BRADBURY: Why I started a petition to ensure MP’s receive firearms education

Written By Ian Bradbury, Posted on July 15, 2020

The level of misinformation surrounding firearms and firearms ownership in Canada is increasing.

Far too often our discourse on this topic is littered with stats and commentary aligned to conditions in the United States and not Canada. As a result, many Canadians, and many Canadian politicians, have inaccurate understandings of Canadian firearms laws. I’d like to see that corrected for lawmakers and have created a House of Commons E-petition to that effect.

E-2626 is a reasonable call for responsible parliamentary leaders, and decision makers, to undergo relevant and uniquely Canadian knowledge development by taking the: Canadian Firearms Safety Course, and Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course.

E-petitions are usually authorized by a citizens riding representative. Authorizing a petition is not contingent on the member supporting the petition contents, petition authorization is intended to show that the elected member supports a constituents engagement in democratic processes. Regretfully, on the last day for possible authorization, my representative, Minister Katherine McKenna, declined to authorize. Thankfully a re-submission to another Ontario based member was successful. 

Thank you, MP Alex Ruff for granting authorization of this reasonable knowledge building request.


Canada is a vast, rugged, wilderness of almost 10 million km² for a population of only 37.5 million people (42% of our land is forest). Firearms are a part of the Canadian way of life – particularly for Canadians who do not live in or near Urban centers.


Unlike in the United States, Canadians adhere to strict, federal, firearms licensing, controls, laws, and regulations.

The Firearms Act requires that Canadians wishing to acquire non-restricted firearms (most rifles and shotguns) must take the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC) and pass both a written and practical handling tests. Individuals who wish to acquire restricted firearms (all handguns and some rifles/shotguns) must also take the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course (CRFSC) and pass written and practical handling tests.

Structured training provides Canadians with a detailed understanding of the expectations and responsibilities of firearms owners in Canada, including:

  • the evolution of firearms, major parts, types and actions

  • basic firearms safety practices

  • ammunition

  • operating firearms actions (within the classification covered by the course selected)

  • firing techniques and rules

  • care of firearms (within the classification covered by the course selected)

  • responsibilities of the firearms owner/user, and

  • safe storage, display, transportation and handling of firearms (within the classification covered by the course selected).


Following successful completion of the course, citizens must then to submit to the RCMP for licensing processes – a rigorous process that includes psychological, spousal, financial checks; in addition to ongoing, daily, criminal information system checks for as long as a license is valid. Once approved, and the issued license card is received from the RCMP, a citizen can then buy, own, and handle firearms. But only the firearms within their approved classifications, while complying with strict guidelines for transport, use, and storage.

The above noted training and process is the baseline expectation for Canadians seeking to make informed decisions on firearms ownership. As one can see, Canada’s laws on firearms and ownership are quite different from that of our often talked about American neighbors.

As a licensed citizen, I feel it is reasonable to expect that Members of Parliament would make sure to seek relevant, factual, and uniquely Canadian information and understandings, before informing or passing legislation. Rather than reinventing the wheel, I feel that undergoing the training is the easiest way to make sure informed decision-making by, and to dispel misinformation present among, lawmakers.

If you are a Canadian citizen who supports informed decision-making, please join me in this request by signing petition E-2626.

Ian Bradbury

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