Years after Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unilaterally imposed his ban and confiscation (“buyback”) of “assault weapons,” responsible gun owners in Canada are still waiting for his government to disclose how this “ redemption” will be implemented.
A recent sign suggests that the government hopes to recruit private entities, rather than relying on law enforcement or other government agents, to seize, disable, transport, store and dispose of prohibited firearms.
In mid-July, the government’s public services and procurement website published a “Invitation to Tender – Letter of Interest (LOI)/Request for Information (RFI)related to the “buyback program (BBP)”, with a closing date of August 3, 2022. The objective is to “determine the capacities and capabilities that currently exist in the market to meet the theoretical requirements of the product envisaged for the BBP or, to cut government parlance, to assess whether there is a private sector interest in implementing the interdiction and confiscation of “assault weapons” on behalf of the federal government.
It is unclear how or if this latest government advice relates to the government’s 2020 public tenders for the design of a ‘buy-out’ and compensation model. After two successive tender notices failed to attract private sector interest, IBM Canada Ltd. was finally awarded a contract in late 2020, to “develop a range of options and approaches to inform the design and implementation of a potential buyback program for recently banned products”. fire arms “. This was limited to consultation and design rather than actual implementation, and this contract period was due to end almost 18 months ago.
New RFI Document asks interested parties to confirm “license, training and experience (of your company and your personnel) in the collection, handling, transport and safe storage of firearms”, their “current volume or intended and/or their ability to collect, handle, transport and//or store” firearms, and describe and confirm the “ability to render firearms inoperable at first point of contact”. theoretical”, respondents are informed that there is a “controlled reception rate of work of 1,000 to 1,500 declared”. [newly prohibited firearms, or NPFs] per day” and a “working storage volume of 150,000 NPF”. The daily rate is a floor, not a ceiling, as respondents are asked to specify how their “technologies or solutions would meet the initial work rate of 1,000 to 1,500 prohibited firearms/sweeps per day and how they would handle increases in that volume” (emphasis added).
It is expected that “the vast majority of firearms affected will be in urban areas” across Canada, although information is requested on whether respondents have the ability to “collect, handle, transport and /or store NPF in non-urban, rural, remote, northern and/or First Nations communities.
Annex B of the document states that once recovered, the firearms will be “rendered unusable” and transported to a storage facility, before being “deactivated by qualified dog handlers”. The RFI states that “Canada is considering using equipment to render firearms inoperable at first point of contact; upon receipt and prior to transport or storage (i.e. permanent barrel packing and/or other alternatives).
Based on this RFI, the selected contractor (“supplier”) will be required to have, at a minimum, a sufficient number of trained and competent employees, all of whom must be able to legally possess and handle firearms. prohibited and which meet the prescribed screening/clearance criteria. terms (“[u]“controlled personnel cannot be used”). Other essentials are vehicles, transport or shipping services; warehouses or storage facilities; chain of custody/asset tagging/tracking technology; security of transport and storage facilities; and an “environmentally friendly destruction capability that can enable recycling” of firearm parts. The supplier “will be required to use its computer systems to electronically process, produce or store PROTECTED and/or CLASSIFIED information or data” (emphasis in original), which means that this information must also be protected against any use unauthorized, tampering or leaking. All services and infrastructure must remain compliant with federal, state and local laws.
The RFI makes no mention of budget allocations or funding, which is consistent with the government’s failure to date to provide information on the true cost of implementing the confiscation program. Besides pledging to offer “fair compensation” to affected owners, public authorities have been wary of the financial impact, and estimates of the overall cost continue to climb (here, here and here). The number of firearms involved is a factor that will likely affect the price to be paid in the private sector. Last year, a report by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) indicated that the number of firearms subject to the ban was unknown, but gave a possible range between 150,000 and 518,000 firearms, although the total could be considerably higher because the The RCMP addedto the models listed in the original executive order, “variants” and agency-decided copies are also prohibited firearms.
Regarding the timing, the RFI refers to the amnesty period for possession of prohibited weapons (already extended once) and its expiration on October 30, 2023. However, the RFI is “neither a call for neither a request for proposals (RFP)… The RFI should not be considered a commitment to issue a subsequent solicitation or award a contract or contracts for the work described herein. Assuming the Trudeau government commits to exploring this implementation option in the private sector, the RFI describes the next steps that are expected to take place before the October deadline as an “initial commitment from the private sector.” industry through this RFI”, then a “2nd RFI”, an “invitation to qualify (ITQ), “a draft request for proposals to qualified suppliers”, the request for proposals and finally, “the award of the or contracts”. Appendix B indicates that a “mail, email and advertising campaign” is contemplated as part of the public notice process, prior to the commencement of the forfeiture period. Using only the PBO’s upper range of 518,000 guns and the maximum RFI processing rate of 1,500 guns/day, the supplier will need at least 345 days to work on the “goods flow”, excluding weekends, holidays, travel or other “downtime”. .”
Gun owners (“customers”) will not be eligible to receive a penny of the promised fair compensation until their gun has been seized, rendered unusable, “verifiers confirm eligibility of firearm” and approval has been given to make payment, as set out in Appendix B. In the event of a dispute, an “expert panel may review verification failures and special cases as required” . Even then, the RFI makes no mention of the contractor administering the compensation scheme, meaning a separate government process for handling payments, including claims for failed, misdirected, or inadequate compensation. In any case, no compensation is offered for the deprivation of the use of prohibited firearms, the use of which has been prohibited since May 2020. Owners, too, will bear the risk of loss when the wrong weapon firearm is listed or taken, the “verifiers” fail to find the qualifying firearm, or compensation approval is not given – the permanent deactivation provided at the “first point of contact” leaves the owner with a useless and worthless old firearm.
So far, few of the proposed schemes seem functional, even on paper.
The bigger problem is why Trudeau and his government (if not vehemently just on the “assault weapon” law) seek to remove themselves as much as possible from its implementation by offloading the work to the private sector. A cynical guess is that Trudeau, who offers a famous “sunny paths”mantra to govern, is keen to put as much light as possible between him and the defining toxic moment of his gun ban and mandatory confiscation program, the shameful point where thousands of farmers, hunters, sports shooters, veterans and other responsible Canadians are forced to surrender their property for immediate destruction.