ANTIQUE PISTOLS RECLASSIFIED IN CANADA – Silvercore Firearms Training BC
Recently there have been a number of questions regarding the RCMP’s reclassifications of antique handguns. This issue is particularly troubling due to the misunderstanding surrounding antique handguns in the first place. Lets start off with how the antique firearms regulations have historically been applied in Canada. Here is the excerpt from the RCMP’s site:
Handguns: manufactured before 1898 that can discharge only rim-fire cartridges, other than .22 Calibre Short, .22 Calibre Long or .22 Calibre Long Rifle cartridges;
manufactured before 1898 that can discharge centre-fire cartridges, other than a handgun designed or adapted to discharge .32 Short Colt, .32 Long Colt, .32 Smith and Wesson, .32 Smith and Wesson Long, .32‑20 Winchester, .38 Smith and Wesson; .38 Short Colt, .38 Long Colt, .38-40 Winchester, .44‑40 Winchester, or .45 Colt cartridges.
Ever since the act was introduced, this has been interpreted the same way. If the firearm in question was produced prior to 1898 and is not chambered in the calibers listed above, or the firearm has not been altered to fire those calibers, it was recognized as an antique under the firearms act. As an example, If you owned a Colt revolver built prior to 1898, which was rechambered from 38 Long Colt (on the exemption list) to 38 special, or 44 Special (not on the list) It was recognized as an antique. This firearm can be bought and sold without a license, and shot anywhere you can legally discharge a non restricted firearm.
Several weeks ago at the same time that the Swiss Arms and CZ858 became prohibited, the RCMP changed their interpretation of the law, affecting the classifications of many antique firearms. Now, the RCMP does not recognize that same firearm as being antique because it was originally built in a non antique caliber. The FRT #’s which historically showed these firearms as antique, have now been changed to restricted and prohibited. There are a number of issues with this, including the fact that antique letters have been issued for these guns for many years, showing them as antiques.
They have been imported, de-registered, sold and traded without licenses as allowed under the act. It is our opinion that the only solution here is to change the firearms act to recognize all firearms prior to 1899 as antique.
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