CANADIAN SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION / CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION
TEAM CSSA E-NEWS – June 29, 2013
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COMMENTARY: SHOOTING FROM THE LIP IN HIGH RIVER
The Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) has issued a media release in a separate email and appeared in numerous media stories about the High River gun seizures by the RCMP, so we will not reiterate them here.
It is worth noting that we have been in frequent contact with the powers that be in Ottawa. We are gratified at how quickly the federal government suggested that the RCMP have better things to do during a natural disaster than seizing guns from abandoned homes. Thank you for your decisive action Prime Minister Harper!
Closer to the scene of the crime, Danielle Smith, leader of Alberta’s Official Opposition Wildrose Party, typed a Twitter message she could live to regret. She says she doesn’t have a problem with RCMP seizing loose guns, according to the Globe and Mail.
We contend that firearms aren’t “loose” if they’re in a suddenly abandoned, locked home after police and military have locked down the area. Those guns weren’t “loose” until the RCMP commenced kicking in doors and carting them away. The Wildrose leader could land her party in opposition for a long time if she supports police confiscating thousands of firearms in High River.
Farewell, Ms. Smith, we hardly knew ye.
COMMENTARY: “UPSET” QUEBEC GOVERNMENT BREATHES SIGH OF RELIEF
The Government of Quebec will manage much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Quebec Appeals Court’s unanimous decision to forbid use of the national gun registry data – but it will just be more bad acting.
The Quebec government might hate guns, but it can count. It knows it could never revive the federal registry beyond political theatre because it would cost way too much to put an actual database in place. It’s part of the political posturing in Quebec where there could be a few residents left who are sufficiently naive to believe a registry has something to do with public safety.
Quebec Justice Minister Bertrand St-Arnaud was quick to join the dance by announcing he will appeal the appeal. No one is surprised at his reaction. It appears the Quebec government is being careful what it wishes for, because it has no real intention to create a provincial registry database. It simply needs Big Brother in Ottawa to refuse to furnish the database, so an indignant Premier Marois can win cheesy votes by pretending the feds are habitual Quebec-bashers.
Here’s a challenge to all Quebec firearms owners: Tell your political masters you don’t want a registry, or they will continue to exploit your silence. Create news articles and letters to the editor. And keep shuffling those guns from owner to owner.
COMMENTARY: GUN OWNERS SCRAMBLING THEIR OWN MESSAGE IN OTTAWA
Most anti-gun advocates believe that responsible gun owners are political kindred spirits, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Ask 10 gun owners how Canada should return to fair and equitable firearms laws and you’ll get 11 different opinions. Sport shooters take part in their heritage activities for many disparate reasons, so it’s not surprising that some hunters may have little in common with target shooters or cowboy action enthusiasts. It’s the nature of the tools we have in common.
Unfortunately (and ironically), many hunters don’t believe that “black guns” and handguns are relevant to the shooting sports. Some refuse to tolerate firearms that don’t fall within the wooden-stock Winchester mindset. In suggesting that “no one needs a gun like that,” they assist Canadian authorities to pick and choose which firearms should be prohibited, much to the chagrin of target shooters and collectors. By dismissing the personal tastes of target shooters, the entire firearms community enfeebles its influence in government circles. Governments monitor firearms blogs and know all about our Achilles heel. Small wonder they are slow to react to demands to gut the Firearms Act, since gunnies don’t even agree with each other most of the time.
The firearms community is once again demonstrating wobbly solidarity in its reaction to the letter from Cheryl Gallant, MP that advocates a federal Firearms Experts Technical Committee. It need not become a wedge issue. Some gunnies condemn Ms. Gallant’s request to the Public Safety Minister as either short-sighted or disingenuous. History shows that politicians who try to help the gunnies’ cause had best prepare for “friendly fire” aimed their way. Some gun owners have gone so far as to ask other gunnies to criticize Ms. Gallant in writing. Sigh.
In doing so, we are conditioning well-meaning politicians to think twice before helping the likes of responsible firearms owners. There is nothing wrong with gun owners assessing how any government initiative could backfire, but the chirping from the cheap seats does a disservice to us all. Keep it up and it will be a matter of time until even MPs who champion firearms rights will tell us we’re on our own. There is a very real danger that the minority will sink us all.
The Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) has been advocating for the creation of a federal Firearms Experts Technical Committee. The current underhanded adjudication “process” currently perpetrated by the RCMP and apparently upheld by the government is a travesty. Gun owners need a strong voice that provides input into a real process.
Some firearms owners fear that an experts’ committee could be co-opted by anti-gun advocates in the future. How is that any different from the RCMP’s growing list of restricted and prohibited firearms now? They are doing their worst already. Striking a new committee will at least give pro-gun advocates a proper platform to appeal irrational gun prohibitions. At most, it could give us a launch pad to avert future prohibs and reassess the laughable mish-mash of firearms that are currently deemed off-limits. At worst, the committee could be peopled by gun-haters who want to confiscate everything they think they can get way with. But, that is the status quo.
Could a Firearms Experts Technical Committee be used against us if and when a different political party occupies the government benches? Yes, but they can crank up a prohibition machine in any case like the Liberal government did for so many years. The firearms community needs to get behind a committee mechanism that we can use, rather than worry about how it could be abused.
The abuse is taking place now. If firearms owners can be persuaded to coalesce behind their shooting sports organizations, we can at least fight against the restricted and prohib lists from growing ever longer and examine how to abandon the list altogether. Reality check time – the Conservative Party of Canada said it would alter Bill C-68 in favour of firearms owners because it is a bad law. With about 95 percent of Canada’s media poised to crash the Harper government, is this a policy you would pursue now? We might not like it, but the survivors must learn to adapt to ever-changing circumstances.
In the meantime, we are grateful to Cheryl Gallant, MP for going to bat on our behalf. We can only hope that the pen-pushing critics among us don’t scare her away. It is our experience that she doesn’t scare easy.
Sign her letter here: http://responsiblefirearmsreform.ca/sign-the-letter/
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QUEBEC GOVERNMENT LOSES REGISTRY SPAT: Quebec’s Court of Appeal has sided with the federal government’s argument that the national long-gun registry information shouldn’t be handed over to the province to create its own database. That moves the government closer to destroying the Quebec data, which was preserved last year by the court order after legislation was passed to scrap the federal registry and the records contained within it. The ruling issued this morning says a lower court erred last year in its finding that Quebec contributed to the federal registry and that it was the result of a partnership between the provinces and the federal government. “Quebec has no property right to the data in the [Canadian Firearms Registry],” the appeal court decision reads. “The data does not belong to Quebec, and the provinces have no control over it.”
The judgment found that the Quebec government’s claim that it contributed to the registry inaccurate and that the information it provided concerns gun licence holders. Quebec Justice Minister Bertrand St-Arnaud quickly issued a statement after the judgment was released stating that the provincial government would file an appeal and will request an injunction to ensure the data already preserved by the previous court ruling is not destroyed in the interim. “There is a consensus in Quebec concerning the registration of firearms,” St-Arnaud said in the statement. “All political parties represented in the national assembly defend this position and strongly oppose the federal government’s decision to abolish the firearms registry.”… (CBC — June 27, 2013)
LOW DOWN POLICE WORK IN HIGH RIVER: The RCMP revealed Thursday that officers had seized a “substantial” number of firearms from homes in the evacuated town of High River, about 37 kilometres south Calgary.
“We just want to make sure that all of those things are in a spot that we control, simply because of what they are,” said Sgt. Brian Topham. “People have a significant amount of money invested in firearms … so we put them in a place that we control and that they’re safe.”
That news didn’t sit well with a frustrated crowd who had planned to breach a police checkpoint as the evacuation order from the town of about 13,000, residents stretched into its eighth day.
“I find that absolutely incredible” that they have the right to go into a person’s home and take their “belongings,” said resident Brenda Lackey, after learning Mounties have been securing residents’ guns. “When people find out about this there’s going to be untold hell to pay.”… (Postmedia News — June 28, 2013)
PRESS RELEASE FROM ROB ANDERS M.P. : CALGARY – Rob Anders, MP for Calgary-West expects that “any firearms taken will be returned to their owners as soon as possible.”
Mr. Anders said, “The RCMP should focus on more important tasks such as protecting lives and private property.”
This flooding and subsequent evacuation was a highly unusual incident. MP Rob Anders reaffirmed Minister Toews statement that operational matters for the RCMP in High River are under local control and were not directed by the federal government.
“Police should be seen defending private property not depriving private property”, said Anders. “The province of Alberta should perhaps consider a provincial police force.”
Gun Show This Sunday June 30th, to be held at Markham Fairgrounds, 10801 McCowan Rd, Markham On. 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For more information please call Allan at 416-579-4944 Please do not reply to this email as it is a courtesy to the OACA, thank you. Other upcoming shows can be seen at www.ontariogunshows.com
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The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada’s firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities.
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CANADIAN SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION / CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION
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