Feds launch studies of gun industry and environmental impact of lead bullets


OTTAWA – The federal government is launching an “in-depth” study of the country’s civilian firearms industry as part of a program to combat gun crime and weapons smuggling and trafficking.

A request for proposal seeking research bids was posted this week by Public Works.

The study, Characteristics of the Canadian Firearms Industry Supplying the Civilian Market, is to be completed by March 31, 2014.

Public Safety Canada wants up-to-date details on who is manufacturing civilian weapons, who’s selling them, who’s buying, who is exporting and importing and who works in the industry.

The research is also to examine “marketing approaches, prevalence and influence of the Internet on the import/export/domestic sales of firearms, estimate of volume and value of sales (and) market profitability,” among many other factors, including international comparisons.

The study falls under the Investments to Combat the Criminal Use of Firearms (ICCUF) program, a $10-million-a-year interdepartmental initiative that includes Public Safety, the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency and the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada.

The ICCUF was created in 2004 with a five-year mandate that was made permanent by the Conservatives in 2009.

“To have an informed, national enforcement strategy to address gun crime and trafficking of firearms, the government of Canada must first have co-ordinated and comprehensive national firearm intelligence-gathering and analysis,” according to Public Safety Canada’s website.

The government’s request for proposal was posted the same day the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear a Quebec bid to preserve the last of the federal long-gun registry data.

The Conservative government passed legislation in 2012 to destroy millions of gun registrations, a move that was opposed by police forces who said the information helped combat gun crime, including firearms smuggling and trafficking.

The destruction of data on more than five million firearms from all provinces and territories except Quebec was completed last autumn and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney says Ottawa will be pressing the Supreme Court to allow the job to be completed.

Tony Bernardo, spokesman for the Canadians Shooting Sports Association who also sits on the Conservative government’s firearms advisory committee, said the gun industry research study “looks like another make-work exercise.”

“This information is well known,” Bernardo said in an interview Friday. “In fact it’s been documented in several places already.”

Bernardo was even more dismissive of another federal study proposal that was posted this week.

Environment Canada is seeking bids for a contract worth up to $60,000 to study the use of lead bullets and shot and their impact on the environment and human health.

“In 1995, ammunitions were estimated to have contributed to releasing over 1,000 tonnes of lead in the Canadian environment; however regulations that entered into force in 1997 were expected to address half of these releases,” according to the Environment Canada tender.

Sport shooting groups dispute any environmental contamination, saying that long-standing shooting ranges show no sign of a lead problem.

Bernardo called the issue “complete nonsense.”

“This has been, quite honestly, a global move on the part of the anti-gun groups to try to do whatever they can to make it as difficult as possible,” for firearms enthusiasts, Bernardo charged.

“It’s been done all over the world. Canada is one of the last countries to suffer this onslaught.”

The decade-long Conservative fight to eliminate the long-gun registry made the party the champion of gun advocates. However, the relationship has become more complicated since the registry’s demise.

Firearms licences are still required, which is an ongoing irritant to some gun owners, licence fee waivers have been dropped and new rules on gun markings have upset the firearms lobby.

Some former Conservative supporters have said the government is turning its back on them.

“It’s too early to make a conclusion like that,” said Bernardo.

“I don’t necessarily see that one way or the other. Certainly this kind of (research) stuff I don’t believe is initiated by the political end of the government. This is bureaucratic stuff.”


Feds launch studies of gun industry and environmental impact of lead bullets

  1. weird.

  2. Your tax dollars at work. The current Tories (the Mulroney version were the worst of the bunch which is why Reform took off) are probably better for gun owners than the Liberals and NDP but have really not done much to sort out the mess of the Firearms Act. Getting rid of the LGR was one thing but the FA is full of unjust and foolish regulations. Meanwhile the Chief (Provincial) Firearms Officers are busy harassing shooters by introducing more rules “for range safety” when by far the most dangerous thing about a day of shooting is the drive to the range with an artery clogging burger afterwards in second place.

    The end of the LGR didn’t bring a rise in violence and will save a bit of money long term. Cleaning up the FA would have similar results- no effect on violent crime, fewer tax dollars wasted, and less harassment of gun owners. Another consequence of getting rid of stupid and unjust regulations would be an increase in respect for the law and those who write and enforce them.

    • right, when a gun owner gets convicted of a crime and thier license is revoked who really needs to know whether the police got all their guns or not?

      • The police don’t even claim the LGR told them “all the guns” anyone had. People who lost a license could just give their guns to someone with a PAL. They could have sold them. The long guns also don’t have to be kept at a given location. Like all explanations of the merits of the LGR the practical aspects get in the way.

        For example the police arrest X for violence at his home and find via the LGR he has a shotgun. They find the shotgun behind the first door they enter. Do they stop searching? Not a chance. What if the LGR came back negative. Do they still search. 100% yes. At what point was the LGR a help?

        If someone isn’t supposed to have guns the police must search all the locations he might have them to start be sure they’ve got them all. Since the LGR only showed the address he initially gave it’s no more help than the PAL.

        • And thanks to the morons who deep-sixed the registry the police will never, ever be able to tell whether they even got all the legally puchased guns. Thanks, dumbasses!

          • Exactly. You’re welcome. Especially when the police are looking for guns not from people convicted of violence but of people who simply own the next gun to fall out of favor with the Ottawa brain trust.

  3. Dear gun owners,

    The Conservative Party never cared about your ability to acquire, keep, and maintain your firearms. They only wished to inflame your passions towards the issue so that they would be a part of your voting bloc, so that in between voting periods they could do whatever they wished to gun owners. All they did was destroy a a registry that cost us billions – and now they got rid of fee waivers?

    Simple money grab. They did not do this for gun owners, they did this for themselves.

    • Well said. Another costly smoke & mirrors exercise by the CPC, masters of “It pays to be..[and keep them]..ignorant.”

  4. I’m struck by the fact that this allegedly Conservative government will spend money to assess the environmental impact of lead bullets, but anyone who wants an environmental assessment of tar sands and pipelines is an enemy of the state.

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