The term “variant” does not appear in the Firearms Act or the Criminal Code and yet it is used ninety-nine times in Firearms Regulations. The definition of variant, or lack of one in our laws, has wide reaching implications with respect to the classification of and reclassification of firearms.
This 190 page response from the Justice Department has most of the pages blanked out citing the excuse of Solicitor-Client privilege and Advice to the Minister.
Interesting pages include the following:
- 158 and 159
- 284 and 285
- 287 and 288
- 290 to 293
- 342 to 345
A “variant” is usually used to describe something that varies from the original in some minor detail or characteristic. An example might be an AK-47, made by the same manufacturer, with a folding stock, or a select-fire switch, or perhaps a plastic stock. The RCMP brass, however, interpret a “variant” as anything that SHARES some single characteristic, no matter how inconsequential. Following my above example, they declared the Armi Jager AP-80 (a .22 plinking rifle, sharing identical workings with many other designs from the same manufacturer, varying only in outward appearance) to be a “variant” of the actual AK-47…with which… Read more »
…”.without such definition boundaries the term can evolve and change on a whim…. a political loophole to be certain.” The foregoing says a lot. If we look at the way the firearms act is being administered by the CFO’s (RCMP) it is obvious that a definition left up to them to interpret is exactly what they want. Furthermore, I believe that is the actual intent of those who wrote the content and those who passed it into legislation. With the liberals back you can bet it will continue to be that way in addition to whatever else they can use… Read more »
Right you are Ron: Three days ago I got this response to my most recent ‘variant’ Access request from the RCMP.
As of October 16, 2015, the total number of firearms listed in the Firearms Reference Table is 162,972.
As of October 16, 2015, the total number of firearms identified as variants based on the legal authority being linked to Part 1 and Part 2 of the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted is 4,030.
Keep up the fight, Dennis
Almost no one semi familiar with this situation can deny it is ridiculous and that it is an affront to Canadians and the law that is supposed to be the basis on which we are governed. No bureaucracy should be able to invent language that of a variation of a common word, without a clear and unambiguous definition of how and why word applies. This issue makes a mockery of the law, and an unsupported attack against the citizens affected and is a gross example questioning the competence and veracity of the bureaucratic agency that has been entrusted to simply… Read more »
The term ‘variant’ is used 99 times in the firearms regulations. It is not found in the Firearms Act or the Criminal Code. It’s the bureaucrats that use their own interpretation of the term without any political oversight that causes the most problems. I have filed the following ATIP request to find out how many times they have used (and or abused) the lack of a definition. “Reference is being made to the RCMP response to Access to Information Act File A-2013-04535 / F141 wherein the requestor asked 12 questions and the RCMP provided the answers (copy attached). Please extend… Read more »
Sometimes a definition can be overblown ie: it is obvious through common usage that the meaning is known….that is not the case here…when a term is used 99 times in an Act there should be a definition attached, either within the specific act, the criminal code or elewhere….without such definition boundaries the term can evolve and change on a whim…. a political loophole to be certain