In a legal notice issued on Wednesday, the cabinet confirmed that the firearm confiscation program has been postponed until after the next federal election.According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc stated he did not want to “criminalize people,” such as hunters and sports shooters in his rural New Brunswick constituency.“The objective of the amended Amnesty Order is to provide affected owners with continued protection from criminal liability and additional time to come into compliance with the law,” the cabinet wrote in a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement. Owners of some 150,000 firearms blacklisted under a 2020 cabinet order faced prosecution with the expiry of an amnesty on October 30.The amnesty has been extended until October 30, 2025, which is after the next federal election.“We specifically extended the gun amnesty so as not to criminalize people,” LeBlanc said in October 23 testimony at the Senate National Security committee.“It’s a commitment we made during the last election and we fully intend to set up such a program,” said LeBlanc. “I don’t want to get ahead of myself.”LeBlanc said as a New Brunswick MP, the “people I know go hunting” and fully complied with firearms regulations. “Every time governments or Parliament legislate in this area, there is a very quick reaction from hunting groups and sports shooters, many of whom are in my constituency in rural New Brunswick,” he said.“We have been explicit and careful to ensure that these measures do not target those people and, in fact, allow them to practice their sport and other recreational activities that hunters in my community of rural New Brunswick participate in,” said LeBlanc.The decision to revoke the 2023 deadline was based on internal research conducted by the department of public safety. This research revealed significant opposition, even among Canadians who did not own firearms.“Many had sympathy for affected owners and felt it was unfair to target people who had initially acquired their guns legally,” said a report Buyback Program Awareness Campaign. “Less than half of those owners with prohibited firearms would now willingly participate in a buyback program.”“Often the ban and the buyback program were seen as wasteful because the policy isn’t aimed at stopping illegal gun smuggling and sales,” said Awareness Campaign. “Most firearms owners did not see themselves or their peers as a major factor in gun crimes in Canada.”Research showed the average Canadian gun owner resides in either a Prairie or Atlantic province, possesses a valid firearm license, securely stores one or two rifles or shotguns in their residence primarily for hunting or engaging in sport shooting activities, and typically uses their firearm less than once a month.