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Bob Zimmer introducing Private Members Bill C-346 in his Facebook page.

Conservative MP Bob Zimmer has introduced Private Members Bill C-346, an Act to amend the Firearms Act (licensing), that would seek to eliminate firearms license expiry.

By law in Canada as soon as a firearms owners license expires they have become a criminal if they are not at least in the process of renewal. C-346 would grant lifetime licensing to firearms owners so long as they haven't committed a criminal act that would be reason for a judge to issue a court order to have the license and firearms removed from the person.

This Private Members Bill will leave the licensing system intact, including the classroom requirement and process to obtaining the license. C-346 would allow a 10 year window for the firearm owner to update their personal information with the Firearms Centre should it have changed in that time. As Zimmer says in his Facebook video "In essence what expiry of a license is meant to do anyways is to make sure you're constantly updating your information". Zimmer continues to say "What I wanted to eliminate is the fact that somebody could become a criminal just for your license expiring".

Zimmer does have a valid point that firearms owners are immediately treated as a criminal as soon as their license has expired if they are in possession of a firearm. It is a criminal offence in Canada to possess a firearm without a valid firearms license, an offence which carries severe prison time. A firearm owner could go from having a valid license one day to becoming a criminal the next with the Police confiscating their property and laying charges, and there are examples of that happening in the near past.

While there are firearms owners that don't support licensing at all, C-346 is about as friendly of a proposed Bill as it's going to get in the current Canadian political climate. This bill would at least remove some of the quagmire that surrounds lawful firearms ownership in Canada.