CUFOA

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

Licensing:
A Cancer of the Soul

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CUFOA NewsLetter June 2012

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Bill C-68 … gives the government such sweeping power that they could ban any or all firearms in Canada and not even the Supreme Court of Canada could overturn it. … Why would the Liberals give themselves such awesome power if they didn’t intend to use it? 1
- Garry Breitkreuz, Opposition Firearms Critic

One of the first things I would do is scrap Bill C-68.2
- Stockwell Day, Leader of the Canadian Alliance

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.3
- Stephen Harper

First and foremost, … Bill C-19 retains licensing requirements for all gun owners.4
- The Hon. Vic Toews, CPC, Minister of Public Safety

We will not be changing the requirement for individuals to hold a license.5
- Candice Hoeppner, CPC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister


“Betrayal!”

Stephen Harper has deceitfully used Bill C-19 in a total betrayal of responsible gun owners.

After encouraging us to invest our “blood, toil, tears and sweat” to evict the contemptible Liberals and elect a “strong, majority Conservative Government”, Mr. Harper has sacrificed us on his political alter for personal gain.

The Prime Minister now loudly proclaims that he “has kept his promise” to gun owners.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Mr. Harper’s totally inadequate Bill C-19 merely ends “the long gun registry”; C-19 does absolutely nothing to eliminate licencing and the criminalization of firearms ownership.

To add insult to his betrayal Mr. Harper and his Conservative Caucus now deny they were ever opposed to licencing.

The Conservative Party has never suggested that we would remove licensing requirements for gun owners.6
- Senator David Tkachuk, CPC, Saskatchewan

The Government of Canada supports the current licensing scheme.7
- The Hon. Rob Nicholson, CPC, Minister of Justice

Our Conservative government has always been clear: we support the licensing of people who own firearms.8
- Hon. Lynne Yelich, CPC Privy Council, Minister of State

That is why the government is investing $7 million annually to strengthen front-end screening of first-time firearms licence applicants.9
- Kelly Block, CPC, MP Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar

The betrayal gets worse.
The Conservatives are actually trying to rewrite history.

The Conservative Party has never claimed to want to repeal the Firearms Act.10
- Shelly Glover, CPC, MP for Saint Boniface

The licensing system was not part of the gun registry introduced by the Liberal government in 1995. It is a long-standing system that has been in place for many decades.11
- Peter Van Loan, CPC, P.C., M.P., Leader of the Government in the House

We made it very clear during the elections in 2011, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2000, 1997, and the predecessor parties, that our goal was to abolish the long gun registry, that we are opposed to the long gun registry. That was our platform. When we became government we did not change our platform.12
- The Hon. Vic Toews, CPC, Minister of Public Safety

These statements are egregiously false.

We put our faith, money, time, and hard work into electing a majority Conservative Government because we believed what Mr. Harper and Garry Breitkreuz said while they were in Opposition. They promised to scrap Bill C-68, to end the Firearms Act, and respect “the Right of Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly”.

Yet possession of a firearm – any type of firearm – whether a simple .22 for shooting tin cans, a duck hunter’s shotgun, or a deer rifle – is still a federal offense – unless you have asked for, and received, permission from the federal Government to possess your firearm. Under Mr. Harper’s Conservative Government your shotgun or rifle can still be seized, confiscated, and ordered forfeited and destroyed without arrest, criminal charge, trial, or conviction.

All these Conservatives who now loudly support former Liberal Allan Rock’s scheme of licencing gun owners act as if they have never read Reform Leader Preston Manning, 13 June 1995 address to Parliament:

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.
13

Garry Breitkreuz as the Official Opposition Critic for Firearms and Property Rights was consistent in calling for the repeal of all of the Liberals’ “gun control” law:

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 1995.14

At the CPC Montréal Convention, 19 March 2005, Mr. Harper’s Promise to respect “the rights of Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly” became officially part of Conservative Party Policy.15

Either these so-called Conservatives have never read the CPC Firearms Policy Statement, or perhaps inexplicably, they do not understand the legal definition of a “Right”. Either way the betrayal is total.

These traitorous people do not deserve a single penny of our support.

Edward B. Hudson DVM, MS
Secretary


The Conservative Government is NOT our Friend

The current “battle” over Bill C-19 is nothing but a ‘false flag’ of a ‘red herring’. The high praise for Vic Toews in shooting down the “back-door registries” is badly misplaced. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is the worst Minister to deal with firearms owners since Allan Rock. Note Mr. Toews’ position on licencing:

Our Government has also targeted resources to strengthen the screening of first-time firearms licence applicants … first-time firearms licence applicants will be interviewed annually, along with references for the applicant, ... ."16

Remember, with Bill C-19, Firearms Act, Section 117 is still very much in force:

The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) regarding the issuance of licenses, ... 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, ... .17

Now more than ever we need to recall what Professor Gary Mauser says:

Gun ownership is the right of all Canadians. North Americans -- Canadians as well as Americans --have inherited the right to own and use firearms from the English Bill of Rights.
Many people complain about registration. But it's not just registration.
Registration is bad, that's true, but licencing is worse.

Licencing gives the government a strangle hold on who can own a firearm.
And the government is not your friend.18

Declaration of Canadian Rights

We are born with several rights, none less important than the others. They are: the right to life, the right to preserve our lives, the right to own property and the right to protect that property from others. These rights are not limited and we may protect them from any and all, which includes state authorities of any state, including our own.

This all being true then we may also not be deprived of the ability to protect ourselves by being arbitrarily limited in what weaponry we may employ to meet our needs. In other words, the state cannot logically limit us to “taking a knife to a gun fight”. And we alone can judge what force we must employ because no one else will be there to instruct us. That is all there is to the argument.

In almost all cases of attempts by someone to deprive us of these rights the police, if they appear at all, get to the scene just in time to write the historical sequel. Judges get to review these notes some months later. Only we are on the spot, only we can intervene and only we can estimate how much force we should employ, if we even have a choice. If all one has is a 12-gauge shotgun then that is what will be utilized. The risk of “so called” excessive force must be borne solely by the intruder, never by the defender. To claim otherwise is to defy logic.

So do not ask the Prime Minister to keep his promise, he will only argue. Tell him what he must do! Money flows from our pockets into his, not the reverse; therefore he works for us. That’s all there is to it.

- Willy Floyd, Westbridge, B.C.


Why Licensing Is Inherently Evil

Licensing (from the Latin “licet”, to permit) is “lawful excuse” to contravene a law. Thus licencing is “permission” from the Government to commit a “crime”. Since the Federal Government may only make criminal law, this cannot be a simple “regulatory” infraction. If the Government can allow you to break this law, give you permission to commit a “crime”, then the action cannot be all that bad of an act in the first place.

In a free society citizens are considered to be responsible, until, by their own actions, they prove that they are not. Requiring a license forces those who are responsible to prove to the Government that they have not done anything “dangerous” to date. This is “guilty until you prove yourself innocent” and “reverse onus,” which are all contrary to the principles of fundamental justice.

If the Government requires you to take some course and pass some test in order for you to be allowed to perform some action, it ceases to be a Right and becomes a mere privilege; you must first ask the Government for permission.

Since the “justification” for this infringement of your Right to own a firearm is “public safety”, in that some other people have in the past, and may again in the future, commit some crime with a gun, responsible citizens have had their rights stripped based on the criminal acts of others, not because of any criminal act performed by that particular individual. This is contrary to the principle of fundamental justice that states that innocent persons should not be punished for acts they did not commit.

Giving the Government the authority to require that individuals acquire a license so a person may do a certain act also gives them the authority to impose arbitrary standards to obtain such a license. Yet the Government may change these standards at any time, which could include the prohibition of certain activities as being “deemed” by those in power as being inherently “unnecessary”.

Once a Right become a mere privilege there are many other arbitrary loopholes that the Government can utilize in an attempt to restrict that activity; they can raise the price for a license exorbitantly; they can schedule required classes at times and in places that are virtually impossible to attend; they can hold such classes once a year, if ever. All of these arbitrary standards are based on the premise that someone else knows better than you how to conduct your own life. They substitute their opinion for your own.

All licensing laws are “malum prohibitum” – bad because the Government says they are bad. Long before the invention of gunpowder, good laws existed that governed the use of weapons in the commission of real crimes, such as robbery, assault, threatening, pointing, discharging at, wounding, or killing someone. These are “malum in se” crimes – bad because they in and of themselves harm someone else. No amount of licensing will prevent someone from committing such a crime.

All “gun control” laws are a sop to the irrational fears that something “might happen”. This is based on the fallacious notion that because some people cannot be trusted to use firearms properly then nobody should be trusted. No amount of laws can make you “safe”, and attempts to do so are illusory and futile. The Government cannot keep you safe.

Any infringement upon the rights of the individual that cannot be justified to be a proven, effective, and substantial benefit to society as a whole is fundamentally wrong.

Licensing cannot accomplish any of the claims made for it, and licencing unjustly infringes upon the rights of responsible citizens. As such, licencing is a bad law, and must be repealed.

- Bruce N. Mills, Hamilton, Ontario


Resetting the Bar

As Canadians celebrate 30 years living under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms gun owners have been left out in the cold. Throughout the life of the Charter the rights of gun owners have been in steady decline. At the midpoint in the Charter’s life, 1995, Canadian gun owner rights reached a new low, under the Firearms Act and its resultant changes to the Criminal Code. Gun owners were now criminals because of the mere ownership of that property.

Many gun owners have greeted the passage of Bill C-19, in the 30th year of the Charter, as a signal that the flood waters are receding. Unfortunately we have reached a high water mark that may not be exceeded in the future. C-19, while eliminating the registration of non-restricted firearms, has entrenched the criminalization of gun owners. C-19 has, strangely enough, lead many gun owners to a tacit acceptance of their criminalization in hopes that the situation will not get any worse. But already we are beginning to see that it is unlikely to be the case. Thomas Mulclair, the new leader of the NDP, has promised to reinstate the registration of non-restricted firearms if the NDP forms the government. Now that C-19 is law we can expect to see a drive to insure that those gun owners that had not previously obtained a license to continue to own their property will be drawn into the system under fear of continued criminal sanctions.

What happened? The Conservatives support gun owners, right? Do they not understand the destructive nature of criminalization on gun ownership? Are the Conservatives not aware that the status of second class citizens criminalization entails will be given further impetus with the entrenchment of licensing criminalization in C-19?

In the House of Commons debate of C-19 Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant eloquently and persuasively outlined the Firearms Act’s assaults on Charter protected rights and freedoms. On March 29, 2012 in the House of Commons, Vic Toews, the Minister of Public Safety, said, "I can indicate our Conservative government does not support treating law-abiding hunters, farmers and sports shooters as criminals." An article in the Ottawa Citizen April 13/2012 reported Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz said he would like to see firearms laws moved from the criminal code - where they are now - into the civil code. This would help protect firearms owners from being criminalized for mere paperwork errors, he said, such as expired licences.

To suggest that the Conservatives are not cognizant of the dangers of licensing criminalization would be a hard sell, yet licencing remains entrenched in law even with the passage of C-19. Licensed gun owners who fail to report their change of address within thirty days could still go to jail for up to two years. The homes and businesses of licensed gun owners are still subject to "inspections", but not convicted criminals prohibited from owning firearms. These are but a few of the potential traps remaining that will ensnare gun owners.

How do we react to the Conservatives obvious knowledge of the problem coupled with their demonstrated unwillingness to correct it? Some will argue that any government but the Conservatives will result in renewed attacks on gun owners, but that result is inevitable at some point. It is absolutely essential that the ownership of firearms be disconnected from criminal sanction before that occurs. At last count over 338,000 license holders have allowed their licences to expire. This is an encouraging trend that reflects rejection of our imposed criminal status. The Conservatives have been the beneficiaries of vast rivers of gun owner donations. Yet the Conservatives have only delivered the very minimum required to retain the maximum possible support of gun owners. We need to ensure those funds dry up if we hope to have any effect other than maintaining the status quo. We must raise the bar to show the Conservatives we expect more. We owe it to our kids.

- Al Muir, Stellarton, Nova Scotia


Time to Dump Mr. Harper

While Mr. Harper masquerades as our friend, he flaunts the established Conservative Party Policy. Mr. Harper seeks to complete the Liberals’ attempt to destroy our proud Canadian culture and heritage of responsible firearms ownership and our Right to possess firearms for self-protection.

As Preston Manning asked, “What should be the fate of a bad law?”, we must ask “what should be the fate of a bad leader?” Stephen Harper has proven to be a bad leader.

Therefore make your plans now to attend the CPC Convention on 27 – 29 June 2013 in Calgary. Plan to attend as a “Voting Member” of your local CPC EDA – let this be the only money you send to the Conservatives.

Join us as we work to seek a Leadership Review and cosign Mr. Harper to the rubbish bin.
- Joe Gingrich, Nipawin, Saskatchewan


Morning Glory Revival

The Conservatives must be brought into line. They have failed to respond for seventeen years to the pleadings, requests and even demands by trustworthy firearms owners. The fact that we have committed no factual crime but have had millions of citizens turned into de facto criminals by the passage of the Liberals’ Bill C-68 is shameful enough, but to have the Tories compound the outrage by first promising to correct that curse and then reversing their course is a crime against us all. The Conservatives should be punished.

For those naysayers in our midst who cannot believe we can succeed, may we remind them that a loose bunch of angry citizens of B.C. fired their Premier for arrogance and had the HST plans of Stephen Harper extinguished. This action should give heart to the weak-willed across the country to support the Morning Glory Revival. We are attacking Gun Control with even more enthusiasm than we fought HST. And so we should, because the right to have ‘Armes for their Defence’ is essential to the preservation of life, liberty and lifestyle. We, in the remnants of the British Empire enjoy all three of these “L’s” only because our men have borne arms since day one. We will lose them quickly if we are disarmed.

It is no infringement to use a political party to support one’s personal wish. Indeed it is done all the time. We will recruit all several million gun owners to vote Green at the next election. If necessary we will take over the Green Party and cause them to once again to publicly praise the hunter for being the true wildlife conservationists.

Before those two actions are needed it is possible that a wakeup call will ring around the Rideau and the long overdue change of Government policy will get rid of the Firearms Act as it stands.

In 2011 a large number of gun owners who were thinking of parking their vote with the Greens got seduced into believing that Stephen Harper’s government was going to keep their promise and scrap the whole Firearms Act. The ‘long-gun registry’ has virtually nothing to do with the licensing of gun owners. Anyone who thinks they are the same simply does not understand the difference between issuing a permit to a human being and registering a piece of cold iron.

But most importantly, neither has a thing to do with curtailing crime or preventing crazy massacres. It is time we put our MPs to work – looking for a meaningful job!

- Willy Floyd, P.O. Box 193, Westbridge, B.C. V0H 2B0
(250) 446 2242; tester13@xplornet.com


References:

1. Garry Breitkreuz, Confiscation
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/licensing/licensing_21_sept_2000.html

2. Stockwell Day
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/licensing/licensing_24_apr_2001.html

3. Stephen Harper
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_19_jan_2002.html

4. Vic Toews on Ending the Long-gun Registry Act, 26 October 2011
http://openparliament.ca/hansards/2406/163/only/

5. Candice Hoeppner
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_09_mar_2012.html

6. Senator David Tkachuk
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_29_apr_2009.html

7. Rob Nicholson
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_07_sept_2011.html

8. Lynne Yelich
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/licensing/licensing_29_sept_2010.html

9. Kelly Block, HANSARD, Number 075, Tuesday, 07 February 2012
http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=1&DocId=5364852#OOB-6526634

10. Shelly Glover
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_15_aug_2011.html

11. Peter Van Loan
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_17_feb_2012b.html

12. Vic Toews, House of Common Debate, Tuesday, 07 February 2012
http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=1&DocId=5364852#OOB-6526634

13. Preston Manning, House of Common Debate, 13 June 1995
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_13_jun_1995.html

14. Garry Breitkreuz’s Promise
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_19_jan_2002.html

15. Conservative Party Policy
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_19_jan_2002.html

16. Vic Toews “first time screening”
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_18_jan_2012.html

17. The Firearms Act, chapter 39, Statutes of Canada -1995; p. 54

18. Gary Mauser, Boling Frogs
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/licensing/licensing_29_jan_2004.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