MP Bob Zimmer has released a public statement on the recent CZ 858 “Spartan” prohibition, calling the changes “snap judgements” and “unnecessary”
The rifles, which are a special edition of the popular Tactical-2P variant of the 858, feature special markings that include a Spartan helmet and the text “Molon Labe” – both common symbols of defiance that translate to “Come and Take Them” – printed into the receiver and stock. They also sport a Canadian maple leaf in the pistol grips.
The CZ 858 was previously prohibited in 2014 after the RCMP determined they were “converted automatics”, but the classification was overruled by then-Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney who amended the Firearms Act so that they were exempted and returned to non-restricted status.
According to the RCMP, the markings on the Spartan version do not match the description for the Tactical-2P, despite being functionally identical, and thus constitute as a different model of the firearm – a model that is not subject to the exemption.
“This is another example of bureaucracy overstepping and making snap judgements that do nothing but cost law-abiding gun owners and manufacturers unnecessarily. The justification that is given for this particular prohibition is that there are markings on the receiver, stock, pistol grip and handguard that make it a special edition. Given that this “special edition” isn’t specifically named as an exemption they have decided to label it as prohibited.
“The RCMP already attempted to reclassify the CZ 858 rifle in February of 2014 but in July of 2015, Minister Stephen [sic] Blaney amended that classification in order to protect the rights of law abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters.
“I, once again, call on Commissioner Paulson as well as Minister Goodale to put a stop to these unnecessary changes that do nothing to promote public safety and only cause uncertainty within the firearms community.”
Zimmer has been outspoken on a number of misdoings by the RCMP on the matter of firearms, including the Ruger 10/22 magazine controversy.
Rod Giltaca, President of the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights (CCFR), also expressed concerns. “What may not be as apparent are the implications of the basis on which the RCMP generated a new FRT”, he wrote.
“At this point, it seems this was based simply on a …new engraving or marking of the receiver. What are the implications here? Any unprecedented markings or inscriptions create new firearms in need of classification? What about the 100’s of thousands of custom engraved firearms that have been imported over the past 20 years?”
Giltaca continued, stating that the CCFR will be looking into options to address the issue and urged people to write to their MPs. “This is yet another serious precedent. While we see what we can do about this latest scandal, you can help by writing to your MP.”
Information on how to contact your Member of Parliament can be found here.