The Canadian Firearms Blog is reporting that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Director of Firearm Regulatory Services has decreed that 80% AR lowers are prohibited. The rationale given is that they can be converted into M16 lower receivers. This prohibition also extends to receiver flats for the AK-47/74 and AMD-63/65.
From the memo issued by Robert J. O’Reilly of the RCMP:
Receiver blanks are firearms since they are nearly completed receivers and fall within the adaptability clause of the firearms definition in Section 2 of the Criminal Code. In other words,
a receiver blank is considered a “barrelled weapon from which any shot, bullet or other projectile can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death in a person,
and includes any frame or receiver of such a barrelled weapon and anything that can be adapted for use as a firearm”. As such, they are subject to the firearms-related regulatory and enforcement provisions of the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code, including licensing and registration.
Depending on their properties, receiver blanks can fall into any one of the three firearm classifications: non-restricted, restricted, or prohibited.
The memo goes on to say that individuals have no legal authority “to possess or acquire prohibited receiver blanks”. The memo contains a table listing many of the most common receiver blanks and their classifications under Canadian firearms law. The only receiver blank that is listed as “non-restricted” are ones for the Ruger 10/22. The rest are either prohibited or restricted.
The Canadian Firearms Blog goes on to report some hearsay evidence behind the RCMP’s decision and the reaction within the Canadian firearms community.
A user on a popular Canadian firearms forum on Reddit, who wished to remain anonymous, has reportedly spoken with RCMP firearms techs in Ottawa, stating they had explained that their interpretation is “so long as the blank (in whatever state it may be in) can be ‘easily’ turned into a firearm, it’s a firearm, and since machining is ‘easy’ that any completion of the receiver is enough.”
This decision by the RCMP has drawn considerable criticism, with some expressing concern that, by the verbiage used in the memo, any unmilled piece of alunimium or polymer in the size or shape of an AR-15 receiver can be affected, and some fearing that this is the foundation to reclassify AR-15s as a whole.
I feel for our Canadian gunny friends. While I have neither the skill nor the inclination to complete an 80% lower, I understand the appeal especially if you live in either Canada or California. I doubt that they are going to get any relief from these onerous regulations in the immediate future given their respective governing parties.