Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

The Cost of Confiscation: Millions of Dollars, No Sense

Monday, February 8, 2021

The Cost of Confiscation: Millions of Dollars, No Sense

Last November, Bill Blair, the federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, refused to answer questions about the costs associated with the Liberal Government’s gun ban and confiscation program imposed by Order-in-Council on May 1, 2020.

Minister Blair’s department is responsible for implementing the ban and overseeing the confiscation of previously lawful firearms from millions of Canadian hunters, sports shooters, farmers and hobbyists before a two-year “amnesty” period ends on April 30, 2022.

An initial cost estimate of CDN$250 million was given shortly before the Liberal’s gun ban and confiscation law was announced, although Minister Blair had earlier quoted a program cost of between CDN$400 - $600 million. Since then, though, the scope of the ban has expanded considerably: the RCMP has added, to the list of “prohibited” firearms, thousand of guns that weren’t specifically included in the May 1st Order in Council.   

At least one part of the cost is now public. After two prior tenders failed to attract private sector interest, at the end of December IBM Canada Ltd. was awarded the government contract to “develop a range of options and approaches to inform the design and implementation of a potential buyback program for recently prohibited firearms.” The award notice has a listed value of just under CDN$1.2 million and an end-date of March 31, 2021. As indicated in the original tender notice, this “study and design” phase does not include “initiating the delivery of the buy-back program.”

Conservative MP Glen Motz (Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner), speaking at a November 25 meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU), repeatedly pressed Minister Blair for the cost of the confiscation program, referring to the initial $250M estimate. Starting at 16:06:35 in the video, he asks, “Do you have the numbers for the total costs of what this buyback program will cost Canadians?” “Can you provide us an estimate of what the administration costs for the RCMP and your Public Safety Department will be to run this program? Any idea whatsoever?” “How much do you estimate it will cost, of taxpayer dollars, to now pay back the confiscated firearms owners…?” (Getting somewhat impatient with the lack of answers, he adds a softball question, “[H]ow much [do] you estimate it will cost to buy back the guns from criminals lined up to turn in their illegal firearms?”)

While throwing around clunky phrases like “cost effective in a different way,” “real good public value,” and the intent to “very responsibly fulfill our responsibilities” to licensed firearm owners, the minister declined to provide anything even close to an actual number.  

As we’ve pointed out before, given the track record that Liberal gun-control measures have in Canada, the economic impact of this program is of interest to all Canadian taxpayers, regardless of the specific harm it will cause to licensed gun owners and the firearm industry. Who can forget the spectacularly pointless national gun registry, which started out with an estimated price tag of CDN$2 million but ended up costing taxpayers at least CDN$2.7 billion?    

According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), a grassroots advocacy group pushing for lower taxes, less waste and accountable governments, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has already broken the National Debt Clock by running the debt beyond a trillion dollars. “Our National Debt Clock no longer has enough digits to display the size of our federal debt, because nobody ever dreamed the debt would grow this big.” The CTF adds that the “federal debt is currently increasing by over $10,000 per second, $43 million per hour or $1 billion every day. Each Canadian’s individual share of the federal debt is over $26,000.”

Consistent with its mission of eliminating government waste and useless spending of millions of taxpayer dollars, the CTF calls for “scrap[ping] the gun ban and buy back.” Not only was it “wrong” to impose this program without a vote of the country’s elected representatives, this “expensive policy arbitrarily bans and buys guns owned by law-abiding Canadians” without taking away “illegal guns from criminals.” The group has also joined in a court challenge brought against the measure by Cassandra Parker. 

In a podcast on the federal ban and confiscation program, Todd MacKay, Prairie Director of the CTF, mentions (at around the 24:25 mark) that the CTF did an analysis of the funding that would be necessary given the initial estimates of approximately CDN $200 million. “We’ve talked to some of our counterparts in New Zealand. Based on that, we’re guessing that it’s going to go well over a billion dollars.”

Humorist P.J. O’Rourke once wrote, about government waste, that contrary to the popular perception of sloth and inefficiency, “[e]normous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.” This program is possibly off to a fine start. One source estimates that over CDN$3 million was spent last year to mail licensed gun owners a form letter that had no legal effect and was later the subject of a retraction or clarification on the RCMP website.             

IN THIS ARTICLE
Canada Gun Confiscation
TRENDING NOW
Update: New Mexico Governor’s Unconstitutional Carry Ban Temporarily Halted, NRA Files Suit

News  

Monday, September 18, 2023

Update: New Mexico Governor’s Unconstitutional Carry Ban Temporarily Halted, NRA Files Suit

On September 8, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Grisham (D) surprised her political opponents and allies when the politician purported to suspend the U.S. and New Mexico constitutions and state statute using a “public health emergency ...

When the rubber hits the road: Anti-police activist does U-turn after being carjacked

News  

Monday, September 18, 2023

When the rubber hits the road: Anti-police activist does U-turn after being carjacked

Three years ago, the “defund the police” movement got its start in Minneapolis, MN. A number of leftist politicians wasted no time in jumping on the bandwagon, along with a bunch of Hollywood celebrities – all of whom thought it was a ...

California: Legislature Passes Carry Restrictions & Over a Dozen More Anti-Gun Bills Headed to the Governor

Saturday, September 16, 2023

California: Legislature Passes Carry Restrictions & Over a Dozen More Anti-Gun Bills Headed to the Governor

On Thursday night, the California Legislature adjourned after having passed a whole slew of anti-gun bills this session.

California Tax is About Curtailing Exercise of a Constitutional Right

News  

Monday, September 18, 2023

California Tax is About Curtailing Exercise of a Constitutional Right

On September 7, the California Legislature passed AB-28. The bill would place an 11 percent excise tax on the sales price of all firearms, firearm precursor parts, and ammunition. As of press time, the legislation remains ...

Changes Coming Soon for New York State Gun Owners

News  

Monday, August 21, 2023

Changes Coming Soon for New York State Gun Owners

There are some significant changes due to take effect early next month in the Empire State.

Massachusetts: Update on Proposed Sweeping Gun Control

Monday, July 17, 2023

Massachusetts: Update on Proposed Sweeping Gun Control

Late last month, Massachusetts politicians put forth HD 4420, “an act modernizing firearm laws.” This massive piece of legislation re-writes gun laws in the Commonwealth and imposes unprecedented gun-control.

New Mexico: State and Local Lawmakers Take Action Against Governor’s Gun Ban Orders

Monday, September 18, 2023

New Mexico: State and Local Lawmakers Take Action Against Governor’s Gun Ban Orders

Last week, NRA filed a state lawsuit against Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s illegal and unconstitutional gun carry ban in Albuquerque & Bernalillo County, and on all state property across New Mexico.

Your Help Urgently Needed! Comment Period Open on Biden’s Illegal Background Check Rulemaking

News  

Monday, September 11, 2023

Your Help Urgently Needed! Comment Period Open on Biden’s Illegal Background Check Rulemaking

Your help is urgently needed, as the official comment period on ATF’s rulemaking, “Definition of ‘Engaged in the Business’ as a Dealer in Firearms," began on Friday, September 8. Comments on the rule will be ...

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA Activism Trainings in Florida

Take Action  

News  

Monday, September 18, 2023

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA Activism Trainings in Florida

The Sunshine State loves the Second! Earlier this month, your NRA-ILA Florida Grassroots Team hosted various events across the state to continue NRA’s important work in maximizing grassroots education and outreach.

NRA Files Lawsuit Challenging Lujan Grisham’s Unconstitutional Order Banning Public Carry

Thursday, September 14, 2023

NRA Files Lawsuit Challenging Lujan Grisham’s Unconstitutional Order Banning Public Carry

Today, NRA led a coalition of parties in a legal challenge against New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Department of Health Secretary Patrick Allen’s unconstitutional orders banning the carrying of firearms in Bernalillo County ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.