Feds seek consulting firm support on gun buyback program

18 August 2020 Consulting.ca 2 min. read

The federal government has invited 15 consulting firms to bid on a contract to help design and implement the buyback of various “assault-style” firearms, which were prohibited by an order-in-council in May 2020.

The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness invited 15 firms to bid on the buyback program contract, including heavyweights such as Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, Accenture, IBM Canada, and MNP. The department also invited smaller firms such as Orbis Risk Consulting, HDP Group, and Gelder Gingras & Associates to bid on the contract, according to The Canadian Press.

The first phase of the federal tender would involve creating a compensation plan for the recently prohibited firearms, which include most variants of the AR-15 rifle, the Ruger Mini-14, the Beretta CX4 Storm, and the CSA vz. 58. The consultancy will also analyze the benefits and risks of various compensation models, and the feasibility of each approach.

A possible second phase of the contract would entail the implementation of the selected compensation program, and would begin after the first phase’s expected completion in March 2021.

Feds seek consulting firm support on gun buyback program

Public Safety Canada said the value of the contract would be announced once a provider is selected. The department did not comment on why it was turning to external consultants instead of designing the program in-house.

The Trudeau government in May announced a sweeping ban of approximately 1,500 models of “assault-style” semi-automatic rifles in the weeks following a mass shooting rampage in rural Nova Scotia which left 22 people dead. Gun control laws are typically expanded in the wake of high-profile mass shootings, as in the recent case of New Zealand, or in the 1990s in Canada (following the Polytechnique shooting), the UK (Dunblane), and Australia (Port Arthur).

Gun control groups such as PolySeSouvient argue that there should be no provision for grandfathering or exemption in the buyback program. They would also prefer to see a wider ban of all semi-automatic firearms and all handguns.

Sport shooters and firearms rights advocates, on the other hand, have questioned the value of the measures in fighting crime, seeing the ban as political opportunism which avoids addressing the more pertinent and difficult-to-combat issue of illegal guns flowing in from the US.