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

A Cancer of the Soul

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Canada’s current Firearms Act is not achieving the stated goal of improving public safety.

Historical government data indicate that compliance with both licensing and registration has been grossly overstated by the previous administration. Government statistics released in 1998 estimate the minimum number of gun owners to be 3.3 million1. Estimates derived from other government data show the minimum number of guns to be 14 million2. Other valid estimates are considerably higher. These minimal estimates show that at least one out of three Canadian gun-owners have chosen to remain unlicensed, and that a maximum of 50% of Canada’s firearms have been registered.

As best stated by Professor Gary Kleck, in his award winning book Point Blank, “[The controls should be] popular enough to be politically achievable and to not provoke massive disobedience and evasion, and sufficiently acceptable to criminal justice personnel that they will be enforced.

Gun owners’ justifiable fear of firearm confiscation, as underscored by the recent Liberal scheme to ban lawful handgun ownership, ensures that proposals, which include possession licensing and registration, will never succeed. It must be assumed that our positions on the licensing and registration issues are shared by those who have chosen to not participate in the current system.

Firearms legislation needs to be refocused towards the criminal use of firearms and away from the regulation of law-abiding citizens and their activities. Such laws should be supported by the best available evidence and subject to ‘sunset’ provisions.

For these reasons, the current Firearms Act must be repealed and replaced.

Replacement firearms law must address the following issues and concerns.

  • The requirements for public safety are adequately served by a document certifying that a criminal background clearance has been completed and will allow the acquisition of firearms.
  • Consideration should be given to the creation of a Firearms Prohibition Registry, which includes the requirement to report a change of address and subjects the prohibited individual to inspections upon demand.
  • Evidence that the registration of long guns has reduced criminal use has not been demonstrated. Registration must be eliminated.
  • Any requirements for mandatory ‘safety’ training should be streamlined to reflect the actual risks to public safety and shall include the option of alternate certification whereby an experienced firearm owner may vouch for a first-time firearms purchaser for whom he/she has adequate knowledge of his/her skills and abilities.
  • The safety of Canadians would be enhanced by returning storage, transportation and display provisions to the existing Criminal Code conditions existing prior to the implementation of the 1991 firearms legislation (C-17).
  • Canadians require equality before the law. Discrimination practiced via ‘grandfathering’ provisions, which selectively deny ownership of certain firearms based on prior ownership must be eliminated.
  • A complete re-evaluation of all categories of firearms classification is required that ensures the elimination of subjective criteria.
  • Orders in council must not be used to make substantive changes to firearms regulations.
  • Transportation permits should not be required for regulated firearms.
  • Regulated firearms must be allowed to be freely used where firearms can be legally discharged.
  • Range regulations should only concern a specified allowable risk mandated by the physical conditions at each site.
Gerry Gamble, President
Sporting Clubs of Niagara
Ed Hudson, Secretary
Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association
Jerrold Lundgard, President
Responsible Firearms Owners of Alberta
Kevin Staines, President
Responsible Firearms Owners Coalition of British Columbia
  1. Estimated Number of Firearms, Owners, and Households With Firearms in Canada, 1998. Firearms Research Unit, Canadian Firearms Centre – September 1998
  2. 11,186,000 - Special Bulletin, Statistics of Estimated Gun Ownership and Use in Canada – Statistics Canada, Justice Statistics Division, May 1977. Plus, 2,444,837 – Firearms Statistics, Department of Justice 2006.

13 March 2006

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Note: The policy statement may appear to be overly brief but this was done out of necessity. The longer and more cumbersome a document becomes the less likely it is to receive serious scrutiny from those we are trying to reach. If you have any questions about our intent in any of the statements please feel free to contact us for clarification.

Saskatoon Meeting

Report from Gerry Gamble

The week of March 6th, 2006 saw representatives from four grassroots firearm organizations meet in Saskatoon. Our purpose was to present a unified position to the new Conservative government from groups whose only reason to exist is the repeal of our current Firearms Act and return to gun laws that focus on miscreants. The groups - the Responsible Firearms Owners of Alberta (RFOA), The Sporting Clubs of Niagara (TSCON), the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association (CUFOA) and the Responsible Firearms Owners Coalition of British Columbia (RFCOBC) already shared similar views and ideals. (CUFOA's tactics go much further than the others and advocates civil disobedience and solutions via court actions.) The NFA and CSSA were also invited to attend the meeting but disappointingly both chose not to. This was truly unfortunate as a joint policy statement from six of the largest Canadian firearm organizations representing the majority of provinces and thousands of gun owners would certainly have caught the attention of the politicians concerned.

Canada's estimated 1.5 million gun-owners who have declined to participate in the government's licensing/registration scheme may wish to consider themselves represented by those organizations that did attend.

Four days of work yielded what we believe to be a concise, unambiguous policy that provides sufficient protections to the public-at-large while allowing law-abiding Canadians to pursue their interests without undue interference. Our Joint Policy Statement, together with a request to meet with our current Minister of Public Safety, Stockwell Day (with copies to Justice Minister Vic Toews, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and MP Garry Breitkreuz) was transmitted on March 13th, 2006. Our requested meeting has not yet occurred but we remain optimistic that our efforts will yield improvements to the current, unacceptable laws. Our "Joint Policy Statement" follows.