The recent prohibition of the CZ858 as of January 2017 has raised many questions. First off it's important to note that this does not include all CZ858 that are currently in country, including the ones that had their prohibition reversed under Bill C-42 in 2015. This strictly effects a new import of CZ858 Tactical-2P “Spartan” rifles, which are now classified as prohibited.
So how can you tell if your CZ858 is caught in this latest prohibition? Simply put; yours is fine and currently retains it's classification based off of barrel length. No CZ858 Tactical-2P “Spartan” rifles were released to market as they came under review at the time of importation.
This brings us to the question of how these rifles are declared prohibited, while the current CZ858 Tactical-2P are not? It's important to understand that the CZ 858 Tactical-2P was removed by name from the prohibited classification, while the CZ858 Tactical-2P “Spartan” is not. There are no differences to the operation or the way these rifles were manufactured, the differences are external which allowed the Canadian Firearm Center to argue that the “Spartan” is a different model of rifle that required classification. The differences in the rifles are strictly external, with different wood furniture and different engraving on the frame.
Once again this is the Firearms Center operating within the framework of the law to get the result they desire. They have tipped their hand again to show that they aren't even neutral toward civilian firearm ownership and that where they can they will seek out a classification for firearms of prohibited or restricted. This recent classification comes to no benefit in public safety, and the Firearm Center has done nothing to reduce real crime with this decision. It would still require a firearm license to legally obtain one of these rifles, and it is already illegal to make any alteration to a firearm to make it achieve full automatic fire. Licensed firearm owners are statistically the safest demographic in our society in terms of violent offences, and they aren't converting their firearms to full automatic.
Where the framework of the law exists that allowed for the prohibition of the "Spartan", other than the Firearms Act itself, is in Bill C-42, in the fact that it specifically named the firearms that were brought out of the prohibited classification. Under current FRT classification table Bill C-42 did have to name the firearms specifically to have their classifications altered back to their original status prior to their prohibition in 2014. The issue is that Bill C-42 didn't have any wording to cover future imports or any models of firearms other than the named variants that C-42 restored back to their original status. While Bill C-42 did save over ten thousand firearm owners from becoming felons if they chose to keep their once legal property, it didn't have any wording that would protect any CZ858 or Swiss Arms rifle that is imported in the future under a different model.
With this recent prohibition of a firearm that has no difference to the current legal firearm on the market a few truths have been revealed. External furniture and markings do effect how the Canadian Firearm Center classify firearms. The Firearm Center are not neutral in their decisions and will seek out any legal means to obtain a classification to prohibit firearms. Finally no Government or Politician truly understands the onerous legislation surrounding firearms law, even when they're passing bills that are "friendly" to firearms owners and it's up to the firearm community to educate their Members of Parliament at every opportunity they have.