CUFOA

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

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

homebutton contacts button articlesbutton photos linksbutton
 

CUFOA NewsLetter August 2015

Stephen Harper Has Abandoned Firearms Owners

Prime Minister Stephen Harper finally quit playing charades with firearms owners. Before a television audience on 18 March 2015, Mr. Harper announced to the nation:

"Gun ownership in Canada is a responsibility, unlike the United States (where) gun ownership is a right.
"We got rid of the needless and ineffective long-gun registry because we register gun owners."
(1)

With his declaration "we register gun owners" Mr. Harper betrayed responsible firearms owners. Mr. Harper accepts the prime objective of the Liberals' 1995 Firearms Act, specifically that:

"Firearm possession/ownership is now, clearly a privilege, not a right."(2)

Mr. Harper clearly knows the difference between a mere privilege and a Right. Nonetheless Mr. Harper repudiated the promise that he made to responsible firearms owners when he sought our support in his leadership race in January 2002. At that time Mr. Harper publically acknowledged "the rights of Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly."(3)

Yet Mr. Harper now endorses a law whereby the Government claims the authority to dictate "the circumstances in which an individual does or does not need firearms to protect the life of that individual."(4) Mr. Harper knows this law is a sham. He understood Mr. Manning's position that this is "a bad law, a blight on the legislative record of the government."(5)

As Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Harper renewed his commitment to respect our Right to own firearms.(6) And with Garry Breitkreuz's promises and encouragement,(3) we helped Mr. Harper achieve his majority. Nevertheless Mr. Harper now disowns his commitments.

At the Conservative Party Convention in Montreal in March 2005, responsible firearms owners were successful in passing a policy that recognizes "the rights of law-abiding Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly."(3) The Conservatives have been a majority Government for four years, even so Mr. Harper has refused to enact their Firearms Policy.

Regrettably Mr. Harper fails to understand that we Canadians derive our Right to own firearms from the same source as Americans - the English Declaration of Right of 1689. That document recognizes armed self-defense as one of the "true, ancient, and indubitable" rights of free people.(7)

Thus Mr. Harper is in error when he does not recognize that armed self-defence is one of the most basic Rights that citizens possess. He considers the ownership of firearms not a personal, individual Right, but a mere "privilege" that may be negated at any time by political whim by an Order-in-Council.(4)

The Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) chooses to ignore Mr. Harper's public betrayal of responsible firearms owners. The CSSA even praises Mr. Harper's recent passage of Bill C-42, the so-called "Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act."(8) What the CSSA seems to forget is that four years ago when Mr. Harper scrapped "the long gun registry" with Bill C-19, Mr. Harper kept the worse part of the Firearms Act - the licensing of firearms owners.

We need to remember what Professor Gary Mauser warned us about licencing and slowly boiling frogs in hot water:

"Just by arbitrarily tightening up the (licencing) standards, the government can cause gun ownership to disappear."
"Firearms registration is bad, but licencing is worse. Licencing will kill the ownership of firearms."
(9)

Mr. Harper's so-called Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act essentially makes applying for a firearms licence more convenient. As Dr. Mauser reminds us: federal licensing legislation makes it easier for the Government eventually to destroy our Right to defend ourselves.

During discussions of our forthcoming election dilemma this fall, our most outspoken member on the Canadian Firearms Digest, Joe Gingrich noted that Mr. Harper has played "Bait And Switch" with us. Joe says Mr. Harper has used "the ploy of offering a person something desirable to gain favor then thwarting expectations by delivering something less desirable." Joe offered this straightforward admonition:

"Stop cooperating in the con! If the mark won’t play, the con artist can’t win."

In a televised interview in late March immediately after Mr. Harper's declaration that we Canadians do not have the Right to own firearms, I suggested that that I would prefer a Liberal-NDP coalition government than have to endure more deception from Mr. Harper.(10)
From the responses on Facebook some young gun owners consider me "a stupid idiot." These gun owners simply do not understand the destructive manner in which licensing destroys our Right to own firearms. They benignly referred to Mr. Harper as "the lesser of the other evils."

In empathically rejecting the suggestion that we continue to vote for Mr. Harper after this betrayal, our CUFOA National Spokesperson Al Muir, firmly stated:

"I am not attracted to evil despite where it places on any scale. I vote according to actions, not promises. Mr. Harper's government's actions have proven them to be less than trustworthy ... they have totally lost sight of principle."

Al continued:

"Allowing politicians to lose sight of principle enables evil. We need more voters with the courage to break this endless cycle."

To break this cycle, we need a Conservative Party leader who will honour the Conservative Party Firearms Policy to respect "the rights of law-abiding Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly."

Until we have a Party leader who is personally committed to respecting our Right to own firearms for self-defense, we highly recommend Al and Joe's hard-core advice:

"Do not vote for, support, or donate money to the Conservative Party."

Sincerely,
Edward B. Hudson, DVM, MS
Secretary
23 July 2015

References:

1. Prime Minister Harper defends 'moderate' Canadian gun control policy, 18 March 2015
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stephen-harper-defends-moderate-canadian-gun-control-policy-1.3000049

2. . Canadian Firearms Center 2002 National Compliance Strategy;
"The Firearms Act ... provides ... far reaching ... Gun Control in Canada.
"Firearm possession/ownership is now, clearly a privilege, not a right."
In response to Garry Breitkreuz, MP ATI Request #391 on October 25, 2003
http://www.garrybreitkreuz.com/publications/ComplianceStrategyandProgram2004-01-22.pdf

3. Mr. Harper and the Conservatives' Promises to Firearms Owners - please see below.

4. 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

5. Preston Manning's Address to the House of Commons, 13 July 1995 - please see below.

6. Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition, Letter of 09 September 2004 - please see below.

7. The English Declaration of Rights 1689
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/licensing/licensing_13_feb_1689.html
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/england.asp

8. CSSA Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act, 18 June 2015
"The "Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act" is now the Law of the Land"
http://cssa-cila.org/2015/06/team-cssa-media-release-june-18-2015-bill-c-42-is-granted-royal-assent/

9. Gary Mauser, Professor Simon Fraser University, Boiling Frogs – and Gun Owners
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/licensing/licensing_29_jan_2004.html
http://www.sfu.ca/~mauser/papers/licencing/Boiling-a-Frog29104.pdf

10. Calvin To, Global News, 25 March 2015,
"Firearm advocate accuses prime minister of betraying gun lobby"
http://globalnews.ca/news/1903066/firearm-advocate-accuses-prime-minister-of-betraying-gun-lobby/

*** ***

The Conservatives’ Promises to Firearms Owners

Mr. Harper’s Promise to Repeal Bill C-68

I was and still am in total agreement with the statement made in the House of Commons by former Reform Leader Preston Manning on 13 June 1995:

Bill C-68, if passed into law will not be a good law. It will be a blight on the legislative record of the government, a law that fails the three great tests of constitutionality, of effectiveness and of democratic consent to f the governed. What should be the fate of a bad a law? It should be repealed ... .

Bill C-68 [The Firearms Act] has proven to be a bad law and has created a bureaucratic nightmare for both gun owners and the government. As Leader of the Official Opposition, I will use all powers afforded to me as Leader and continue our party’s fight to repeal Bill C-68 and replace it with a firearms control system that is cost effective and respects the rights of Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly.
- Stephen Harper, January 2002
- Ref: 1 (see below)

The Conservative Party of Canada Policy Declaration

As approved by the CPC Montréal Convention, 19 March 2005
81. Firearms - A Conservative Government will repeal Canada’s costly gun registry legislation and work with the provinces and territories on cost-effective gun control programs designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while respecting the rights of law-abiding Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly. Measures will include: mandatory minimum sentences for the criminal use of firearms; strict monitoring of high-risk individuals; crackdown on the smuggling; safe storage provisions; firearms safety training; a certification screening system for all those wishing to acquire firearms legally; and putting more law enforcement officers on our streets.

The Promise of the Conservatives while Serving as the Loyal Opposition

“There is only one way to fix this mess and that is to elect a Conservative government. We promise to repeal Bill C-68 and return the gun laws to the way they were before 1995. Then I personally promise that I will start the task of fixing all the flaws in federal firearm laws by requiring that they be subjected to a public safety test administered by the Auditor General of Canada. My proposal includes a sunset clause on all gun control laws that have been proven by the Auditor General not to be cost effective at reducing the criminal use of firearms and improving public safety.”
- Garry Breitkreuz, M.P. Yorkton-Melville (SK) Conservative Firearms Critic, 08 July 2005

Ref: 1
From: Dennis & Hazel Young
Date: September 1, 2009
To: 'Lee Jasper' Cc: 'Edward Hudson'
Subject: RE: Stephen Harper on Bill C-68 - January 2002

The statement was drafted by me, Tom Flanagan, Ken Boessenkool, approved by Stephen Harper and distributed to gun owners on January 19, 2002 by Garry Breitkreuz. It was part of an agreement Harper made to get Garry's support during the Canadian Alliance leadership race. Following Mr. Harper's win, he appointed Garry as the Official Opposition Critic for Firearms and Property Rights.
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_19_jan_2002.html

*** ***

HOUSE OF COMMONS DEBATES - OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)
VOLUME 133 NUMBER 217 1st SESSION 35th PARLIAMENT
TUESDAY, JUNE 13, 1995

Mr. Preston Manning (Calgary Southwest, Reform):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to participate in what will really be the closing debate on the government's controversial gun control Bill C-68 (The Firearms Act).
...
I can assure the government that ... Within a year ... a crop of public discontent ... will cause the minister and the government to rue the day they rammed this ill conceived legislation through their own caucus and through Parliament.
...
What are the characteristics of a good law and does this bill possess them?

The short answer is that a good law ... must pass the test of constitutionality, effectiveness and democratic consent.

Will Bill C-68 if enacted be a good law or a bad law?

First is the test of constitutionality. This bill ... will be subject to constitutional challenges to which it would not be subject if the minister had ... given greater care to the issue of civil liberties ... certain clauses ... may very well contravene the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in particular, the rights of Canadians to privacy and security of the person.

Bill C-68 fails the test of being on sound, and unquestionably sound, constitutional ground.

A second major test which any government legislative measure must pass ... is the test of effectiveness. Will it achieve the object, in this case an increase in public safety ... ?

My colleagues have made the argument very effectively that Bill C-68 will not achieve the goal of increased public safety because it focuses less than 20 per cent on the regulation of the criminal use of firearms and over 80 per cent on the regulation of the non-criminal use of firearms. To be effective the emphasis of the bill should have been exactly the opposite.
...
The third test of a good law is that ... it must pass the test of democratic consent and support ... (But this bill) does not carry the judgment of the people who pay the bills and whom it supposedly benefits.

I therefore submit in conclusion that Bill C-68, if passed into law, will not be a good law. It will be a bad law, a blight on the legislative record of the government, a law that fails the three great tests of constitutionality, of effectiveness and of the democratic consent of the governed.

What should be the fate of a bad law? It should be repealed, which is precisely what a Reform government will do when it eventually replaces this government.

http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_13_jun_1995.html

*** ***

Leader of the Opposition CANADA Chef de L’Opposition

September 9, 2004

Edward B. Hudson DVM, MS
Secretary
Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association
402 Skeen (sic Skeena) Crt.
Saskatoon, SK S7K 4H2

Dear Mr. Hudson,

Thank you for forwarding me a copy of your letter to Paul Martin regarding the Firearms Act. I am pleased to have this opportunity to respond.

The Conservative Party of Canada is committed to holding the Martin Liberals accountable for their continued and egregious waste of taxpayers’ dollars on the ineffectual firearms registry. Our critic responsible for the issue of firearms, M.P. Garry Breitkreuz, has been especially vocal, demanding that the government explain all of the costs involved in establishing and maintaining the error-fraught firearms registry. We will continue to call upon the Martin Liberals to scrap the registry.

The Conservative Party of Canada remains firmly committed to repealing the current Firearms Act, including its firearms registration provisions, and replacing it with a system of firearms control this is cost effective and respects the rights of Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write.

Sincerely,

(signed Stephen Harper)

Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C. M.P.
Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada

/lts

House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

see PDF at : http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_09_sep_2004.html

*** ***

An Armed Canadian in America

A few years ago, I immigrated to the United States, mainly to be able to keep and bear arms. I knew that there was much gun control in America, but less than in Canada. My experience confirmed both points.

You just need to buy a firearm in the U.S. – which one can do as a legal resident – to see that gun control exists. Except if you buy your gun from a private party, you must, since 1998, pass the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check. You will fail it if you have ever been convicted of a felony. This is not very difficult in the U.S. as 6% or adults have a felony record. You will also fail it if you have been convicted of any domestic violence misdemeanor or are under a restraining order for harassing or threatening an intimate partner. Under this system, your wife or girlfriend can prevent you owning guns if she is not nice or you are not.

Many other aspects of gun ownership are regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Federal Firearms of 1938, and subsequent federal legislation, as well as by each state’s laws and regulations. A convicted felon is forbidden to have any firearm in his possession (“possession” being defined very wide) under penalty of another (serious) felony. All in all, I suspect there are more people in jail for paper gun crimes in the United States than in Canada.

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights, on the right to keep and bear arms, has started to be restored in the last few years. Much remains to be done.

The good news is that, if you are average enough to pass all these hurdles, you can actually, in most states, do something with your guns. You don’t have to keep them locked and unusable. You can use them in self-defense at home and, in most states, carry them, either openly or concealed. Carrying concealed usually requires a permit.

In Maine, where I live, gun laws are quite liberal (in the real, classical, sense of the term). A concealed-carry permit is easy to obtain (if you have no criminal record) and allows you to carry your pistol nearly everywhere. I carry my pistol – my “loaded pistol,” as European and Canadian journalists would say with a look of utter incomprehension and uncontrollable fear: “What! An ordinary citizen?” nearly everywhere I go, from the bank to the theater, from the beach to the forest. One can even carry in the non-secure area of the Portland airport.

Although it is seldom practiced, open carry is allowed in Maine and requires no permit. It is rare, but you can meet somebody carrying a pistol or a long gun openly. In fact, the first day I had my concealed-carry permit, I went for a walk with my girlfriend and we were approached by two guys on four-by-fours, one of whom was carrying an AR-15, as he had the right to. They were peaceful guys and there was no shoot-out.

Maine is a very peaceful and non-violent place. We usually leave the doors of the house unlocked. Of course, a would-be criminal would suspect that the homeowner has a loaded pistol nearby, just in case. As the old Latin proverb says, Si vis pacem para bellum – if you want peace, prepare war. House invasions and road rage are virtually unknown here.

At the time of writing, the Maine Assembly is debating the adoption of “constitutional carry,” that is, the right to conceal-carry without any permit for anybody not otherwise forbidden to own guns. A few other states have recently adopted constitutional carry (Arizona, Alaska, Wyoming, Kansas, and Wyoming); it has existed in Vermont from time immemorial.

Much remains to be done to give the Second Amendment the same respect other sections of the Bill of Rights (like freedom of speech) command, but the outlook now looks favorable.

Pierre Lemieux, economist and author.
Pierre is nominally affiliated with the University of Québec in Outaouais. He has published many books in Paris, New York, and Montréal.

*** ***

If our Government can’t protect us, we don’t deserve protection

The Ontario government is threatening to take away Bruce and Donna Montague’s home, as the final act of more than a decade of persecution, in the course of which Bruce Montague was hauled away by police from a gun show, leaving his 12-year-old daughter traumatized; incarcerated for 18 months (his wife received a probationary sentence) and their small business ruined by the confiscation of their entire inventory.

Bruce and Donna owned a gunsmith shop and their crime was Bruce’s refusal to do the paperwork required by a series of inane gun-registry laws instituted in the 1990s, which were widely criticized and have been partly rescinded since, because he found the process nonsensical and intrusive. I presume he felt he shouldn’t have to tell his government his medical history or details about his love life in order to acquire or retain a license to his hunting rifle.

The Montague's defiant act of civil disobedience brought upon the couple’s head the administrative vengeance of the state. As Donna wrote in a recent letter: “Like many other small business owners, the bulk of our life’s savings was invested in our business. By seizing our inventory, the government has left us on the brink of a financial disaster. At the time, it was hard for us to imagine our plight could get any worse.

“But then, unbelievably, it did get worse: Government authorities maintain they can seize our home because they say it is ‘proceeds of unlawful activity’ or ‘instruments of unlawful activity’ as defined by the Civil Remedies Act of 2001.

“Again, keep in mind, Bruce’s alleged ‘unlawful activity’ consisted of him simply not registering his firearms as a protest. He never stole anything, he never harmed anyone.”

I’m afraid that’s precisely the problem, Donna. Stealing things or harming people doesn’t enrage the authorities half as much as protesting their intrusive, silly, liberticidal edicts. Civil disobedience may be a necessary, noble and unselfish act, but it carries a stupendous price tag. Good luck to you and to the Canadian Constitution Foundation, which has taken up the Montagues’ cause.

In Canada we often gloat about being a caring society, but for us, “caring” is a state monopoly. Our governments take the view that if they can’t protect us, we don’t deserve protection. And should we resort to civil disobedience, as Bruce and Donna Montague did, to protest the latest invasion of red tapeworms from our state bureaucracies, we don’t even deserve our liberty, livelihood and homes any longer.

For shame.

George Jonas, National Post
20 June 2015
http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/george-jonas-our-governments-take-the-view-that-if-they-cant-protect-us-we-dont-deserve-protection

For more information or to contribute to assist Bruce & Donna Montague, please see:
Canadian Constitutional Foundation
http://theccf.ca/articles/please-help/

*** *** ***

 

Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association
Association canadienne des propriétaires d’armes sans permis
402 Skeena Court Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 4H2
(306) 242-2379 (306) 230-8929
edwardhudson@shaw.ca
www.cufoa.ca