CUFOA

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

Licensing:
A Cancer of the Soul

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Mr. Harper Has Not Kept his Promise to Firearms Owners

"I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do."
- Andrew Carnegie* -

In protecting our Right to own and use firearms we need to pay close attention to what Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said as compared to what Mr. Harper has actually done. These are Mr. Harper’s words:

“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, 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 It should be repealed ...’

“C-68 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."(1)

Regrettably, Mr. Harper has not honoured his words with his actions.

While constructing the Conservative Party’s firearms policy in March 2005, the framers referred to the Liberals' 1995 Bill C-68 as the “gun registry legislation”. I know; I was a voting delegate at those firearms policy discussions in Montreal. The term “long-gun registry” is not an equivalent to Bill C-68. Mr. Harper’s Government coined this misleading phrase shortly after gaining power in January 2006. Simply scraping the 'long gun registry' does not meet Mr. Harper’s promise and certainly does not fulfill the Conservative Party of Canada's Firearms and Property Rights policy.( 2 , 3 ) Mr. Harper is deceiving Canadians into believing that it does.

The Conservative Party’s Firearms Policy contains several vital points.

First, the CPP Policy calls for the "repeal of Canada's costly gun registry legislation" (the Liberals' 1995 gun law, Bill C-68). Repealing Bill C-68 - not simply scraping the ‘long gun registry’ - would have ended firearms registration AND owner licensing. Repealing Bill C-68 would return twelve of our suppressed civil rights back to Canadians.(4)

Secondly, passing legislation "respecting the rights of law-abiding Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly" would prevent future governments from reintroducing future civil rights infringing gun laws like Bill C-68.

Third, changing the Liberals' licensing scheme to "a certification screening system", a system similar to the old FAC, would be acceptable to most within the firearms community.

Mr. Harper has not promoted the Conservative Party of Canada's policies as he should have. His Government erroneously states that simply destroying the long-gun data will prevent another 'long-gun registry' from being revised. This is utter hogwash; licenced gun owners’ names still exists on a national registry.(5)

Thus in passing Bill C-19, “Ending the Long-gun Registry Act", Mr. Harper used a deceptive “bait-and-switch" tactic and betrayed Canadian gun owners.

Some have suggested that Bill C-19 was a "good first step." Unfortunately that is sadly not the case. The Liberals’ Bill C-68 of 1995, now specifically called, "Statutes of Canada 1995 Chapter 39, an Act respecting firearms and other weapons" is flourishing well. Mr. Harper's Government is now using this unjust law for civilian disarmament in direct violation of the Conservative Party of Canada's Constitution and the Party's policies.

When previously fighting the Liberals, former Conservative Firearms Critic, Garry Breitkreuz, MP said,

"C-68 proved registration does lead to confiscation. The Liberals broke their promise that registration would not lead to confiscation when they used Bill C-68 to ban 553,000 registered handguns without any evidence that these legally owned firearms were a risk to anyone's safety.

Bill C-68 amended Section 117.15(2) of the Criminal Code giving the government such sweeping power that they can ban any or all firearms in Canada and not even the Supreme Court of Canada could overturn it."(6)

Section 117.15(2) is part of Bill C-68 and under Mr. Harper still remains vital law. All the legal appeals to retain private possession of these handguns have been lost. Theses seizures and confiscations are being done under the Harper Government’s watch. For example, the Conservative developed and deployed the RCMP CFP Mobile Service Delivery Vehicle Unit. These trucks now travel across the country, providing firearms and ammunition destruction and disposal to all law enforcement agencies.(7)

In addition to seizing and destroying handguns, on December 20, 2011, the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program served hundreds of registered owners of Armi Jaeger AP80, a .22-calibre semi-automatic carbine rifle, with a 'notice of revocation'. As a result, the AP80 can now be owned or used only by people possessing certain rare "grandfathered" prohibited licences.(8)

And as the NFA called to our attention, on December 30, 2011, the RCMP issued a second notice of revocation for the Walther G22 rifle. This rifle, also a .22-calibre semi-automatic, was prohibited because the stock on the rifle is now considered a "prohibited device" – a prohibited aftermarket stock.(9) Sadly firearms confiscation without compensation contrary to Conservative Party principles and policies has been the creed of Mr. Harper’s Government.

Mr. Harper’s actions make a sad mockery of his words.

For Mr. Harper to regain the trust and support of firearms owners, I offer him four suggestions:

1. Mr. Harper should apologize to the Canadian firearms community. I have a rough draft already made for his perusal.(10)

2. Mr. Harper should apologize to the Conservative Party of Canada for violating the principles of the Constitution of the Conservative Party and for not promoting the Party's policies.

3. Mr. Harper's Government should make restitution to "ensure that full, just and timely compensation will be paid to all persons who are deprived of personal or private property as a result of any federal government initiative, policy, process, regulation or legislation."

4. Mr. Harper's Government should initiate the Conservative Party's firearms policy and property rights policy and begin following their Constitution immediately.

Until Mr. Harper has implemented these suggestions, repealed the entire Firearms Act, and deleted Criminal Code section 91(1) that makes the mere possession of a firearm a criminal offence, he does not deserve our respect, and certainly not our vote.

Sincerely yours,

Joe Gingrich
Chairman, Firearms Committee
Nipawin Fish and Game League

References:

1. Mr. Harper’s Promise to Firearms Owners
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_19_jan_2002.html

2. Firearms Policy
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.

The Conservative Party Policy - March 2005
http://www.conservative.ca/media/2012/07/20120705-CPC-PolicyDec-E.pdf


3. Property Rights Policy
i) A Conservative Government will seek the agreement of the provinces to amend the Constitution to include this right, as well as guarantee that no person shall be deprived of their just right without the due process of law and full, just, and timely compensation.
ii) A Conservative Government will enact legislation to ensure that full, just and timely compensation will be paid to all persons who are deprived of personal or private property as a result of any federal government initiative, policy, process, regulation or legislation.

The Conservative Party Policy - March 2005
http://www.conservative.ca/media/2012/07/20120705-CPC-PolicyDec-E.pdf

4. How Bill C-68 Violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Dr. Ted Morton
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/licensing/licensing_05_oct_2002.html

5. The Conservatives’ Statements in Praise of the Licencing Mandate of the Liberals’ 1995 Firearms Act, Bill C-68
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_14_feb_2012.html

6. Registration does Lead to Confiscation, Garry Breitkreuz, MP
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/licensing/licensing_21_sept_2000.html

7. The RCMP CFP Mobile Service Delivery Vehicle Unit
http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/rep-rap/2009-comm-rpt/sec3-eng.htm#f

8. RCMP to confiscate more guns before registry ends(Canada)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2832975/posts

9. RCMP Reclassifying Firearms and "Rifle Stocks" In Run Up To The End Of Long Gun Registration.
http://nfa.ca/news/rcmp-reclassifying-firearms-and-rifle-stocks-run-end-long-gun-registration

10. Draft Apology to Responsible Firearms Owners
http://www.cufoa.ca/articles/primeminister/pm_13_jan_2009.html

* Andrew Carnegie
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Carnegie