Firearms Owners Association
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
John Walsh, President
Dear Mr. Walsh,
With Bill C-19, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act, Mr. Harper is perpetrating a fraud upon responsible Canadian firearms owners who worked tirelessly for over sixteen years to elect a majority Conservative government.
While some applaud Mr. Harper and the Conservatives’ action to end the ‘long-gun registry’, it is extremely important to note that it is the licensing component of the Firearms Act that makes criminals out of hunters and farmers.
Firearms owners worked diligently within the Conservative Party to ensure that the mere ownership of a firearm would not be a criminal act. At the Conservative Party Convention in Montreal in March 2005 the CPC adopted a firearms policy that respects “the rights of law-abiding Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly”.
Yet the Conservatives' Bill C-19 leaves the criminalization of the mere possession of a firearm firmly entrenched in sections 91 and 92 of the Criminal Code. If gun owners simply change their address and do not notify the police, they face the threat of imprisonment for 2 years. When a license expires the real police threats begin.
Under Bill C-19 the only thing that changes is that now it is Mr. Harper’s Conservatives - not Allan Rock and Jean Chrétien’s Liberals - who are responsible for these threats.
The most offensive part of the Firearms Act is that those of us who had owned firearms responsibly for decades suddenly became criminals because we refused to submit and ask the government for permission to retain our property. If the Conservatives do not correct this injustice and decriminalize the mere possession of firearms by removing sections 91 and 92 of the Criminal Code and eliminating the licensing component of the Firearms Act, responsible hunters and farmers will remain criminals.
Until such time as Mr. Harper and the Conservatives correct this injustice, they deserve no applause.
I plead with you to have Mr. Harper retract this inept Bill C-19 and introduce legislation that truly honours the Conservatives’ promise to responsible firearms owners.
Edward B. Hudson DVM, MS
Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association