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

A Cancer of the Soul

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Burning Licences:
The Logical Response to Unjust Government

Last week in response to comments in the Firearms Digest about the vain burning of firearms registrations, Len Miller asked a very pertinent question:


Now that Mr. Harper has openly betrayed responsible firearms owners with the passage of Bill C-19, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act, which only ends the ‘long gun registry’ while leaving the licencing of gun owners fully intact, and the Conservatives have publically endorsed the Liberals’ 1995 Firearms Act and its Criminal Code amendments that make the mere possession of a firearm a criminal offence, I agree with Len that burning licences is the only logical action open to firearms owners.

Bruce & Donna Montague were among the first to burn their licences to challenge in court the federal Government’s unjust licencing mandate. And they have indeed paid an extremely high price for their honourable actions. Rather than the respect due an honest citizen, the State hauled Bruce & Donna through a kangaroo court, convicted them on malicious charges, imprisoned Bruce, seized a huge portion of their property, and have threatened their entire property and livelihood. And all because Bruce & Donna had the boldness and courage to challenge an unjust law.

We owe a Bruce & Donna a huge debt. While the Government has honoured Henry Morgentaler with the Order of Canada for his flagrant – and repeated - disobedience to what he considered an unjust law, Bruce & Donna have been hounded like vermin for trying to protect our Rights to property and self-protection.

In his seminal work, A Theory of Justice, professor John Rawls distinguishes between a constitutional challenge to an unjust law and civil disobedience, stating:

The civically disobedient act is indeed thought to be contrary to law, at least in the sense that those engaged in it are not simply presenting a test case for a constitutional decision … .1

Bruce & Donna did everything they possible could do to challenge the licencing mandate in the courts of Canada. But by denying the Montagues’ appeal 2 and refusing to hear our two appeals from Saskatchewan,3, 4 the Supreme Court has dishonoured itself by refusing to honour its pledge to hear personal challenges to the Firearms Act.5

But as Professor Rawls further notes:

Those who use civil disobedience to protest unjust laws are not prepared to desist (even though) the courts … disagree with them … .1

Thus the Court and the Government make the peaceful, non-violent civil disobedience of burning our firearms licences inevitable.

But as we burn our licences we must learn from the Montagues’ experience.6 There is indeed a price to be paid for challenging the power of the State. The Government has made its intention very plain that it will destroy people who refused to submit to their unjust law.

Therefore we should expect arrest, conviction, and imprisonment. And learning from Bruce & Donna we should be prepared for those consequences.

In defence of our Rights and Freedoms, I suggest we own Canada no less.


Edward B. Hudson DVM, MS


1. John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, Belknap Press Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1971

2. Montague: Decision on the application for leave to appeal

3. CUFOA (Licencing): Decision on the application for leave to appeal

4. CUFOA (Property): Decision on the application for leave to appeal

5. Bruce Montage, Letter from Prison

6. Reference re Firearms Act (Can.), [2000] 1 S.C.R. 783

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