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

A Cancer of the Soul

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Recreational Firearms Community (RFC) of Saskatchewan

Position on Reform of Canadian Firearms Controls

March, 2006

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:

  1. 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 regulation.
  2. Registration of long guns must be immediately eliminated.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Eliminate gun show regulations and re-examine onerous provisions for firearms ranges. These legitimate activities have been ongoing for decades without incident.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 antique.