Following the announcement by the federal Liberal Party on May 30th 2022 to restrict the sale, transfer and import of handguns in Canada, many of our students have asked “What’s the point in taking the restricted endorsement if I can’t buy a handgun?” It is a fair question.
Since we started teaching the CFSC and CRFSC in 2014, we have encouraged every student to consider taking the additional restricted endorsement. While it sounded to some like an upsell, our rationale was clear; when it comes to sensitive public topics such as firearms ownership, change is constant and it is better to have the license and not use it than to want it and not be able to get it. Better still is having the license when you NEED it.
The May announcement shocked many and there has been huge demand from those that suddenly found themselves without an endless ‘runway’ to achieve the endorsement. COVID reduced staffing levels at CFP and the announcement led to a complete sellout of Canadian handgun inventory in the 72 hours following the statement. With each transaction requiring a transfer approval, CFP rapidly became overwhelmed. We heard from several past alumni and the message was the same; “I should have listened. I never thought this would happen!”.
Despite the fact that the window for a student to take the CRFSC, submit an application, have it processed and then buy a handgun from a rapidly-declining stock inventory following the August 16 2022 announcement to freeze imports of handguns is almost non-existent, our advice to students is still ‘take the course!’. More upsell? You decide…
Students have a notion that CRFSC/Restricted endorsement is all about handguns and that is profoundly incorrect. The restricted endorsement covers a great many long guns in addition to all handguns that are not classified as antique or prohibited. Taking the course and gaining the endorsement isn’t about what you can currently BUY with it but what you can OWN with it. There is a difference.
Our biggest driver for pressing the continued need for taking CRFSC is that we believe there is a strong possibility in the future that the federal Liberals will move ALL semi-automatic rifles to restricted status. If you only have a PAL without restricted endorsement if that happens, you will need to make alternative arrangements for any semi-automatic firearms you own in order to stay legal. Of course, we have heard the retort that ‘it will never happen!’ but we heard that about the handgun issue too and, here we are. Our advocacy for the CRFSC is not based on what you can buy right now but on what you will need the license for in the future, including for firearms you may already own.
Our second biggest driver is that we believe, at some point in the next decade, we will once again see a majority federal Conservative government and it is likely that they would overturn the Liberals restrictions on handguns but the requirement for a restricted license requirement will stay. Obtaining the endorsement ahead of that event will prevent the delays that will inevitably occur when others take advantage of a change in the law.
We will continue to offer the CRFSC and we hope our case for doing so makes sense to you as a student. It is unlikely that you will regret the cost or the time in the future but it is quite possible you may regret not spending both should you need it.