Recreational Firearms Community (RFC) of Saskatchewan
Position on Reform of Canadian Firearms Controls
The Recreational Firearms Community recognizes and supports
the Conservative Party of Canada approach to firearms control as described
below in section 81 of their policy:
“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 following are items of consensus from the March
4, 2006 meeting of RFC Saskatchewan:
- We believe the concept of mandating the provinces with the latitude
to opt in or out of the firearms control measures warrants further discussion,
recognizing the strong regional differences in opinion towards firearms
- Registration of long guns must be immediately eliminated.
- The Firearms Act must be removed from the Criminal code.
This includes re-visiting penalties, ending inspections of private residences,
search and seizure provisions without a warrant, etc. to bring them
in line with normal summary offence or “ticketable” types
of offences, which are not criminal code violations. A significant aspect
of this is to remove the reverse onus character of the legislation,
which makes citizens criminals, not from the commission of an offense,
but rather the failure to live up to the requirements of the Act. Legitimate
firearms owners are not to be demonized as criminals or the source of
firearms crime in Canada.
- Certification: There will be only 1 form of
certification for new or existing firearms owners. Existing holders
of a Possession Only License (POL), Possession and Acquisition License
(PAL) or Firearms Acquisition Certificate will be grandfathered in during
an amnesty period. Renewal of this certification every five years would
not be required. Individuals must remain eligible to own and purchase
firearms unless they commit a criminal act. Associated cost should be
a one-time fee, which must not escalate over time to become cost prohibitive.
- Training: It should be the sole jurisdiction of the province so there
is only one course to avoid duplication. This may be as simple as recognizing
the Saskatchewan course as equivalent to the federal training. Funding
to be negotiated with the provinces. This approach ensures the safe
use of firearms, which all parties support.
- Eliminate gun show regulations and re-examine onerous provisions for
firearms ranges. These legitimate activities have been ongoing for decades
- Authorizations To Transport (ATT's) will be authorized to certified
individuals for Canada wide transport to shows, ranges and repair shops.
This simplifies the process, avoids duplication and administration,
thereby reducing cost for all parties. After all these folks were already
cleared to own restricted firearms when they were certified.
- Eliminate section 12.6 regulations regarding barrel length and calibre.
If you are certified by the government as a person who can own restricted
firearms, it shouldn't matter if the barrel is only 4 " or it is
a .25 calibre. Similarly demonizing firearms for their appearance, action
type or magazine capacity must be eliminated (example; “military
assault rifles” are restricted because they “look dangerous”).
The transfer of firearms between classifications must end immediately.
(example: moving additional long arms into restricted or prohibited
status must stop).
- The Federal Firearms User Committee should be comprised of a majority
of firearms users (nominated by firearm user groups). Inclusion
of a member of the public at large is agreeable, however, a majority
of interests representing anti-gun movements is not. The government
must show serious commitment to implementing the Committee recommendations
or demonstrate publicly why they are not.
- Eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and cost by cutting the federal
CFO positions. Firearms owners are more than adequately served and prefer
to deal with their local RCMP or local municipal police as they did
in the past.
- Enforce the laws, which were on the books prior to the Firearms
Act. It is well documented that existing stringent penalties for
the use of a firearm during a criminal act, are the first to be plea-bargained
away. New “tough” gun laws are not required. Use the laws
that are already there, as firearms owners support them.
- Provisions of the act dealing with the disposal of firearms seized
by public agents must be changed to allow for the firearms transfer
to the general public and/or a non-governmental, non-profit organization.
- The definition of antique firearms needs to be redefined to properly
encompass all antique firearms. All firearms older than 100 years of
obsolete caliber, whether long guns or handguns should be deemed an