The Case for RPAL #3

Why securing your restricted endorsement is still a sensible idea.

Back in September 2022, we wrote an article on why, after the changes brought in by the federal Liberal government by OIC in May 2022, it was still a good choice to secure your restricted endorsement to your PAL license.

We are still a little puzzled by the mindset of many current and potential firearms owners; a mindset that initially dismissed that the changes brought in would ever happen to begin with and then even after that occurred, a continued mentality that the current status quo will remain. Almost two years on from the OIC announcement, we feel that it is time for both an update and a reiteration as, in the prophetic words of the great Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a-changin’…”

As we write this post, it is no secret that Canadians appear to have lost their tolerance for the current Federal administration. While the latest date for a general election is still some time away at October 20th 2025, it is entirely possible that an election could be called ahead of that date. It is unlikely, but possible.

Regardless of which political surveying organisation you read, all have the same message; if a federal election was held today, the CPC would win a landslide majority.

338 Canada Jan24
Marketplace Jan24

It isn’t immediately obvious what this has to do with obtaining the RPAL endorsement unless you follow the stated intentions of the federal Conservatives. Pierre Poilievre has stated clearly that the Liberals’ actions against law-abiding firearms owners are inappropriate and target a demographic that is suggested to commit the lowest number of crimes of any demographic (Mackenzie Institute, Statistics Canada, Canadian Firearms Coalition).

Poilievre is a strategic politician and it is important to understand that he isn’t going to say anything at this stage that will jeopardise that 40+% share of the vote; he is going to try to win over the firearms owners without also alienating the voters that do not hold firearms licenses and are uninformed about the subject in general beyond the narrative of the last 8 years that ‘firearms are bad!”. Therefore, the nuances are important and these are clearly summed up in this post from the excellent

Those following along with the political circus did not miss the fact that the federal Liberals, unable to implement their buyback/confiscation scheme from the OIC, have now pushed the amnesty extension to a couple of days beyond the date of the next federal election with the clear intention of making this a wedge topic during campaigning. Watch this space as Trudeau will be very actively stating that the CPC is making Canadians less safe with their plans to change anything the Liberals have done.

This is all interesting information, for sure, but why does it make a difference? As we saw with the prohibited licensing in the past, removing the ability to obtain a license is much easier and far less troublesome than taking a license away from those who hold it. Further, those who held the license were able to immediately take advantage of filling their safes before the sale and transfers ended; those who did not hold the license missed out on the opportunity.

In our view, the case for taking and obtaining the RPAL is not constrained by the short-sighted question of “What is the point? I can’t buy anything (now) with it!”. The intention of securing the license endorsement is a matter of caution and opportunity, it allows for retention of status during and after any changes brought by the next government and it facilitates the ability to take advantage of any opportunities that arise from positive changes brought in, such as the anticipated reversal of constraints brought about by the May 2022 OIC and bill C-21. It allows for firearms owners to remain legal if the current federal administration moves currently non-restricted firearms such as SKS or other semi-auto rifles to restricted status and according to one of our recent students, it helps in generating the warm feeling of rebellion…

“It really bothers me what is going on. I feel so helpless. Taking my CFSC and especially the CRFSC makes me feel like I am rebelling, at least a little bit. It makes me feel like I am doing something to push back.”