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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“I hereby declare my open defiance of the Government and the Courts of Canada
on all items respecting the acquisition, possession, and use of firearms.”

Today the Supreme Court of Canada rejected my application for “leave to appeal,” thus ending CUFOA’s eight-year court battle to prevent the Government from destroying the firearms that the police have confiscated from us without criminal charge, trial, or conviction.1

In 1995 the Liberal Government passed Bill C-68, the Firearms Act and its consequent amendments to the Criminal Code. In a complete perversion of Canada’s proud history and culture of responsible possession and use of firearm, Jean Chrétien, Allan Rock, and Anne McLellan made the mere possession of a firearm a criminal offence and declared that:

The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) regarding the issuance of licenses, … 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, ... .2

This law seemed to go against basic common sense. I have always believed that a person has the Right to armed self-defence as was first articulated and recognized in the 1689 English Declaration of Rights. 3 After many years of simply ‘believing’, I was forced to take a good, hard look at the historical record. From everything I was able to find, the Right of armed self-defence is not merely an American ideal, but was indeed ‘imported’ into all of British North America. The Right to “have Armes for their Defence” is truly a significant part of our Canadian heritage and culture.4, 5, 6

Being convinced in my belief that the Liberals were legally wrong and that it is total insanity to submit to a Government that presumes the ultimate authority over our lives, I therefore chose not to obey this so-called law. I refused to ask the Government for permission to possess the means to defend myself. Obviously citizens have to have a very good reason not to obey ‘the law of the land.’ But as John Locke declared:

Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God.7

Following the principles of Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr., my associates and I chose to engage in an open, public campaign of active, peaceful, non-violent, civil disobedience to challenge to the licencing mandate of the Firearms Act and its amendments to the Criminal Code. We based our actions upon John Rawls’, A Theory of Justice:

At what point does the duty to comply with the laws enacted by a legislative majority cease to be binding in view of the right to defend one’s liberties and the duty to oppose injustice?

This question involves the nature and limits of majority rule. For this reason the problem of civil disobedience is a crucial test for any theory of the moral basis of democracy.8

Beginning on Parliament Hill on New Years Day 2003 and over the next two years, in open defiance of the law, we challenged the police to arrest us for possessing our firearms without a licence. In response, the local city police and the provincial RCMP seized and confiscated several of our firearms. But an amendment to the Criminal Code - section 117.03 - introduced by the Liberals along with the Firearms Act, gives the police the authority to seize and confiscate our property without laying any charges against us.2

With three separate court submissions we challenged these confiscation of our property through the three levels of the Saskatchewan “justice” system. We twice applied to have our cases heard before the Supreme Court of Canada.1, 9 After eight years in court, the Supreme Court of Canada on 29 March 2012 refused to hear our last argument. Thus, that honourable Court grants that the Government may “legally” destroy our property without giving us benefit of criminal charge, trial, or conviction.

Since the Government of Canada presumes the authority to pass such an unjust law that allows the police to seize, confiscate, and obtain court orders for forfeiture and destruction of the most vital piece of private property a person can possess, and the Supreme Court of Canada will not even consider this worthy of review, I will no longer regard either the Government or the Courts of Canada as having the “moral basis” to guide my life.

I will at all times remain peaceful and non-violent, but I hereby declare my open defiance of the Government and the Courts of Canada on all items respecting the acquisition, possession, and use of firearms.

Edward Burke Hudson, DVM, MS
Secretary
29 March 2012

1. Application for Leave to Appeal, 11 November 2011
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/armes/armes_11_november_2011.html

2. "Bill C-68" - the Firearms Act and the consequent amendments to the
Criminal Code"
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/knowyourenemy/knowyourenemy_13_june_1995.html

3. English Declaration of Rights, 1689
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/england.asp

4. The Canadian Right of Armes for their Defense
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/armes/armes_17_sept_2007.html

5. Boiling Frogs – and Gun Owners, Dr. Gary Mauser, Simon Fraser University
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/licensing/licensing_29_jan_2004.html

6. How the Firearms Act (Bill C-68) Violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,
Dr. Ted Morton, University of Calgary
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/licensing/licensing_05_oct_2002.html

7. John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, (1680-1690)

8. John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, Belknap Press Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1971, p. 363

9. Armes for Their Defense; An Inherited, Historical, Canadian Right
http://www.cufoa.ca/1.html

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