As we wind our way into fall the CFSC/CRFSC program continues to train students in ever in- creasing numbers. In conversations with our instructors, most have a waiting list and are running weekly courses, albeit with smaller groups, in order to accommodate COVID-19 protocols.
A reminder to CFSC/CRFSC instructors that, despite the new “normal”, we continue to audit courses. It appears some of the courses are not running the required number of hours. Failing to teach the required number of hours not only affects the instructor in terms of a suspension or revocation of instructor privileges; it may also disallow a student from receiving a PAL.
As per the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course Standards:
- Instructional Standards
2.1. Instructors will take a minimum of 8 hours to teach the classroom portion of the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC), not including breaks or the test. Instructors will not skip any portions of the course.
2.2. Instructors will take a minimum of 6 hours to teach the classroom portion of the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course (CRFSC), or 4 hours if delivered within 7 days of the CFSC. This does not include breaks or the tests. Instructors will not skip any portions of the course.
Remember, the student is signing in Section “A” and ensuring their information is true and accurate. You, as an instructor, in signing Section “B” confirm the CFSC/CRFSC was taught to the standards as outlined in your Instructor Agreement.
The Canadian Firearms Program and the Alberta/Northwest Territories CFO’s office began processing new applications for Possession and Acquisition Licences (PAL) in mid-June. It has been estimated that across Canada there are 45,000 new applications awaiting processing. With this significant backlog, I suspect new applications will take at least six months to process.
On the topic of the CFO, Jennifer Hart MacDonald has been appointed as the new CFO for Alberta/Northwest Territories. Jennifer’s position as Alberta/Northwest Territories CFO became effective August 10, 2020. Jennifer comes to the CFO’s position from Correctional Services Canada and will be a welcome addition to their office.
All instructors should now be aware of the implications of the May 1, 2020 Order in Council amendments to the Firearms Act, and how these prohibitions may affect firearms currently in lawful possession of Canadians. My advice when asked “What do I do with my now prohibited firearm?”, would be to keep the firearm stored securely, do not transport or use the firearm, and lastly, retain ownership of the firearm as the amnesty period is in effect until April of 2022. Given there has been a number of Court challenges filled against the validity of the Order and Council prohibitions, and rumours of a pending Federal election, we may see more changes in the near future. As instructors we may still use prohibited handguns in the CRFSC (with the 12.6 endorsements on your PAL), however, we cannot use prohibited rifles, shotguns, or other prohibited devices in our classes.
As most of you are aware, Alberta has established the “Alberta Advisory Firearms Committee” June 3 of this year. From the Alberta Government website:
“The Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee has been established to examine the impact of federal legislation on gun owners in Alberta and consider how provincial firearms policies can best meet the needs of Albertans.”
“The committee will represent groups that speak for a wide range of lawful gun owners, including farmers and ranchers, hunters, collectors and sport shooting enthusiasts.”
The committee consists of twelve members and, in reviewing their brief biographies, they are certainly a diverse group that can represent the firearms community in all aspects of firearms ownership, whether it be firearms collecting, retail sales, sport shooting or hunting. I suspect we will see town hall meetings in the fall, as part of their mandate is to hear concerns from stakeholders in Alberta.