British Columbia

More firearms being banned without public notice following May 1 order from Ottawa

A Maple Ridge gun dealer is upset after discovering some inventory is now prohibited, as federal authorities continue to reclassify firearms without public notice, following the announcement May 1 banning 1,500 gun parts.

A Maple Ridge gun dealer is upset after discovering some inventory is now prohibited

The Typhoon F12 is a semi-automatic shotgun that has, according to a Maple Ridge gun dealer, suddenly been reclassified from non-restricted to banned, even though it wasn't on the list of 1,500 weapons banned by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 1. (Matt Mendel)

Maple Ridge, B.C., gun store co-owner Matt Mendel began reading rumours online in early May, shortly after the prime minister announced a ban on 1,500 firearms and gun parts, that even more were quietly being reclassified as prohibited. 

There was no public announcement by federal authorities. Businesses like Mendel's Wanstalls Hunting and Shooting had to find out by searching the guns they sell in the national Firearms Reference Table (FRT), available to them online.  

Mendel, 32, and his staff began to check various models and sure enough some were suddenly banned — mostly shotguns.

The RCMP, which manages the FRT through the Canadian Firearms Program, sent a written statement to CBC News confirming the re-classification was taking place beyond the original list of 1,500 banned items, and that so far no public notification has taken place.

"The Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) has been working diligently to ensure that the FRT is updated to reflect all of the classification changes resulting from the Order in Council issued May 1st," read the statement, referring to Trudeau's order, adding that there are about 187,000 different items in the FRT.

The changes are surprising, Mendel says.

For example, the Typhoon F12, a semi-automatic shotgun, was listed as non-restricted on May 14, but then a subsequent FRT search the following day showed it as prohibited.

"If I wasn't a diligent business owner and constantly kept my ear to the ground with this sort of thing, I could have been selling illegal firearms to people, and people could be possessing illegal firearms without even knowing it," said Mendel.

The Typhoon F12 has a striking resemblance to the AR-15 — a semi-automatic rifle which was named by Trudeau in his May 1 announcement. But Mendel says beyond the pistol grip, adjustable butt stock and general appearance, they're entirely different guns.

Matt Mendel, 32, who co-owns a Maple ridge gun store poses with his personal Typhoon F12 semi-automatic shotgun. The gun costs about $1,000, but Mendel says they're now virtually worthless since being classified as prohibited without any public notice. (Brittany Mendel)

Including the one or two Typhoon F12 guns in his inventory, the store stands to lose $30,000 to $40,000 for a dozen firearm models that have been reclassified as prohibited, and much more over time on accessories and ammunition for these guns.

"As a business, we just hold on to that and we lose that money. We've paid for those firearms, and now they'll sit in my basement ... forever essentially," said Mendel.

List of banned firearms to be published 'in the near future'

The RCMP also said it will "publish a complete list of all the newly prohibited firearms and their variants in the near future."

The RCMP spokesperson who sent the statement said businesses have the options of returning the newly banned firearms to the manufacturer, transferring them to other businesses with appropriate privileges, legally exporting them or having them deactivated.

The spokesperson said people who own the banned guns can either wait for further instructions to take part in an expected buy-back program, or have the firearms deactivated or legally exported.

Mendel scoffed at the options presented by the RCMP, saying once they were paid for, the guns couldn't be returned to the manufacturers or distributors, deactivating them just meant taking the loss and he's still waiting to hear the details of the buy-back program.

Do you have more to add to this story? Email rafferty.baker@cbc.ca

Follow Rafferty Baker on Twitter: @raffertybaker

About the Author

Rafferty Baker is a video journalist with CBC News, based in Vancouver. You can find his stories on CBC Radio, television, and online at cbc.ca/bc.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now