What are the “alternative” certificate courses allowed for a PAL? I spoke with the BC CFO office and they informed me an RCMP Officer and CO or Fishery Officer are not trained or recognized as having been trained to qualify in Safe Handling and Storage (CFSC) of firearms, a PAL? So what possible other training could count as “alternative” to them?
They did say for me to just to challenge the test. On the application form it asks if you have a CFSC certificate or alternative and no one seems to know what that alternative is.
Just curious as it seems kind of contrary that a person such as a RCMP Officer or Fishery Officer with all their training, is not deemed qualified to handle or store a firearm unless they take a CFSC test? On the other hand, why should anything dealing with firearms in this country make any sense?
I know I can just challenge the exam but it begs to be asked why.
Thanks for the great question. Unfortunately there really is no answer that makes a great deal of sense, certainly not common sense any thinking person can accept.
It was with great surprise when a few years ago a friend asked me to store his shotgun while he would be away for an extended period of time and would be giving up his apartment. His daughter was a police officer in a nearby municipality so I asked why he didn’t have her take possession of the firearm. I was told by her that although she was a police officer and carried a weapon while on duty she did not have a Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) and so could not legally possess a personal firearm. I must tell you my jaw dropped.
Herein lays the fallacy of the Firearms Act created by Bill C-68, An Act Respecting Firearms and Other Weapons, introduced in 1993 by the Chrétien government. This Act gave sweeping powers to the police, many of who are not trained and licensed to own firearms by definition of the Firearms Act, to set policy and define what is and what isn’t a non-restricted, restricted and prohibited firearm in Canada and set “policy” about safe storage, safe firearms handling and other situations. Since 1993 the situation has degenerated to each Province having a Chief Firearms Officer, some RCMP some Provincial Police, who operate completely independently when setting policy and therefore amendments to the Criminal Code and Firearms Act of Canada, by setting their own interpretation of Canadian Law, including whether to comply with the passing of Bill C19 “Demise of the Long Gun Registry” passed in April 2012. In essence what happens in BC is completely different than Quebec and making an unwitting “law abiding citizen” a criminal by simply crossing a Provincial border.
I do wish the BC CFO office staff would stop giving out erroneous information about the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act. This isn’t the first time I have heard of incorrect information passed to BC firearms owners or potential firearms owners given by a particular few staff members of the BC CFO office. I spoke with one at the HuntFest in Chilliwack earlier this year that was intent on trying to mislead me about how it is and I do wish she would stop. If you cannot give legally correct information just don’t say anything at all.
But I digress.
The Firearms Act, An Act Respecting Firearms and Other Weapons (1993), did anything but respect firearms and opened holes large enough to drive a Semi through. I have no answer to your question and I seriously doubt anyone in Canada does as well.
On the job conservation officers, police officers, military personnel, prison guards and others do not require what you and I do when possessing or using firearms. When on the job these people are exempted from safe handling and storage training because supposedly they are under an “authority or command” and have “on the job training”.
ALWAYS SHOOT STRAIGHT
PS: I just don’t understand why I’m having to spend so much time answering inquiries from my readers about issues they have with the BC CFO office. This insanity started, or at least I was made aware of the problems, a little less than a year ago – about the same time the Canadian Government announced they would do away with the Long Gun Registry (LGR) then followed through on that promise. I indicated that I felt it was because the writing was on the wall that with the end of the LGR there would have to be reductions in the CFP staff. I have always maintained, still do and will to my last days, the police/RCMP have no business making policy in anything – they are an enforcement agency, end of story. The handling of all things firearms in BC just shows how quickly the RCMP can go from enforcement to abuse and Empire building when allowed to operate a Police State, their interpretation of setting policy.