policy.

By CJ Summers | Free Mind Republic | December 13, 2016

Excerpts ...

Longest serving Conservative MP in Canada’s 42nd Parliament   Opposition Critic for International Development (2015-Present) Parliamentary Secretary for International Human Rights (2013-2015) Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (2006-2015) Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation (2008-2008/2010-2011) MP Riding of Calgary Forest Lawn (2015-Present) MP Riding of Calgary East (1997-2011)

Mr. Obhrai REFUSED to answer any of the questions submitted by YOU, the firearms community. Instead - this is what he wanted me to say:

“Say what I just told you to say! I do not own a gun, as I said in my debate - the only thing I shoot with is a camera. I have a strong association with Garry Breitkreuz, I want you to write his name, he was a member of our caucus. He was a champion, I support him, he was an MP from Saskatchewan - that recreational use of long guns is within the rights of all Canadians... ok?”.... “Ok, bye.”  

Full Interview:


Canada is a nation with proud rural and outdoor traditions. Learning to hunt or target shoot with a family member is a way of life for millions of Canadians and must be respected. Firearm owners, be they hunters, farmers or sport shooters are among the most law-abiding citizens in Canada.

As leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, I will:

  • Oppose efforts to reverse the former Conservative government’s policy advances on firearms, including new restrictions on transportation and use, which I will repeal within 180 days of forming government.
  • Oppose regulations that do not advance public safety and instead penalize law abiding firearm owners. This includes the arbitrary reclassification of firearms and magazines.

As Prime Minister of Canada I will:

  • Repeal the Firearms Act and replace it with legislation developed through an expert-driven process that includes manufacturers, owners, and law enforcement.
  • Commission an expert-driven redesign of firearm classification based on a clear legislative definition of the term “variant” in consultation with manufacturers, owners and law enforcement.
  • Mandate a return to the 180-day period for the re-designed classification system to release firearm import decisions and put final authority for classification decisions back in the hands of cabinet.
  • Focus the resources of the federal government on criminals engaged in the trafficking and use of illegal firearms instead of imposing more layers of bureaucracy on law-abiding Canadians.
  • Support specialized illegal firearms enforcement led by the CBSA and RCMP working closely with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States, to target smuggling operations before illegal firearms reach the border.


Conservative Party leadership candidate Rick Peterson today announced a Five-Point Firearms policy that proposes bold and sweeping changes to Canada’s gun laws.

“As the son of a former RCMP officer, and as a recreational upland game bird hunter who grew up in rural northern Alberta, I’m very aware of the need for a common sense approach to gun laws in Canada,” he said.

“We have to balance legitimate public safety concerns with the rights and responsibilities of gun owners and recreational shooters. As Prime Minister in 2019 I will take steps to immediately rebalance the current unfairness in gun legislation that clearly and unfairly punishes law-abiding gun owners.”

Peterson’s Five-Point Firearms policy contains the following provisions:

  1. Scrap the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee – this body is appointed at the whim of the Public Safety Minister and is open to political appointments that suit the government bias of the day. The most recent Liberal appointments last week point to the dangers of that. Of the current 10 members, only two are professed firearms owners. Replace it with a balanced 9-person, non-partisan Firearms Public Advisory board elected by a free vote of MPs and whose members would be composed of gun owners, law enforcement officials and members of the general public.
  2. Redirect firearms regulation authority from the RCMP – firearms laws should be the sole responsibility of Parliament.
  3. Establish a Common Sense Code for Firearms Possession –  that would be enacted within legislation and include the following measures:- Streamline firearms classification using the Simplified Classification System – emphasis on barrel length, not gun appearance
    * Establish an “Elite” registration system permitting concealed carry for off-duty police officers, military, CBSA officers or other officials permitted to carry firearms during the line of duty
    * Create a class for restricted firearms (handguns) for forestry workers, prospectors in isolated areas as well as certain recreational users (e.g. bow hunters, fishermen)
    * Allow the use of sound suppressors in shooting ranges
    * Withdraw from the United Nations Firearms Marking System – significant financial penalties for Canadian firearms owners with no benefits
  4. Ramp-up Education – using the “Junior Achievement” model for introducing financial education for youth, work with school boards and local volunteers to offer a “firearm safety initiation/training” course for youth and general public.
  5. Increase Resources – double the current number of federal instructors qualified to offer firearms safety instruction courses thereby eliminating the current bottleneck faced by potential registrants who are unable to access courses in a timely manner.

“My Five-Point Plan will bring common sense to gun legislation in Canada,” said Peterson, “and it provides support for the large and growing number of new gun enthusiasts, including the largest growth segment, which is women.”

“As Leader of our Party, and then as Prime Minister, I’m looking forward to taking a leadership role in this very important file.”


By CJ Summers | Freemind Republic | February 1, 2017

Excerpts ...

Do you think Canada's existing gun laws need to be rewritten?
I believe government can address gangs and criminals with measures that actually work to prevent and reduce crime, while prioritizing the rights of law abiding firearms owners. I was a proud member of the Harper government that repealed portions of the Canadian Firearms Registry in 2012 and brought in prudent changes to our gun laws. I want to re-assure gun owners I have no intention of restricting firearms any further. I will roll back any changes the Trudeau government bring forward in this regard. I grew up in Cape Breton where hunting is a way of life. I would never want to restrict this hobby.

Should the RCMP continue to be the body in charge of firearms regulation in Canada?
Thanks to Justin Trudeau, the number of bureaucrats in Ottawa is at its highest level in seven years. In their first year in power, the Liberals have already increased that number by 10.5%. This is not sustainable and my priority is for less and smarter government where we eliminate bureaucracies wherever possible. I have an open mind to changing how the RCMP oversees its current responsibilities. As you know there were studies undertaken in the past few years to look into changing the administration structure of the RCMP to include more civilian oversight and I see no reason to not pursue those discussions further to have the most effective structure in place.

Do you think self-defense is a legitimate reason for firearms possession?
Yes. Free citizens have a right to self-defense. I am in favor of protecting the rights of law abiding firearm owners. From experience, I know that politicians can arrive in Ottawa and quickly lose touch with the hard-working people who elected them. But I am different. I've never forgotten how hard I had to work to become a member of Parliament and cabinet minister under Stephen Harper. The Conservative Party I would lead would be based on the values of principled, pragmatic conservatism – one that believes in:

  • Personal liberty,
  • Individual accountability,
  • Family Support,
  • Safety, and
  • Tradition.
    Do you believe the AR-15 should remain restricted?

As I said, my priority is keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists, not making it harder or easier for free citizens to buy them. I think there are many stakeholders from manufacturers to firearm owners to law enforcement agencies that should have an opportunity for input before a final decision is made.

Will you commit to removing sound suppressors from the prohibited device list? Further to that, what are your thoughts around magazine size restrictions?
I will listen to the best advice from all parties on these two issues. I commit to reviewing this restriction in collaboration with firearm owners to ensure the regulations are not unfairly penalizing law abiding citizens. My vision for the Conservative Party is a coalition based on common values of hard work, optimism, and self-reliance. These are my values. They are Conservative values. They are Canadian values.

Will you commit to ensure that no existing non-restricted firearms, restricted firearms or devices would be classified as prohibited under your leadership?
My track record is of a collaborative, decisive leader who is sensitive to the concerns of others, but focused on providing positive outcomes for all Canadians. I can commit to listening to firearms owners on these issues to ensure these devices would not be re-classified. I will respect and protect responsible firearms owners.

How do we protect property rights, especially when it relates to firearms?
As I said earlier, I am in favor of protecting the rights of law abiding firearm owners. If there are legislative changes required at the federal level, or discussions to be had with provinces and municipalities, I commit to leading them. We have to follow the values of rural and small town Canada. Which are my conservative values made real. The values of an honest day’s work. Where we celebrate tradition while embracing renewal. Where we are never making excuses for ourselves, or accepting excuses of others.The values of family. Of faith. Of Community. Of Compassion. The values of right and wrong. And being accountable to ourselves and each other. Those are the values of the Canada I know and follow.

Full interview:


By CJ Summers | Free Mind Republic | December 21, 2016 

Excerpts ...

I grew up in a fishing and hunting lodge in British Columbia - so my first job was digging and selling worms for fisherman when they were looking for Rainbow or Kokanee. I have also been a sport shooter for quite sometime, it started with pellet guns when I was a kid, and it went from there - I am very familiar with the sport.” -Andrew Saxton

Do you think Canada’s existing gun laws need to be rewritten? 
First of all, when it comes to private property - we need to give gun owners certainty and consistency. When they purchase a firearm, when they know what the classification is - we need to make sure the classification is not arbitrarily changed. It is a very serious thing when the classification is changed, and it should be done on very rare circumstances. I think that we need to separate the law making from the law enforcement. That is something that has been blurred in the past - look, the RCMP does a good job at law enforcement, but they should not be making the laws as well.

Should the RCMP continue to be the body in charge of firearms regulation in Canada? 
No. I think it should be with elected officials on the advice of experts from Public Safety Canada.

Do you think self-defense is a legitimate reason for firearms possession?
Personally, I do not think that firearms owners should have to justify why they own or purchase firearms. It is their own business.

Do you believe the AR-15 should remain restricted?
I think that classification should be based on objective evidence, it should not be based on what something looks like. It should only be based on objective criteria. The criteria needs to be use and functionality.

Will you commit to removing sound suppressors from the prohibited devices list? Further to that, what are your thoughts around magazine size restrictions? 
I think both of these questions refer to classification issues. Again, classification need to be made by elected officials, under the advise from experts from public safety. Let’s face it, a lot of MP’s are not experts on firearms. They will be basing their decisions on the recommendations of the experts. I think a panel or committee would be a good idea - under the support of the Public Safety Ministry.

Will you commit to ensure that no existing non-restricted firearms, restricted firearms or devices would be classified as prohibited under your leadership? 
Firearm owners deserve consistency and certainty when they purchase firearms - there should only be reclassification's under very rare circumstances. I believe in private property rights, I do not believe in expropriation. We need to protect private property rights, and therefore reclassification should only be done in rare circumstances.

How do we protect property rights, especially when it pertains to firearms?
As long as firearms owners are following the law, that should be enough for government. Seizing the firearms in High River was not supposed to be the purpose of why the police entered those homes - as long as we have law abiding firearms owners, they should be respected. I know for a fact that criminals do not register their firearms, that is why I was part of a government that scrapped the Long Gun Registry - because it was ineffective and ridiculously expensive.

Full Interview:

I believe law-abiding Canadians should not have to justify to the government why they need a firearm. 

For too long, the federal government has put heavy restrictions on those who respect and follow the law while doing virtually nothing to stop the criminals who ignore it. I believe we need laws that will deter criminal activity and respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

When I am Prime Minister I will:

  • Remove the power of the RCMP to arbitrarily make reclassifications. 
  • Define terms like “variant” in legislation.
  • Repeal restrictions on magazines like the 10/22
  • Repeal the UN Firearms-Marking Regulations 
  • Strengthen the Firearms Advisory Council 
  • Decriminalize administrative infractions such as late renewal of a recently-expired firearms licence. 
  • Create a Firearms Ombudsman

I will always be on the side of law-abiding gun owners. My policy will ensure that law enforcement officers aren’t forced to waste their time policing those who follow the laws, and can concentrate their efforts on actual criminal activity with regards to guns.

What do you think of my ideas for gun-owners? If you agree with me - let me know. 

Thirty years of ineffective Liberal firearms legislation have proven that law-abiding gun owners aren't responsible for violent crime. They never have been. What a waste of billions of your tax dollars! It also proves the point Reform Party Members of Parliament warned everyone about in 1994 and 1995.

As Leader of the federal Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition, I will PUSH for the following and as Prime Minister, in my first mandate I will:

  1. Repeal Bill C-68, returning Canada to the effective gun control regime that existed in 1994;
  2. Convert all existing Possession and Acquisition Licenses to the more effective Firearms Acquisition Certificate (FAC);
  3. Empower valid FACs to provide the holders with a comprehensive Canada-Wide Authorization to Transport;
  4. Create a Prohibited List of those persons too dangerous to own firearms requiring mandatory reporting of change of addresses for those on the list who have been convicted of violent crimes;
  5. Relax Authorization to Carry Procedures so off-duty police officers can carry firearms;
  6. Allow licensed gun owners of prohibited firearms to take them to once again federally approved firearms ranges; and
  7. Make the destruction of all seized firearms optional for municipalities and police services so seized firearms can be auctioned to holders of valid FACs and authorized firearms dealers.

(For further details and background information on Brad's firearms policy click here.)

If - like me - you believe that law-abiding, responsible firearms owners deserve to be treated with respect and fairness, I need your help. 

Take action now by making a tax-deductible contribution to my campaign. Your support will help me continue to fight for effective firearms policies that target and punish criminals, not law-abiding and responsible gun owners and users.

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