CUFOA

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

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Press Release for December 2002
Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association

by Al Muir: Article in the Daily News in Halifax (Saturday, 11 January 2003)



Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 13:34:20 -0600 (CST)
From: Jim Hill
Subject: Al Muir's excellent article in the Daily News in Halifax today

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Gun-registry foes speak out

The Daily News

http://www.canada.com/halifax/dailynews/letters/story.asp?id={A7562861-B27C- 4117-9EFA-945BC59245E4}

To the editor:

In responding to columnist Rick Howe's plea to comply with the Firearms Act (Register Your Darn Guns, The Daily News, Jan. 3), I will focus on two questions. One: what is the law designed to accomplish? Two: why are we within our rights to oppose it?

I quote the auditor general's report, chapter 10, section10.68: "The department said the excessive regulation had occurred because some of its program partners believed that the use of firearms is, in itself, a questionable activity that required strong controls."

What is this "excessive regulation?" The following quote from Senator Anne Cools, in a Senate speech on Oct. 29, answers this question: "The rights and liberties of Canadians have been violated in the name of misguided policy, policy that is mere social engineering built on a foundation of scientific fiction.

"It is time for the Minister of Justice to admit that this failed gun registration policy is not about public safety, but, rather, about a government seeking inordinate control and surveillance over its citizens, and about a government seeking to establish itself as the sole custodian of firearms and the sole custodian of the instruments of force, even unto that government destroying civil liberties, destroying the rural way of life."

The federal government, in its zeal to accomplish its social-engineering agenda, produced a law that violates constitutional rights.

Is the law designed to confiscate all firearms? While some elements of the Firearms Act are designed for the outright confiscation of certain "undesirable firearms," the act lays the groundwork for a more subtle, politically correct, "confiscation by attrition." It is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain ownership.

Car licensing and registration costs are shared by the majority of citizens, allowing us to maintain reasonable levels of cost. Registration of any item possessed by minorities will result in prohibitive cost to all taxpayers ($1 billion and climbing in this case), or an unsustainable burden on the targeted group. The Firearms Act is designed in such a way as to achieve, over an extended period of time, this confiscation by attrition. Automobile licencing contains no provision that allows "inspectors" on your property, without benefit of judicial warrant, if you have 10 cars. The Firearms Act allows it for firearms.

If you read the Firearms Act carefully, you will discover numerous other restrictions placed on owners that automobile owners are not subjected to. No realistic comparison of the two can be made.

Why, then, are we within our rights to oppose the Firearms Act the way we have chosen?

The following is a quote from the Dec. 18, 2000, issue of the Brockville Recorder and Times: "Yes, there are rare occasions, when the law clearly violates fundamental rights or when it is so abhorrent that it offends basic principles of decency in which civil disobedience is not only permissible, but necessary." The privacy commissioner has already stated that the questions on the licence application are not within the state's right to ask.

The Firearms Act contains at least 13 possible charter-rights infringements. Regardless of any citizen's support of licensing and registration of firearms, we cannot conscientiously support a law that accomplishes it in the manner the Firearms Act attempts.

In discussions in Ottawa with the RCMP and Ottawa police, eight individuals, one each from Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Alberta; two from Ontario; and three from Saskatchewan, submitted their names, addresses, and telephone numbers as persons who would not comply with the Firearms Act. Our demonstration at the Georges-Etienne Cartier monument at the foot of Mount Royal in Montreal was designed to focus attention on Cartier's belief, inscribed on that monument, that "Canada must be a country of liberty, and all freedoms must be protected by law."

The Firearms Act, as written, does not protect these liberties. It denies them; therefore, it cannot go unchallenged. One of Canada's oldest principles of the rule of law is equality in the application and administration of the law.

The group of eight that surrendered themselves in Ottawa were not charged under the Firearms Act. It follows, in light of the above Supreme Court ruling, that no other person can be charged with not having a licence or registration if this group of eight is not. It is not up to Rick Howe or myself to decide if the Firearms Act is salvageable; it is up to the federal Liberal government and the courts.

Al Muir

Stellarton

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