indicated below have been revoked," says the letter, obtained by Postmedia News.
"You have 30 days to deliver your firearms to a peace officer, firearms officer
. . . or to otherwise lawfully dispose of them."
The letter says the AP80 was "incorrectly registered" in the past, and is
being banned because it is now considered a member of the AK-47 family.
"The above mention firearm is prohibited as a variant of the design of the
firearm commonly known as the AK-47 rifle," the letter says.
Until Dec. 20, the AP80 was classified as a non-restricted firearm, the most
lightly controlled category of firearms in Canada. It has now been moved to most
tightly controlled category: the prohibited firearms list.
As a result, the AP80 can now be owned or used only by people possessing
certain rare "grandfathered" prohibited licences.
The RCMP also issued a notice of revocation for the Walther G22 rifle on Dec.
30. This gun, also a .22-calibre semi-automatic, was prohibited because it has a
removable "bullpup" style shoulder stock.
The Walther G22 vaguely resembles the Beretta Storm carbine, used in the
Dawson College shootings.
The letters say nothing about compensating gun owners for the seizures.
Michael Patton, a spokesman for Public Security Minister Vic Toews, said
these recent changes do not foreshadow a broader reclassification effort.
"As classification of firearms is a manual process, from time to time there
are errors that need to be corrected," he wrote in an email. "However, let me be
clear: there is no plan to broadly reclassify firearms."
Ottawa firearms lawyer Solomon Friedman says the consequences could be severe
for any owners who don't comply with the confiscation notice.
"If you don't surrender this without compensation, the RCMP can come to your
home, seize it and charge you with possession of a prohibited firearm," he
Friedman says some owners of the AP80 are considering challenging the seizure
order in court.
Under current firearms law, bureaucrats at the Canadian Firearms Program can
reclassify any firearm through orders-in-council. Such reclassifications are
done without parliamentary input or oversight.
Friedman said this confiscation effort contradicts the spirit of Bill C-19,
the Harper government's legislation that will relax gun control, which is
currently before the House. He noted the RCMP served its letters of confiscation
while MPs were away on holidays.
Moving these firearms into higher classification brackets means their owners
will still have to register them even after the Harper government's firearms law
By changing classifications now, the RCMP will retain records of these owners
even after the long-gun-registry data is destroyed.
Friedman says activist bureaucrats at the Canadian Firearms Program are using
what little time remains to move more firearms into the restricted and
"Remember, once the gun registry is eliminated, the RCMP will lose their
ability to identify, target and harass law-abiding owners on non-restricted
firearms," he said. "They only took notice of (the AP80) when the gun registry
is in its death throes."
Friedman says there is a broader movement at the Canadian Firearms Program to
seize small-calibre rifles that are dressed up to look like assault weapons.
They include .22-calibre semi-automatics made to resemble guns such as the
M-16 assault rifle and MP5 submachine-gun used by police and military.
Tony Bernardo, executive director of the Canadian Sports Shooting
Association, says the RCMP is in the midst of a "campaign of confiscation."
He said his membership is "appalled" by these efforts.
He described the AP80 and G22 as "plinking" rifles, better for little more
than shooting tin cans for target practice. Bernardo called the confiscation
effort "silly" and "shameful."
"These things are not assault rifles; they're .22s like every farm kid has,"
he says. "They happen to look racy, but that doesn't make them any
Bernardo said seizures like this only reinforce belief in the old gun
freedoms adage: "Registration leads to confiscation."
He said the RCMP is "desperate" to seize as many firearms as it can, and to
alter classifications to ensure the names of as many firearms owners as possible
remain on the books.
"This has a tremendous impact on RCMP's credibility when it comes to firearms
issues," he said. "They're making fools of themselves when they launch these
kind of campaigns."