CUFOA

Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association
Association canadienne des propriétaires d’armes sans permis

Armes for Their Defense;
An Inherited, Historical, Canadian Right

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The Castle Doctrine:
Armed Self-Defence in One's Home

A huge amount of political noise is once again being made over Canada's gun control law. The RCMP is accused of having refused to reply to previous Access-to-Information requests for Gun Registry data. The Government is berated for "setting a dangerous precedent" in trying to cover up criminal intent by introducing "retroactive laws."(1)

But we must make no mistake; the overly proud boast of "ending the long-gun registry" has always been nothing more than political smoke and mirrors. This is a political charade, a sideshow to deflect our attention from the main point. The real evil - the centerpiece of the Firearms Act - is the licencing mandate. The licencing scheme makes the mere possession of a firearm a criminal offence - a very serious criminal offence. And with licencing, the Government denies responsible citizens the means to defend themselves in their home.

We cannot allow this to continue.

Throughout our British-Canadian history one of the hallmarks of responsible citizens has been the Right to use firearms in self-defence in their homes. Yet in 1995 Canada sought to negate this basic principle of survival. When the Liberals passed the Firearms Act (Bill C-68), the Government clearly noted at the time that this was a history changing law:

"The Firearms Act ... provides ... far reaching ... Gun Control in Canada
"Firearm possession/ownership is now, clearly a privilege, not a right.
"(2)

Our Canadian Government no longer considers the possession of a firearm by responsible citizens a Right. The possession of a firearm is now a mere "privilege". By the stroke of a pen, armed self-defence, a basic Right that had for over four hundred years been a distinctive mark of Canadian culture, was unceremoniously tossed out.

The Government has made the mere possession of a firearm without a licence a very serious crime. Veterans who had fought bravely in Italy, landed on Juno Beach, and liberated Holland now have to ask the Government for "permission" merely to possess a hunting rifle. Responsible gun owners who forty years ago biked across town with a .22 rifle slung over the handle bars now have to prove themselves worthy of the Government's grace merely to hunt ducks. And our young men and women who have faced enemy gunfire in Afghanistan must obtain their spouse's signature when applying for a licence to posses a rifle in Canada. And every licenced gun owner has their name and addressed recorded in a national data base that the police claim to check each day.

But all that is a mere insult. The harm is much more noteworthy - and much more ominous. The Government presumes the authority to prescribe:

"the circumstances in which an individual does or does not need firearms to protect the life of that individual."(3)

To "prescribe" means the Government will dictate the means of self-defence we may use in our homes.

With the licencing scheme the Government not only violates one of our most basic Rights - the Right of self-preservation - the Government presumes the authority to invade our homes and tells us how we must store our firearms. Pierre Trudeau famously declared that there is "no place for the state in the bedrooms" of Canadians. But the State considers that what we keep in our bedrooms for our personal protection is their bureaucratic prerogative to grant or deny.

This is madness. I have publically notified the Government that I refuse to submit to this Government licencing mandate.(4)

This not a step I have taken lightly. I base my defiance of this unjust law upon the Castle Doctrine - the British principle that "my home is my castle."

In 1763 in opposition to searches of homes incident to the enforcement of an excise tax on cider, William Pitt (the Elder), a member of the British Parliament, expressed this principle best:

"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter; all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!"(5)

However, the Castle Doctrine goes much further back in British history. In 1603 Lord Edward Coke - later one of the authors of the Petition of Rights - declared:

That the house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defense against injury and violence, as for his repose;"(6)

As well respected legal authors Caplan and Caplan have shown, Lord Coke based his legal declaration on "four root castle doctrine cases" and:

"Legal authorities continue to cite them as controlling on the subject of using force, especially deadly force, in defense of habitation."(6)

The first case that Lord Coke cites was decided nearly seven hundred years ago in 1330. In that case the judge stated:

The owner of a house may lawfully kill one [a thief] who enters the house to rob him.”(6)

The second root case, also reported in 1330 and cited with approval by the United States Supreme Court in 1980, found:

"It was presented that thieves entered a man’s house intending to rob him. The servant of the house killed one of the thieves ... [The judge] said that the servant did well and that he would receive from the law nothing but good;”(6)

The third root case was decided in 1353. In an indictment for felony murder, the jury noted that the homeowner was in his house:

"and the man whom he killed and others came to his house in order to burn it ... and surrounded the house... and he lept forth ... and killed the other ... And it was adjudged that this was no felony."(6)

Notably, in this case of attempted arson, the homeowner saved himself by killing the attackers outside his home.

Lord Coke's fourth root case, was decided in 1499. The court declared:

"If one is in his house, and hears that such a one will come to his house to beat him, he may assemble folk of his friends and neighbors to help him, and aid in the safeguard of his person." .”

The court stated "a man’s house is his castle and defense, and where he has a peculiar [special] right to stay."(6)

As Drs. Caplan observed, Lord Coke interpreted this case as supporting the right to keep arms in the house for home defense as part and parcel of the castle doctrine. Lord Coke declared:

"And yet in some cases a man may not only use force and arms, but assemble ... his friends and neighbors, to keep his house against those that come to rob him, or kill him, or to offer violence in it . . . for a man’s house is his castle, ... for where shall a man be safe, if it be not in his house?"(6)

Lord Coke clearly pronounced that:

"the safety measure is not limited to using bare hands but includes having and using arms as well."(6)

Seven hundred years of British history and four hundred years of responsible firearms ownership in Canada attest to the wisdom of the Castle Doctrine. Being both able to have and to use firearms in self-defence in our homes is basic to our survival and an integral part of being free.

In my home I, not the Government, will decide how I will defend my family, my property, and myself.

My act of peaceful, civil disobedience in refusing to apply for a licence to possess my firearms makes me liable to three years in prison. If the Government wants to try to send me to prison, so be it. I will base my defense on the Castle Doctrine.

I want my two grandkids to have the Right to defend themselves in their homes.

Sincerely,

Edward B. Hudson DVM, MS
402 Skeena Court
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 4H2
16 May 2015

References:

1. Elizabeth Thompson, 09 May 2015, Censoring that Part of the Past
http://www.ipolitics.ca/2015/05/09/effectively-they-are-censoring-that-part-of-the-past-michel-drapeau/

2. CANADIAN FIREARMS CENTER CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PLAN
NATIONAL COMPLIANCE STRATEGY & PROGRAM

"The Firearms Act is a relatively new piece of legislation, introduced in 1995, with components phased in, some as recent as 2001. It, in conjunction with other complementary Federal initiatives, provides a comprehensive and far reaching public safety focused approach to Gun Control in Canada. Firearm possession/ownership is now, clearly a privilege, not a right."
http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/ComplianceStrategyandProgram2004-01-22.pdf

3. The Firearms Act, Section 117:
The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) regarding the issuance of licenses, authorization certificates and authorizations, including regulation respecting the purposes for which they may be issued ... and prescribing the circumstances in which persons are or are not eligible to hold licences; ...
(c) prescribing the circumstances in which an individual does or does not need firearms
(1) to protect the life of that individual, ... .
The Firearms Act, chapter 39, Statues of Canada -1995; p. 54
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/armes/armes_10_april_2008.html

4. Edward B. Hudson, 13 July 2013, A Direct Challenge; Enforce the Firearms Act
This unjust law makes me a criminal merely for possessing the means to protect my family, my property, and myself without having first submitted to the Federal Government’s demand that I apply to Government for a licence to possess that means.
Therefore today, I begin a direct challenge to you. Mr. Harper, uphold the law that you so disingenuously refuse to repeal. I hereby give you the means to have me found guilty by a jury of my peers. I attach an affidavit that clearly states I own a Cooey .22 rifle; that I knowingly possess this rifle without a licence in direct violation of Criminal Code section 92(1):
“every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm knowing that the person is not the holder of
(a) a licence under which the person may possess it;”

I will never submit to this unjust law. If my friends, my neighbors, my acquaintances, my fellow citizens of Saskatoon and Saskatchewan, disagree with me for defending my Right to self-protection by peaceful, non-violent civil disobedience, you can have them send me to prison.
I challenge you, Mr. Harper: fulfill your duty; have me charged and tried in court.
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_13_july_2013b.html

5. William Pitt, Cider Act, 1763
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cider_Bill_of_1763

6. David I. Caplan and Sue Wimmershoff-Caplan, Postmodernism and the Model Penal Code v. The Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments—and the Castle Privacy Doctrine in the Twenty-First Century, 73 UMKC L. Rev. 1073 (2004-2005)*
http://www.saf.org/journal/18/caplan.htm
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/armes/armes_2005.html

* Drs. Caplan and Caplan have provided a wealth of information in this excellent article. While much of their article is obviously based on the situation in the United States, I highly recommend their article to anyone interested in protecting our Rights and Freedoms.