Firearms Owners Association
Sunday, 11 March 2012
Dear Ms. Block,
I can understand that you may have been ‘whipped’ by Party disciple “to rise in support of Bill C-19, Ending the Long-gun Registry Act”, a very inadequate piece of legislation. But what I cannot understand is why you chose to endorse licencing, the very worst part of the Liberals’ Bill C-68, the 1995 Firearms Act. I was dismayed by your remarks on Tuesday, 07 February 2012:
In your remarks you also spoke of keeping promises. You seemed to emphasize the promises the Conservatives made to the police and law enforcement. But you seemed to have neglected the promises made by the Conservatives to firearms owners.1 I do not understand what part of licencing fine-tunes the law “so it targets criminals and not law-abiding citizens.” A licence does not deter criminals from getting guns.
The battle against licencing actually began when former Prime Minister Kim Campbell’s Progressive Conservatives tried to pervert the Firearms Acquisition Certificate - the 1977, Bill C-51, FAC - into a licence. This licencing perversion was codified into law with the Liberals’ 1995 Firearms Act.
The difference between the 1977 FAC and a licence is critical. The true 1977-style FAC “certified” that the police had inspected their criminal records and the applicant was “clean”. After acquiring a firearm, the FAC was not necessary for possession. But under the Firearms Act, Criminal Code sections 91 and 92 make the mere possession of a firearm illegal. The Liberals’ licencing scheme then gives the licence holder permission to do what is otherwise illegal.
In response to this unwarranted attack on our unique Canadian culture of competent gun ownership, responsible gun owners drafted the firearms policy for the Conservative Party of Canada Convention in Montréal in March 2005. Through all aspects of the Convention debates, these dedicated firearms owners expressly ensured that the official CPC Policy recognizes “the rights of law-abiding Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly”.2
The Liberals’ Bill C-68 licencing mandate attempts to destroy that Right. If this Conservative Government does not repeal that unjust law, Canadians will suffer an irreparable loss of our proud heritage. Bill C-19 did nothing to change that. Until the Government recognizes our Right to “to own and use firearms responsibly” this battle will continue.
If your concern is truly to “minimize risks to public safety,” the 1977 FAC will meet the need for efficient law enforcement. We in CUFOA recommend that the Government go one step further and follow Garry Breitkreuz’s recommendation to “Register Criminals – NOT Duck Hunters” and institute a Firearms Prohibition Registry to keep track of those violent person prohibited by court order from possessing firearms.3
Ms. Block, I do not know how to say it differently. You need to reappraise your endorsement of licencing. For the past seventeen years responsible firearms owners have, with Garry Breitkreuz’s very able leadership, forthrightly fought against licensing by whole-heartedly supporting the conservative-minded parties.4 We deserve your whole-hearted support now.
A 1995 quotation from the National Firearms Association states the present reality:
The Government must step boldly forward and repeal the Firearms Act’s licencing database of gun-owners and delete sections 91 and 92 of the Criminal Code.
I trust we can count on your support. I would like to take you out for coffee to discuss this.
CC: The Right Honourable Mr. Harper, Ministers, and CPC MPs
2. The Conservative Party of Canada Policy Declaration
3. Firearms Prohibition Registry (FPR)
4. Breitkreuz Re-opens Gun Control Debate - March 10, 1994
5. NFA Political Analysis – 10 July 1995
Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association