Compensation for the “assault-style” firearms banned two years ago through an order-in-council (OIC) has been proposed by the federal government.
The pricing, which ranges from $1,139 for a VZ.58 to $6,209 for a SG550 and SG551, can be found online: https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/cntrng-crm/frrms/bp-en.aspx
Firearm owners were invited to comment on the proposed valuations until Aug. 28.
The issue, however, is greater than compensation for hunters, as many have traditionally used what the government defined as “assault-style” firearms for hunting. In his report, What Firearms are Reasonable and Proportionate for Hunting in Canada, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters‘ Matt DeMille identified 64 previously non-restricted firearms that were used by Canadians, with 86% of them being used for hunting.
Flawed classification for compensation
“This is likely just a sample, and the total number of previously non-restricted firearms prohibited by the OIC is likely much higher,” he said. “The identified firearms came from eight of the 11 ‘categories’ outlined in the proposed compensation framework. This means that hunting firearms are impacted across many categories and not just specifically limited to those prohibited under the muzzle energy category.”
DeMille had issues with the methodology used to calculate the values saying it would undervalue some, overvalue others, and added there was no transparency in the methodology used for the calculation.
“The compensation framework is not comprehensive enough to respect the financial and non-financial investment that Canadians have in these firearms,” he said. “For starters, there are only 11 levels of compensation for more than 1,500 models and variants of firearms caught up in the OIC-prohibitions. It is inconceivable to think that a single value can accommodate the variability in firearms within a category to offer fair compensation to the owner.”
He further explained different models of the same gun, condition of individual firearms, upgrades or the sentimental value of family heirlooms can also impact value.
“If the government moves forward with a buyback program and choses an overly simplistic compensation framework such as the one they’ve proposed, then there must be an appeal process for firearms owners who feel that their firearms are being significantly undervalued where they can demonstrate the value of their firearms,” DeMille stated.