Firearms Owners Association
JOINT POLICY STATEMENT
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For these reasons, the current Firearms Act must be repealed and replaced.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.
13 March 2006
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.
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