14-41 Annex B Appendix 1 - Storage of Rifles

Cadet Administrative and Training Orders (CATOs)


1. This appendix provides baseline standards for the storage of rifles used within the CCO.  It does not replace the National Defence Security Instruction (NDSI) 65.

Local Agreements​

2. Where rifles and ammunition are stored outside of DND/CF establishments, the corps/squadron CO must ensure that a written agreement is in place with the building or organization sponsors. This agreement is to serve as authorization to store/secure these items on site and to inform the sponsor of what is actually being stored/secured there.

3. In addition, the local police are to be informed that rifles are being secured within the structure and local fire departments are to be advised that ammunition is held on the site (not applicable to pellets for air rifles).

Types of Approved Containers

4. For the purposes of the storage requirements identified below, “container” includes any of the following:

  1. a sturdy secure cabinet including, but not limited to, standard 2 door lockers or cabinets fitted with one or more locking bars, and approved S283 padlocks;
  2. a security shell;
  3. a locked room within a locked room;
  4. a lockable heavy-duty rifle carrying case (for example, Pelican cases or the JCR Air Rifle Storage and Shipping Cases);
    Note: Lightweight carrying cases do not satisfy these storage requirements.
  5. a two or four drawer filing cabinet fitted with approved locking mechanisms (hasps/bars and locks) for each drawer;
  6. a strong metal box with hasp and locking bars as applicable;
  7. a commercial firearms safe/locker or gun cabinet with built in locking system (for air rifles with a velocity of 152.4m (500ft) per second only); and
  8. any other sturdy container, with S283 rated padlock, deemed to be “secure” and suitable, by the RCSU security advisor and/or the Security and Military Police (SAMP) section.  The term “secure” is defined as something that cannot be easily broken into without tools.

Minimum Storage Standards

5. Any container storing rifles, rifle components or small arms ammunition that is easily movable (i.e., portable by two persons without tools or accessories) is to be fastened in a tamper-proof manner (bolts, chains, cables etc) to a wall, floor or other suitable fixture to prevent removal. Alternatively, larger containers may be sufficiently weighted down to prevent removal. The RCSU security advisor and/or SAMP must be consulted in order to determine if the method(s) used are suitable.

6. Containers must be stored within a locked room that cannot be easily broken into.

7. There are not to be any markings or indications that rifles are contained within the rooms or containers.

8. Doors leading to rooms housing rifles, essential operating components or ammunition must be constructed in such a manner that they can not be easily broken into. They should be of solid core (preferable) or metal/plywood clad on the inside, with sufficient (dependant on size and weight of door) interior hinges or exterior hinges that have been made tamper-proof, and be equipped with at least one deadbolt lock (two is preferable).

9. Where alterations to doors are not permitted or restricted by building owners/ sponsors, additional safeguards must be in place to compensate for the lack of these measures. Each area is to be judged by the RCSU security advisor and/or SAMP on an individual basis and be based on the local Threat and Risk Assessment (TRA) as describes in National Defence Security Policy (NDSP) Chapter 4.

10. Any room housing containers that secure rifles should be without windows.  Where windows are unavoidable and are accessible from grade, they must be lockable from the interior and afforded further protection. This can be accomplished in a number of ways such as interior lockable shutters, grills, bars, plywood that is secured to the interior frame when the room is unoccupied, etc.

11. Where this type of physical protection of windows is not permitted by building owners/sponsors, they must at least be equipped with blinds, curtains etc, in order to block the view from the exterior. Methods for added security are to be based on the local TRA and approved by the RCSU security advisor and/or SAMP. There is no need to provide added security to windows 15 feet above ground unless access can be gained easily or the TRA indicates a requirement.

12. Building owners/sponsors are to provide written confirmation if alterations are not permitted to doors, windows etc. This confirmation will be held on the physical security survey file maintained by the RCSU security advisor and/or SAMP.

13. Keys will be administered in accordance with NDSP Chapter 27 Annex B and NDSP Chapter 28 Annex B:

  1. keys protecting access to rifles and ammunition shall be stored in approved safes, security shells or dial lock cabinets; and
  2. access to rifles rooms must be strictly controlled. Keys are to be kept to a minimum, controlled in a separate key register and retained in a secure lock-up when not in use. Keys are to be issued only to those persons authorized in writing by the CO.

Air Rifles

14. In addition to the Minimum Storage Standards, the following standards apply to air rifles:

  1. air rifles with a velocity of under 500 ft per second may be secured in commercial gun cabinets/lockers, providing that these are equipped with their own locking systems.  These cabinets shall be stored within a locked area controlled by the corps/squadron;
  2. air rifles are to be unloaded (no pellets), but the essential operating components do not need to be removed;
  3. pellets may be secured within the same room as the air rifles only if they are stored in a separate container secured with sturdy padlocks; and
    Note: Specific dispositions apply to corps and squadrons locate in Province of Quebec due to the Provincial Law #18 on rifle storage and use in public locations.
  4. in multi-use facilities and areas such as church basements etc, where several organizations use the area, air rifles are to be secured in lockable containers as per .22 or .303 calibre rifles.

Small-Bore Rifles

15. In addition to the Minimum Storage Standards, the following standards apply to the small-bore rifles:

  1. small-bore rifles are to be rendered inoperable by removing one or more of the essential operating components (bolt, barrel, firing pin, etc);
  2. where space is available, essential operating components and ammunition are not be stored in the same room as small-bore rifles. Under conditions where the small-bore rifles and the components and ammunition cannot be stored in a separate locked room, added security measures must be put into place. The RCSU security advisor and/or SAMP is to judge each location individually and apply further safeguards deemed necessary. In low threat environments, use of trigger locks, chaining rifles within the container etc, as an additional security measure may be sufficient; and
    Note: Specific dispositions apply to corps and squadrons locate in Province of Quebec due to the Provincial Law #18 on rifle storage and use in public locations.
  3. small-bore rifles must be stored in locked containers within a locked room that cannot be easily broken into.

Drill-Purpose Rifles

16. Drill-purpose rifles are to be secured in accordance with the Minimum Storage Standards, unless the rifle and operating components are rendered totally inoperable in such a manner as to make the rifle permanently incapable of being restored to operating condition. A totally inoperable drill-purpose rifle may be secured within a securely locked and controlled room.

Two Person Opening Procedures

17. The CO is responsible for ensuring the security of DND/CF assets. To ensure the security of rifles and ammunition, access to these assets must be strictly controlled and an audit trail must be maintained. Unless otherwise fully justified and approved in writing by the RCSU security advisor and/or SAMP, a two person opening procedure shall be in place for the small-bore rifles. Even if justified and approved, strict key control must be in place to ensure that no single person ever has unlimited access to the rifles and ammunition.

Certification, Verification and Inspection

18. All provisions regarding certification, verification and inspection of rifles shall be carried out as per NDSP Chapter 28, paragraphs 28.14, 28.18 and 28.24.  For air rifles that do not have serial numbers, physically counting the rifles would be sufficient.

19. The CO and the RCSU security advisor must ensure that the safeguards outlined within this policy are adhered to in order to protect both DND/CF assets and the general public.

20. Small-bore and large-bore rifles are to be inspected annually.  These annual rifle inspections are to be performed by Land Equipment Management System (LEMS) maintenance workshop staff - Weapon Technician, MOC 421- as per the National Defence Security Instruction (NDSI). Rifles not inspected within a one-year period are to be quarantined immediately and retained at the cadet unit pending inspection. Quarantined rifles shall not be used for live firing, including firing of blank ammunition, under any circumstances.

21. In the event of any rifle loss (i.e. theft, asset loss, destruction, etc.) the involved RCSU is responsible for advising the D Cdts LCMM – who will advise DSSPM 5 – of the quantity, NSN, serial numbers if applicable and nature of the loss.  This action does not replace/supersede but complement any formal action such as military investigations warranted in such case.

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