Firearms Owners Association
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Q.B. No. 1150 of 2010
In the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan
Judicial Center of Saskatoon
Edward Burke Hudson
The Attorney General of Canada
Edward B. Hudson
2. My associates and I regard this claim of the federal Government to have the authority to tell us when - or if - we may have a firearm to defend ourselves, our families, and our property as patently absurd.
3. We hold that the Right of armed self-defense is an essential, vital precondition of citizenship that predates any democratic state.
4. We consider the licensing mandate of the Firearms Act an unconstitutional violation of the 1689 English Declaration of Rights that declares that responsible citizens may have ‘Armes for their Defense’.
5. For over fifteen years we have done everything we possibly could within the political arena to affect a change in the Government’s policy on licencing. We wrote letters to our Prime Ministers, ministers, government officials, and members of Parliament. We joined protest marches, attended rallies, contributed our time, energy, and financial resources in working on election campaigns, joined provincial and federal constituency associations, and served on electoral districts boards. All of our political efforts availed us nothing.
6. Since my associates and I have no intention of submitting to this unjust Act, we formed the Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association (CUFOA) as a further means to defend our Right to possess firearms for self-protection.
7. We based CUFOA upon the
principles of peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience of Henry David Thoreau,
Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. and founded CUFOA on the
legal philosophy of John Rawls.
9. If our fellow citizens want to incarcerate us for our refusal to surrender our Right to armed self-defense, we will serve our time in prison.
10. However, either intentionally or inadvertently, the Government has effectively used Criminal Code section 117.03 to evade the law’s requirement to bring us to trial for our intentional, peaceful - yet specifically illegal - public actions.
11. The Government has thus denied us our democratic Right of peaceful public dialogue; the Government has denied us Justice.
12. As noted in our Brief of Reasons to Judge Plemel, my associates and I have been involved in over twenty-five peaceful, nonviolent demonstrations where the police should have charged us under Criminal Code section 92(1) for knowingly possessing a firearm without a licence.
13. My associates and I have endured seven arrests where the police have seized and confiscated our responsibly owned firearms from us, but the police never charged us with a violation of Criminal Code s. 92(1). Instead the police either charged us with other Criminal Code violations – which the Crown later dropped - and seized and confiscated our firearms under Criminal Code s. 117.03, or the police simply seized and confiscated our firearms under Criminal Code s. 117.03 without laying any charges at all.
14. The police have misused or abused Criminal Code s. 117.03 by simply seizing and confiscating our responsibly owned firearms without laying appropriate criminal charges under Criminal Code section 92(1).
15. The Provincial Courts of Saskatchewan have misused or abused Criminal Code s. 117.03 by issuing destruction orders of our responsibly owned personal property without giving us the benefit of a trial by a jury of our peers.
16. We make no allegation whatever of a conspiracy on the part of the various police services or the Provincial Courts of Saskatchewan to deny our Right to a fair, public trial, but the cumulative effect of the actions of the police in using Criminal Code s. 117.03 without laying proper criminal charges and of the Provincial Courts of Saskatchewan in issuing destruction orders of our responsibly owned personal property without giving us the benefit of a trial by jury has totally negated our use of peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience as a means to affect a change in an unjust law.
17. We present three reasons why this Honourable Court should declare Criminal Code s. 117.03 ultra vires Parliament.
20. In Craik before Judge Orr we argued (unsuccessfully) that the licencing requirement of s.117.03 violated our constitutionally Right to have firearms for self-protection.
21. In Humboldt before Judge Plemel we argued that s. 117.03 violated our constitutionally Right to a trial of our peers.
22. Judge Plemel seems to have been under the misapprehension that we were again debating the constitutional validity of licencing.
23. We did not challenged the legality of licencing in any of our presentations before Judge Plemel in Humboldt.
24. In my oral presentation before Judge Plemel I took pains to emphasize that we were not addressing licencing, specifically stating:
25. I again attempted to clarify the issue, stating:
26. Yet in his verbal decision Judge Plemel declares:
27. As we maintained in the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan before Judge Plemel, we submit that before the Court can order the destruction of our responsibly owned personal property we are constitutionally entitled to a trial of our peers.
28. We based that assertion firmly on the Magna Carta, the Common Law, the Petition of Rights, 1628, the English Declaration of Rights, 1689, the British North America Act, 1867, the Canadian Bill of Rights, 1960, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, the Rule of Law, the separation of powers, and, the Supremacy of God or Natural Law.
29. In violation of the Charter protections against self-incrimination, under Criminal Code s. 117.03 the police can require a person facing a severe criminal violation to admit to a criminal act.
30. In violation of the Charter protections of the presumption of innocence, the so-called hearing of s. 117.03 employs reverse onus for a responsible citizen to prove their innocence.
31. In violation of the Canadian Bill of Rights guarantee of due process the Courts of Saskatchewan have ordered the destruction of our private property.
32. In violation of all the historical constitutional protections of personal legal Rights and protection of private property, s. 117.03 allows a judge to order the forfeiture and destruction of our most vital piece of private property without a trial by jury.
33. Thus we submit that Criminal Code s. 117.03 is ultra vires Parliament.
35. Criminal Code, section 92(1) directs that anyone who possesses a firearm “knowing that the person is not the holder of a licence” is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable “to imprisonment for a term not exceeding the years”.
36. An indictable offence with an imprisonment sentence requires a trial by jury.
37. We very clearly know that we are “not the holder of a licence” to possess our firearms.
38. For his participation in a very similar public act of peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience in Edmonton, Alberta, Oscar Lacombe was arrested, charged, tried, convicted, and sentenced for possession of a firearm without a licence.
39. For his participation in a very similar public act of peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience in Dryden, Ontario, Bruce Montague was arrested, charged, tried, convicted, and sentenced for possession of a firearm without a licence.
40. The Provincial Courts of Saskatchewan have not afforded us this Charter benefit of Canadian citizenship.
41. Through peaceful acts of public, peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience we have attempted to bring our grievance with the licencing mandate of the Firearms Act into public debate through the court system of Canada.
43. Rawls considers peaceful civil disobedience a “part of the theory of a free government”, noting that:
44. Although civil disobedience “is strictly speaking contrary to law”, Rawls states that:
45. At great expense, effort, and investment of time we have been engaged in active, open, honest, peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience to the licencing mandate of the Firearms Act.
46. In direct contravention of Criminal Code s. 92(1) we have intentionally possessed firearms knowing that we were “not the holder of a licence”.
47. Yet the police and the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan have ignored our attempts at peaceful political dialogue.
48. As Rawls advises:
And he further warns:
49. Furthermore Rawls admonishes:
50. Either inadvertently or intentionally, the police and the Provincial Courts of Saskatchewan have misused or abused Criminal Code s. 117.03 and have ignored our several honest pleas to be properly charged and tried before a jury of our peers.
51. We have done everything we reasonably can do, in an open honest, peaceful, nonviolent manner, to have ourselves charged and taken before a jury of our peers for the so-called illegal possession of our firearms.
52. We would remind this Honourable Court of Rawls conclusion:
53. We wish to appeal to the electorate of Saskatchewan in a trial before a jury of our peers.
55. We have openly invited the Government of Saskatchewan to charge us properly for our activity and to bring us to trial before a jury of our peers.
56. We consider the seizure, confiscation, and issuance of destruction orders of our legally acquired, responsibly owned, and properly used firearms a violation of everything that evolves from our Canadian heritage, culture, and the Constitution of Canada.
57. Therefore we call upon this Honourable Court to acknowledge and respect our efforts to have a sincere, honest political dialogue regarding the unjust licencing mandate of the Firearms Act with our peers in court.
Respectfully submitted to the Court of Queen’s Bench, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 06 August 2010.