Bill S-231 to be re-tabled by Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette

Bill S-231 may be titled “Strengthening Canadians’ Security and Promoting Hunting and Recreational Shooting” but make no mistake – this bill is not in the best interest of Canadian law-abiding gun owners.

Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette today announced via Twitter that she intends to re-table the controversial bill that, while at cursory glance at its name, sounds beneficial to the firearms community but in reality seeks to further restrict the privileges of law-abiding firearms owners nation-wide. Titled “Strengthening Canadians’ Security and Promotion Hunting and Recreational Shooting” seeks to create a definition for “hunting firearms”, amend the definition of “prohibited firearms” and to replace “restricted firearms” with “circumscribed firearms”, defined as all previous restricted firearms and all semi-automatic rifles and shotguns so that they can only be used at an approved range:

Definition 1
A hunting firearm is defined as any firearm with a smoothbore or striated barrel that is more than 470 mm long, in other words a shotgun or rifle. Semi-automatic weapons are not included in the definition of hunting firearm, with the exception of 22 calibre rim-fire semi-automatic rifles.
Definition 2
A circumscribed firearm is any firearm, other than a prohibited firearm, that has a barrel equal to or less than 470 millimetres, such as handguns or firearms that are capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner.

The updated bill, which was originally introduced in June of 2015 but did not pass second reading in the Senate, also seeks to achieve the following:

  • overhaul the current firearms program by prohibiting all firearms in Canada except hunting firearms, firearms used at shooting clubs, and collectors’ firearms, which receive special treatment;
  • redefine two of the three existing classes of firearms by making only hunting firearms legal and localizing the prohibition of restricted firearms;
  • limit the transport of circumscribed firearms to transporters — which have no interest other than providing secure transportation — thus controlling the movement of firearms in Canada;
  • replace the registration certificate with an inscription certificate. You can appreciate that the terms “registration” and “registered” have been used so often that we simply thought that using the term “inscription” would eliminate some anxiety. I think that using the term inscription does not evoke feelings of fear;
  • strengthen the role of the RCMP with a statutory provision;
  • undo all the provisions of Bill C-42, except for the prohibition on obtaining a licence to possess and acquire firearms following a domestic violence conviction
  • prohibit licensed firearms owners from storing centre-fire semi-automatic firearms in their own homes

Senator Hervieux-Payette, whose mandatory retirement is in less than two weeks, calls this bill “bold and progressive”. It’s bold, alright, but it’s anything but progressive. She also claims that she is not against firearms, but her actions speak louder than words. This is her last-ditch effort to have her name put on something before she is no longer eligible to hold a seat in the Senate, but nonetheless we should let her know what our words and actions are.

Her contact information can be found here:

The full text of the bill can be read here:

Senatory Hervieux-Payette’s original announcement can be read here: