(UPDATE 8-MAY-2020) Some shotguns & hunting rifles now prohibited

On 8-May-2020 the RCMP has clarified their definition of a shotgun’s bore diameter as the “diameter of the barrel forward of the chamber but before the choke”. If your 10 or 12 gauge shotgun has a removable choke, you are able to use it at our facilities.

To our knowledge, this update does not address large bore hunting rifle cartridges that exceed 10,000 joules (such as the .460 Weatherby).

You can learn more about the new firearms prohibition on the RCMP’s website:

VFGPA Members,

1-2 Million Shotguns have been prohibited

Minister Blair has inadvertently banned almost every modern 12-gauge and 10-gauge shotgun in Canada with removable chokes, because they exceed the maximum bore diameter as defined in the recent Order in Council (Canada Gazette: SOR 2020-96 which stated that any firearm with a bore diameter of 20 mm or greater.

A 12-gauge shotgun has a bore of about 18.5 mm, but it the legal opinion of a firearms team – headed by Edward Burlew L.L.B. (one of the foremost experts in Canadian firearms law) this will reclassify to prohibited every modern 12-gauge and 10-gauge shotgun with removable chokes because they exceed the maximum bore diameter of 20 mm where the barrel is threaded to fit the choke. The threading increases the bore diameter at the muzzle to 20.675 mm. If you took such a shotgun to VFGPA to shoot trap since Friday, you committed a crime. Even with the choke installed, it is still a prohibited firearm.

Large Hunting Rifles

In addition, many large bore hunting rifles – some over 100 years old and valued over $100,000 have become prohibited. None of these firearms are semi-automatic or “military style.” They encompass common bolt-action rifles such as the .460 Weatherby, break-open single and double rifles. They are “pure” hunting rifles. These firearms are prohibited because the powerful cartridges they shoot (in excess of 10,000 joules) – designed to humanely dispatch the largest game animals exceed an arbitrary threshold.

What should I do?

My advise (and it is not legal advice) is to follow the new rules, double lock any of your firearms that have been prohibited by the Order in Council (from a 40 year old 870, to a late model AR-15), and keep it at home until things settle down. Details of a buy back program and/or grandfathering will be coming out in the months ahead. Or the minority government could fall and a smarter government will rescind the Order in Council.

Meanwhile, as this process work through cabinet, we should be able to apply for “grandfathered” prohibition acquisition and possession classifications on our PALs for these firearms. The VFGPA will continue to permit the lawful use of Prohibited firearms on the range including new ones, where permitted. If this becomes the case for your particular firearm (although we don’t know yet if that will be) then you might still have a place to use your firearm. Regardless, watch and wait.

What else can I do?

Write or E-Mail Your MP!
(FYI, I have been leading by example, and even have a Zoom call scheduled with our MP Wednesday thanks to Ron)

Find your MP by going to the House of Commons website and keying in your postal code.

All MPs — including the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Safety have the same address:

[Name of Member], MP
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

No postage is required when you send a letter to an MP. Keep a copy of the letter you send to refer back to it when you receive a response. Important: Keep it polite and professional. We are ambassadors for private firearm ownership and the shooting community. We don’t want our words to reflect badly on our community. Count on an MP reading your letter in parliament or on TV if you swear or are insulting.

Don’t be shy! Send copies to the following.

Sample letter or e-mail

To: Your MP (Find your MP)
Subject: No Gun Confiscations

Dear MP,

Thank you for your commitment to our riding.
I am concerned by the government’s mass gun prohibitions and confiscations against federally licensed firearm owners.
I am writing to oppose this unjustified action against honest men and women, and hope you will share my sentiment with your colleagues. This ban can not logically have any effect on protecting Canadians, since these type of firearms are rarely involved in violence.
This ban is just a red herring to divert attention away from the inability of the government to stop murderous criminals.

Thank you for considering my opinion. I would appreciate a response.

Yours sincerely,


What else?

Please vote in every federal election for our friends.

In the meantime, consider supporting some of the other voices advocating for us, like the CSSA or the CCFR:

I am a member of both these organizations. These are the ones best placed for a coordinated legal challenge to the recent firearms prohibition. Indeed, the CSSA broke the news of the shotgun prohibition this morning. I tired to donate additional money to them tonight, and their web site for donations was down due to too many trying to do the same thing. I will do so later this week for both of them. I will also donate to the federal party that I believe is fighting against this stupidity.

Range Safety Officers

On a final note, I met with our Chief RSO David today. We agreed that our RSOs will continue to monitor and enforce safety in the range, but they are neither police, nor firearms experts. They will not be checking if your firearm is a prohibited. That is up to use before we leave the house with our firearms. If you are not sure, please leave it at home.

I understand that many of us are agitated by recent events. At the range, please continue to be the calm, polite members we are and should remain, as we interact with our calm, polite and patient RSOs (who are all member volunteers), as well as each other.

So, weather starting Thursday is looking spectacular. I hope to see you at the range!


Douglas Bancroft