Policy Memorandum No.:
16 July 2019
The CCFR believes that the single biggest contributor to public safety in firearms use is training and education. As such, the CCFR supports mandatory firearms safety training for each type of firearm. The CCFR believes such training must have two components: (a) a theoretical or classroom component and (b) a practical handling and dry-firing component. Both components ought to end with a test (a written and a practical).
RATIONALE AND DISCUSSION:
Those members who have been firearms instructors, whether for the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course, or other types of firearms courses, are keenly aware that not everyone has the ability and aptitude to safely handle firearms. While these people are few and far between, these people can, through their inadvertence and lack of skill and attention, cause great harm, even if not intentional.
The classroom component ought to include all of what is in the current CFSC and CRFSC (including parts and nomenclature, safety rules, laws around firearm use, storage, and transportation, as well as the theoretical basis of marksmanship and handling in the relevant class of firearms (including handling of malfunctions). The practical component ought to include basic handling, loading, dry firing, unloading, proving safe, handling of malfunctions, cleaning, care, and maintenance. Each component must be tested to ensure the student has successfully acquired the knowledge and mastered the skills to safely use firearms. Those who can pass the tests without sitting the courses ought to be allowed to do so.
The training must recognize that some firearms require a different skill-set to safely operate.
The skill set to operate a rifle is not the same as the skill set to operate a handgun, and neither are the same as the skill set to operate a fully-automatic firearm.
The CCFR acknowledges that for any training scheme to be successful, the training must be accessible to all individuals in Canada within a reasonable distance from their residence. The waiting lists for courses in certain parts of the country are not acceptable. The standard should be the ability to obtain a course date within four to six weeks of signing up, and to obtain a course location within 300 km of one’s residence. In order to achieve this, more instructors will be required.