The National Firearms Association of Canada is demanding access to an RCMP report that explains why a previously restricted rifle was suddenly reclassified as prohibited.

Once merely restricted due to the length of its barrel, the Norinco Type 97A rifle was apparently deemed prohibited last year after it was found to be easily converted to an automatic weapon.

The High Standard Model 10B shotgun also went from being a restricted firearm to a prohibited weapon with little explanation, the association says.

The organization argues the RCMP made the decision “unilaterally” and is now unfairly confiscating the weapons, about 39 of which have been registered to restricted firearm licence holders across Canada.

Association president Blair Hagen said his organization started receiving complaints and requests for assistance from owners earlier this month when the letters outlining the change were sent out.

“Most of the time in cases like this the issue is actually taken care of by the (federal) government through something called an order in council if they feel a firearm is too dangerous to be sold or owned in Canada,” he said.

“The RCMP’s actions are a little bit suspect. Their ability to unilaterally reclassify a firearm that they already approved for import and sale in Canada to firearms licence holders, we’ve got a bit of a problem with that.”

Hagen said a number of rifle owners are fighting the seizures in provincial court and that the National Firearms Association has launched a legal defence fund to assist with costs.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

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