We are pleased to announce that effective August 14 of this year, we will be able to resume delivering the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC) and the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course (CRFSC) after approval was given by the Chief Firearms Officer of Ontario.
In March, like many businesses and activities, all training was suspended due to the provincial emergency orders as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response by the government.
With the introduction of Stage 3 in almost all regions of Ontario, we will be able to resume CFSC/CRFSC courses, but there will be some important changes as we must now introduce health protocols to mitigate and reduce the chance of spreading the coronavirus.
All students who register for a course must confirm in advance that they are free of any symptoms of illness, and agree that they will wear a mask and maintain physical distancing where required while in the classroom.
Failing to abide by the protocols could result is removal from the class, and no refund or credit will be offered for violating health requirements. Each day prior to class, students will also have to complete a self-declared screening form.
At this time, temperature screening is not mandated or required in any jurisdiction we are delivering courses in.
Students who cannot wear a mask for bona fide reasons (religious, health, etc.) must notify us in advance so that appropriate accommodations can be made.
Students will be required to wear their masks and observe the protocol signage that will be posted in the classroom. This will include controlled movement (an "in" door to our classroom, and a separate "out" door, for our main Mississauga venue, and staggered movement at other venues), using the available hand sanitizers or frequent handwashing, and maintaining physical distancing during seating.
During practical handling exercises, physical distancing will not be possible. Students must wear masks (or for those who cannot wear masks, they must handle firearms separately from the others in the class in order to preserve distancing) and firearms and other training aids must be cleaned between handling sessions.
Peel Region Health advises that Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon have all passed mandatory mask bylaws as a result of COVID-19. Therefore, while in an indoor public space (such as our training classroom) masks will be required for those not medically or otherwise exempt.
Our class sizes have been reduced to enable physical distancing requirements, and this should result in shorter testing times. But as we are just getting back into the swing of things, we will be taking things slowly at first, especially where physical distancing during practical handling sessions cannot be maintained.
After the class, you may be contacted by the instructor and/or the Ministry of Health (or a local health unit) should there be a positive case of COVID-19 reported back to us from one of the students who attended. We must maintain the class contact list for a minimum period to assist with contact tracing.
Remember that a positive case from a student in your course does not guarantee exposure to coronavirus, and that the health protocols such as masks and frequent sanitization should mitigate the risks of exposure. However, health officials will give you further direction, which may include self-isolation for a period, and a recommendation to obtain a COVID-19 test.
If you test positive within 14 days following our course, you should advise us as soon as possible so that we can contact the appropriate health authorities and initiate contact tracing if required.
Also, we have not received any update as to when the RCMP will resume processing firearm licence applications. So although your CFSC/CRFSC safety course may be completed, and you will receive your paper results in the mail shortly afterwards, you may not be able to apply for the Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) right away. We will post the latest information on this as we receive it.
We want all of our students to have a safe and happy firearms course experience. We have had many students take our courses over the years, and are very pleased to once again be welcoming you back to our classes. Please be patient as we work back up to speed.
If you are currently booked on our pre-registration wait list, we will work to have you complete your course as soon as possible. We have blocked out August through October specifically for this "wait list" group. With reduced class sizes, we may get to you later in that period depending on when you pre-registered, but we are planning 2 courses per month after August, and should be completed before mid-November.
If you are not pre-registered, we have courses open for December, and hope to add seats on earlier courses as they are available.
Welcome back and have a safe and enjoyable time!