The RCMP has begun to circulate a bulletin declaring the prohibited status of 10/22 magazines capable of containing greater than 10 rounds.
More information has become available after the story broke yesterday that the RCMP were, going forward, treating any magazine designed for the 10/22 rifle and has a capacity greater than 10 cartridges as prohibited devices. They have now begun to circulate a bulletin to non-RCMP police agencies declaring that the magazines are prohibited and are to be treated as such:
“Prohibited 10/22 Platform Magazines
This concerns the classification of 22 Long Rifle (22LR) calibre cartridge magazines designed or manufactured for Ruger 10/22 rifles, Charger pistols and related firearms, commonly referred to as the “10/22 platform”.
The Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) has responded to numerous queries from individuals and firearms businesses concerning the classification of magazines designed or manufactured for Ruger brand 10/22 rifles and Charger pistols, plus clones of such firearms made by other manufacturers. The overall issue was that any 10/22 platform magazine which exceeded ten shots capacity was a prohibited device. This information was also well circulated on Canadian online forums specializing in firearms issues. The CFP specifically addressed one of the more common overcapacity 10/22 platform magazines, the Ruger BX-25 magazine, which contains 25 cartridges and is described by Ruger as being manufactured for both the Ruger 10/22 rifle series and 22 Charger pistol series, identifying the BX-25 magazine as a prohibited device (CFP Bulletin 72, 2013-09-05).
Additionally, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) decided that a similar magazine, the Ruger BX-25×2 magazine (50 shots), was a prohibited device (AP-2013-059).
Magazines up to 110 shot capacity are available. Although the 22LR cartridge is less powerful than most, it is nonetheless lethal, and combined with high capacity magazines, presents a public safety hazard and an officer safety concern when responding to incidents involving these magazines.
Notwithstanding the steps taken to inform the Canadian public and firearms businesses, it appears that prohibited 10/22 platform magazines continue to be imported into Canada and sold by unqualified businesses and individuals.
In short, 10/22 platform magazines are designed and/or manufactured for both rifles and handguns. While rimfire calibre rifle magazines are not regulated, the capacity of handgun magazines is universally limited to ten cartridges, and in consequence, 10/22 platform magazines are prohibited devices if the ten shot limit is exceeded. Whether the magazine is intended by the importer to be used in a rifle is not relevant to the classification determination.
All 22 Long Rifle calibre magazines for the 10/22 platform, regardless of brand, are prohibited devices at any capacity exceeding ten shots. The ten shot limit applies irrespective of the type of firearm it is used in. Magazines exceeding ten shots capacity are not prohibited devices if reduced in capacity to ten shots or less by pinning or by other means described in the magazine regulations.
CFP will continue to distribute the information to law enforcement (CACP, CROPS, NWEST, Public Safety Canada), businesses and clients (through CFO’s offices) concerning the classification of those magazines.”
In response, organizations such as the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association, who represent industry distributors, wholesalers, manufacturers, and media have held emergency meetings, with legal council in tow, to discuss how to handle the issue. The CSAAA released the following statement:
“We have confirmed the RCMP has internally instructed CFOs and law enforcement that any 10/22 high capacity magazine (any magazine not limited to 10 rounds) is considered prohibited. No new bulletin has been issued, the RCMP states this is based on the original Bulletin No. 72 dated March, 2011 and updated September 2013. They are claiming this is simply enforcement of an existing regulation.
The CSAAA Board met this afternoon to consider options, an announcement will be coming shortly.
In the meantime, as a result of the current controversy, the CSAAA advises wholesalers, distributors and retailers with current inventory of 10/22 high capacity magazines to cease any trade or transfers of this product until further advised. Retailers should remove them from store shelves and websites. We do not recommend destroying, returning or “turning in” this product to anyone at this time until further clarification is received.
Retailers are advised to tell their customers who currently own any of these magazines not to transfer, trade, or “turn in” these magazines at this time. Nor should they attempt to modify or “pin” the magazines themselves. Consumers should keep the products safely stored where they are and await further instructions.”
Other organizations, such as the Canadian Sport Shooting Association (CSSA) and the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights (CCFR) have already begun to plan their own courses of action as well. More impressively, a private-practice firearms lawyer has also begun to seek individuals willing to assist him in challenging the new interpretation of the law and have it reversed.