CUFOA

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

Licensing:
A Cancer of the Soul

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Victoria Day, Monday, 23 May 2011

Maurice Vellacott, MP, CPC, Saskatoon-Wanuskewin
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Unit 3-844 51st Street East
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 5C7

Dear Maurice,

Re: Now is the Time to Repeal the Firearms Act

Congratulations on your reelection to Parliament for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin. I know you must be truly animated returning to Ottawa to work with Mr. Harper in a majority Government.

By the time I returned four days after the election from spoiling the two grandkids in Holland, your brother had the campaign office cleaned out, and Jack and I only had a dozen campaign signs to collect from the rural areas of the EDA. And Edna had a check waiting to reimburse me for the gas we used posting the signs - much more pleasant taking the signs down in the warm sun of May and on dry, firm ground than putting the signs up in the snow, wind, and the mushy slush of a late prairie spring.

But, Maurice, as we discussed during the election campaign, this might well have been my last opportunity to work for you posting campaign signs. As I previously emphasized, Mr. Harper’s campaign pledge to “end the long-gun registry” does nothing to address the real problem responsible firearms owners face. Simply scarping the ‘long-gun registry’ leaves the worst part of the Liberals’ 1995 Firearms Act – licencing – firmly in place. This unjust Act and the Liberal’s subsequent changes to Criminal Code sections 91(1), 92(1), and 117.03 make it a criminal offence merely to possess a firearm without a licence. So those of us who have steadfastly refused to submit to this unjust law may be in Mr. Harper’s new prisons before the next election.

Newly reappointed Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has announced he will soon introduce “substantive changes” to the Wheat Board for the 2012 crop year. Responsible firearms owners likewise require substantive changes to the licencing mandate of the Firearms Act just as quickly. Given the comparative gravity of the two situations – hard working independent wheat farmers going to jail because they refused to get an export permit to sell their own wheat and honest, responsible firearms owners going to prison because we refuse to get a licence merely to posses a firearm in our own homes - I believe Mr. Harper should keep all of his promises to farmers and responsible firearms owners.

Now is time for the Government to change their focus from harassing honest, responsible Canadian citizens and direct their attention and energies onto the criminals and drug dealers who abuse and misuse firearms. As I describe in the enclosed material, that can effectively be accomplished by replacing the Liberals’ licencing scheme with a Firearms Prohibition Registry (FPR). Our proposed FPR would have the support and willing acceptance of responsible firearms owners. As Garry Breitkreuz the former Firearms Critic said while the Conservatives served in Opposition, “Register Criminals, not Duck Hunters.”

We need definitive, immediate action from the Conservative Government to correct Mr. Chrétien’s gun control quagmire.

I trust we can count on your assistance now to protect responsible firearms owners and repeal the Liberals’ unjust law.

Sincerely,


Edward B. Hudson DVM, MS
Secretary

CC: The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
       The Honourable Rob Nicholson
       The Honourable Vic Toews
       Mr. Garry Breitkreuz, MP, Yorkton - Melville

Encl: (1) The Firearms Act, section 117; Criminal Code ss. 91(1) & 92(1)
        (2) Mr. Harper’s Promises to Firearms Owners
        (3) Firearms Prohibition Registry (FPR)


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
edwardhudson@shaw.ca
www.cufoa.ca

***


The Firearms Act, section 117:

The Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) regarding the issuance of licenses, authorization certificates and authorizations, including regulation respecting the purposes for which they may be issued ... and prescribing the circumstances in which persons are or are not eligible to hold licences; ...

(c) prescribing the circumstances in which an individual does or does not need firearms

(1) to protect the life of that individual, ... .

The Firearms Act, chapter 39, Statues of Canada - 1995; p. 54

http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/armes/armes_10_april_2008.html


Unauthorized Possession of Firearm

91. (1) Subject to subsections (4) and (5) and section 98, every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm unless the person is the holder of

(a) a licence under which the person may possess it; and
(b) a registration certificate for the firearm.


(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.


Possession of a Firearm Knowing Its Possession Is Unauthorized

92. (1) Subject to subsections (4) and (5) and subsection 98, every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm knowing that the person is not the holder of

(a) a licence under which the person may possess it; and
(b) a registration certificate for the firearm.


(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsections (1) and (2) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(a) in the case of the first offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years;
(b) in the case of a second offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and to a minimum punishment for a term of one year,
and
(c) in the case of a third or subsequent offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and to a minimum imprisonment for a term of two years less a day.


***

The Conservatives’ Promises to Firearms Owners

Mr. Harper’s Promise to Repeal Bill C-68 - the Liberal’s Firearms Act

“I was and still am in total agreement with the statement made in the House of Commons by former Reform Leader Preston Manning on 13 June 1995:

Bill C-68 [The Firearms Act], if passed into law will not be a good law. It will be a blight on the legislative record of the government, a law that fails the three great tests of constitutionality, of effectiveness and of democratic consent of the governed. What should be the fate of a bad a law? It should be repealed ... .

“Bill C-68 [The Firearms Act] has proven to be a bad law and has created a bureaucratic nightmare for both gun owners and the government. As Leader of the Official Opposition, I will use all powers afforded to me as Leader and continue our party’s fight to repeal Bill C-68 and replace it with a firearms control system that is cost effective and respects the rights of Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly.”
- Stephen Harper, January 2002


The Conservative Party of Canada Policy Declaration

81. Firearms: 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.
As approved by the CPC Montréal Convention, 19 March 2005


The Promise of the Conservatives while Serving as the Loyal Opposition

“Any sane person can only conclude that federal gun control laws should be focused on keeping the guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.”

“There is only one to fix this mess and that is to elect a Conservative government. We promise to repeal Bill C-68 [The Firearms Act] and return the gun laws to the way they were before 1995. Then I personally promise that I will start the task of fixing all the flaws in federal firearm laws by requiring that they be subjected to a public safety test administered by the Auditor General of Canada. My proposal includes a sunset clause on all gun control laws that have been proven by the Auditor General not to be cost effective at reducing the criminal use of firearms and improving public safety.”
- Garry Breitkreuz, M.P.Yorkton-Melville (SK) Conservative Firearms Critic, 08 July 2005

Register Criminals, not Duck Hunters

***

The Firearms Prohibition Registry

The Proposal:

  • A replacement of the licencing scheme of the Liberal’s 1995 Firearms Act, by
  • A federal registry of persons prohibited by court order from possessing firearms.

The Objective:

  • A safer more secure society by reducing criminal access to firearms.

The Benefits:

  • Focuses the attention squarely on the problem: criminals.
  • Requires that an individual wishing to purchase firearms must not be listed in the FPR.
  • Assures vendors that purchasers of firearms would be legitimate by providing an 800-number to insure the recipient of the firearm is not listed in the FPR.
  • Allows the police to have ready access to all information on all persons prohibited from possessing firearms.
  • A justice of the courts - not a federal bureaucrat - would determine who is prohibited from owning and acquiring firearms.
  • Respects the Rights and Freedoms of responsible citizens to acquire and possess firearms.
  • Ensures judicial review so that no person is erroneously included in the FPR.
  • Maintains effective measures to ensure swift correction of faulty data.
  • Provides a public service for which no fees would be attached.

Rationale for the Firearms Prohibition Registry:

  • The courts, by convictions, restraining orders, and bail conditions would decide who is prohibited from possessing firearms.
  • Decriminalizes the mere possession of a firearm - only keeps track of irresponsible persons, leaving responsible citizens alone.
  • The amount of data that would be provided by the courts would be more manageable.
  • The police have the communication equipment in their offices and patrol cars to access this type of information.

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
edwardhudson@shaw.ca
www.cufoa.ca