TEAM CSSA E-NEWS – Sept 25, 2013
CANADIAN SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION / CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION
TEAM CSSA E-NEWS – Sept 25, 2013
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COMMENTARY: CHIEF FIREARMS OFFICES THUMBING THEIR NOSE AT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Responsible firearms owners are confused – and for good reason.
Canada has a reasonably functional Parliament that creates the laws we must all live by, lest we face the consequences. This isn’t the case if you are a Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) that’s happy to usurp the authority of Parliament. Apparently the CFO’s believe they have parliamentary permission to do as they pleased. The only proviso was to make gun ownership in Canada inconvenient, frustrating and oppressive.
Consider the wording in the Firearms Act clause 29 (9) that Parliament passed last year that demands CFOs destroy the firearms registry data: “Each chief firearms officer shall ensure the destruction as soon as feasible of all records under their control related to the registration of firearms that are neither prohibited firearms nor restricted firearms and all copies of those records under their control.”
Sounds pretty clear – so why do all the ledgers in Canada’s retail outlets remain on-site, intact and operational? Why do the feds allow it?
If that isn’t plain enough, consider Section 29 (2) that states all registry data must be destroyed: “The Commissioner of Firearms shall ensure the destruction as soon as feasible of all records in the Canadian Firearms Registry related to the registration of firearms that are neither prohibited firearms nor restricted firearms and all copies of those records under the Commissioner’s control.”
Sounds pretty clear, too, yet the Province of Quebec takes much delight in having its registry data preserved by the Commissioner of Firearms. Quebec is pretending to mount a last-ditch effort to create a provincial registry from this dog’s breakfast of outdated computer data. Why do the feds allow it?
In 1995, the Liberal government of the day inserted a perverted little clause into the original Firearms Act to ensure CFOs could overrule a subsequent government’s quest for common sense. Section 58.1 states: “A Chief Firearms Officer who issues a licence, an authorization to carry or an authorization to transport may attach any reasonable condition to it that the Chief Firearms Officer considers desirable in the particular circumstances and in the interests of the safety of the holder or any other person.”
And that’s why the CSSA is suing CFO Wyatt for trying to make sport shooters carry permission forms issued by shooting ranges to transport their firearms. The feds may allow this too, but we won’t.
The 1995 carte blanche that Section 58.1 gives to CFOs deserves to be scrapped in favour of 2013 thinking. In fairness, the Harper government demonstrated good sense and clear-eyed logic when it scrapped registry and demanded that the data be destroyed. When the CFOs, however, hide behind Section 58.1 and thumb their collective nose at Parliament, there is no discernible push-back from Parliament. The government leaves the impression is has retreated into its inner-office comfort zones to wring its hands and see what happens.
Here’s a suggestion – come out and fight for the fair and decisive firearms legislation you have written so far. You will amazed at the positive reaction it will create. And, continue doing the right thing by dumping those useless Liberal anti-gun laws that haunt us still. Rest assured they will haunt you, too. Failing to act is nothing less than endorsing the status quo.
GUN OWNERS STILL WAITING FOR HARPER GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
Two weeks have gone by since the CSSA E-News predicted that many responsible firearms owners are prepared to sit on their hands in the 2015 federal election if the Harper government allows the unfair Firearms Act to remain intact. Hear the crickets?
As the largest shooting sports association in the country, the CSSA membership is growing more concerned that the government believes it has delivered enough by scrapping the long-gun registry. But, sport shooters are still regarded as criminals for a variety of “paper crimes,” such as forgetting to renew licences. It is unjust that sport shooters could be looking at possible jail time for a mere clerical procedure that has no bearing whatsoever on safety or risk. It must be fixed.
Put simply, sport shooters are quite prepared to support a political party that supports them. The CSSA’s prediction that a lack of government action will result in sport shooters’ inaction at the 2015 polls is hardly prescient. It is just the shape of things to come if this government ignores the ongoing plight of Canadians who want to be free to enjoy their favourite heritage activities. As sport shooters keep pointing out, the government must remember we are the good guys.
Sport shooters are encouraged to deliver this message by writing, faxing and emailing:
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0A2
To find your own M.P. go to this web site and enter your postal code:
FIREARM LEGAL DEFENCE NOW AVAILABLE IN NEW BRUNSWICK: Firearm Legal Defence is sweeping the country – and now available for sport shooters and hunters in New Brunswick. This comes as good news, since New Brunswick has more licensed gun owners per capita than any other province.
The maximum benefit payable is $100,000 per occurrence or up to $500,000 for multiple occurrences in the same policy year.
For details see www.firearmlegaldefence.com The price is just $95/yr and CSSA members are eligible for a $10 discount – click on “Buy Now” and enter the following exclusive club code to access your savings: CSSA001. You are not required to disclose any information about firearms in your possession.
Firearm Legal Defence insurance covers:
• Defence from prosecution should you be charged with an offence arising out of the use, storage, display, transportation or handling of a firearm
• Cases where a firearm is used in self defence, the defence of a person under your protection or the defence of your property
• Appealing an event where a licensing, regulatory or judicial authority refuses to renew, suspends, revokes, cancels or alters the terms of your firearms license. Note that this provision does not apply to new license applications
It will pay for:
• The cost of retaining a lawyer or other appointed representative, including court fees, experts’ fees, police reports and medical reports
• Costs awarded by the court to opponents in civil cases if the insured person has been ordered to pay them, or pays them with the agreement of the insurance company
• Lost salary or wages for the time the insured is off work to attend court or any other hearing at the request of the appointed representative, up to a maximum of $500 per day, and $10,000 in total
This is the insurance that every responsible firearms owner has been waiting for – act now!
DO YOU YOU HAVE AN EVENT YOU WANT TO PUBLICIZE? A MATCH? A DINNER? AN OPEN HOUSE?
Let us know and we’ll advertise it for you… for FREE!
HELP SUPPORT THE GREAT WORK THE CSSA DOES TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. DONATE HERE
RECENTLY IN THE NEWS
FEDERAL COURT JUDGE PRESERVES QUEBEC GUN REGISTRY DATA UNTIL TOP COURT WEIGHS IN: OTTAWA – A Federal Court judge has set aside a move by the firearms lobby to have Quebec’s long gun registry data destroyed immediately.
The court stayed a motion brought by Canada’s National Firearms Association and a Quebec gun dealer, saying federal legislation abolishing the registry is still under litigation.
The Conservative government in Ottawa abolished the registry last year but Quebec fought to preserve the provincial data, saying it wanted to start its own gun registry.
The Quebec Court of Appeal ruled the federal legislation was valid and that the data should be destroyed — as it has been elsewhere in Canada — but the province is seeking a leave to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The long gun registry remains in effect in Quebec as the provincial government argues the law is unconstitutional.
Federal Court judge Sean Harrington says it would be “entirely inappropriate” to order the destruction of records that are the heart of an ongoing court appeal.
Harrington noted in his written decision that the applicants had anticipated his ruling and wanted him to deny police access to the existing records, and also keep any further data from being compiled on long gun transfers within Quebec.
“The Attorney General of Canada objected to the amendment on the basis that he would have to seek instructions as to the implications thereof,” Harrington wrote.
“On the basis that if Quebec ultimately succeeded, I pointed out that there would be a gaping hole in the records (Canadian Press)
CANADA HOLDS OFF JOINING U.S. GLOBAL ARMS TRADE TREATY: Canada is holding off signing a landmark global treaty to regulate the arms trade – citing concern over how it affects firearm owners – even though the United States has now joined the global accord over the objections of that country’s powerful gun lobby.
The Harper government considers Canadian firearms owners an important part of its political support base and in 2012 dismantled a federal long-gun registry, calling it an unnecessary burden.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry signed the Arms Trade Treaty Wednesday as world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York. The Obama administration appointee insisted the accord won’t erode the rights of American gun owners.
The Arms Trade Treaty, which only covers cross-border trade and aims to keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers and criminals, still requires ratification by the U.S. Senate and has been attacked by the influential American gun rights group the National Rifle Association (NRA).
The NRA sharply criticized the Obama administration for its decision and vowed to fight ratification of the commitment. “This treaty threatens individual firearm ownership with an invasive registration scheme,” the U.S. gun lobby said.
Mr. Kerry rejected the notion that binding the U.S. to the agreement would hinder Americans.
“This treaty will not diminish anyone’s freedom, in fact the treaty recognizes the freedom of both individuals and states to obtain, possess and use arms for legitimate purposes,” Mr. Kerry said after signing the treaty.
But in Canada, the Harper government remains concerned and is still studying the matter.
“If properly done, an Arms Trade Treaty can help limit the worldwide trade in illicit arms. Canada has always worked, and will always work, to keep arms out of the hands of criminals, terrorists, and those who abuse fundamental human rights,” said Rick Roth, press secretary for Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
“That’s why we were among the 154 countries that agreed to move this treaty forward.”
But, he said, Ottawa is still studying whether joining the accord would have consequences for Canadians.
“It is important that such a treaty not affect lawful and responsible firearms owners nor discourage the transfer of firearms for recreational uses such as sport shooting and hunting.”
Mr. Roth said the Conservatives want to ensure they’ve thoroughly reviewed the accord.
“We will take the time to ensure the interests of Canadians are protected. We will do our homework, to make sure that any treaty we sign onto is good for Canada, and good for Canadians. That is what Canadians expect of their leaders,” he said.
“We’re consulting a broad range of organizations, industry, and individuals as well as the provinces and territories.”
The Baird spokesman noted Canada has supported international efforts keep arms out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and human rights abusers, including helping surface to air missiles and conventional weapons from countries such as Sudan and Libya, and backing arms control programs in the Caribbean, Colombia, and Central America.
The NRA in the United States warns the arms treaty will lead to a sort of firearms registry in the United States.
The accord, the U.S. lobby notes, “includes ‘small arms and light weapons’ within its scope, which covers firearms owned by law-abiding citizens. Further, the treaty urges record keeping of end users, directing importing countries to provide information to an exporting country regarding arms transfers, including ‘end use or end user documentation’ for a ‘minimum of ten years,’” the NRA said in a statement.
“Each country is to take measures, pursuant to its national laws, to regulate brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms. Data kept on the end users of imported firearms is a de facto registry of law-abiding firearms owners, which is a violation of federal law.”
NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar says the Harper government has no legitimate reason to balk at signing the treaty.
“The fact that the government continues to refuse to sign the treaty indicates a preference for conspiracy theories by pro-gun lobby over the simple truth. This is a treaty that will help save the lives of millions of civilians around the world and it has no impact on domestic owners of firearms,” Mr. Dewar said. (The Globe and Mail)
MANITOBA JUDGE OVERRULES GUN CRIME LAW: A Manitoba judge has refused to give a mandatory minimum sentence for a mentally disabled man guilty of a firearms charge, ruling the man’s mental challenges make him less to blame for his actions and noting the law on compulsory prison terms doesn’t account for his “child-like” state. On Tuesday, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Colleen Suche said sentencing Mario Adamo, 39, to a mandatory minimum of three years behind bars for possession of a prohibited firearm is not only “cruel and unusual punishment” under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it violates two other fundamental freedoms…
Prosecutors sought a five-year prison term for Adamo, saying he posed a public danger, given his history of crime dating back to 1995. But following a protracted sentencing process featuring unchallenged testimony from a psychiatrist on Adamo’s mental challenges, Suche ruled against the mandatory minimum penalty and gave him six months of time already served and three years of supervised probation.
Sending Adamo to prison for three years would be too harsh and out of line with his fundamental rights, Suche said. The federal prison system lacks the ability to deal with his mental-health needs, she said. “Three years in a federal penitentiary, where many of the inmates are gang members… without appropriate programming, would be very severe. I am of the view that such punishment is not only unnecessary for Mr. Adamo’s rehabilitation, but clearly detrimental to it,” Suche stated. She convicted Adamo of the gun-possession charge in May 2011, making him subject to a three-year mandatory minimum prison term. Parliament enacted the term into law in May 2008 as part of federal efforts to crack down on gang-related gun crime in major Canadian cities…
Suche’s ruling could trigger a legal battle in the Court of Appeal on the mandatory minimum sentence. Adamo, who was badly beaten by two Hells Angels gang members in 2000 and left severely cognitively impaired, was arrested in April 2009 after Winnipeg police located an unloaded .32-calibre gun behind a panel secured by screws in an outdoor shed at his mother’s home. In his police interview, an agitated, rambling Adamo admitted the gun was his, but suggested an unknown person put it in the shed. Suche found he was suffering a “psychosis” at the time of his arrest and in his time with investigators, who also found a list of names of gang members in the shed and a bulletproof vest in a bedroom in the house.
In reaching her decision, Suche pointed to “systemic failures” that appear to have left Adamo without mental-health intervention by the justice system from the time he left hospital after being beaten until he was seen by Dr. Jeff Waldman in 2011 in preparation for sentencing on the gun case. (Winnipeg Free Press — September 25, 2013)
ALBERTA PREMIER CLAIMS HIGH LAKE VICTIMS TOO DRAMATIC: It was finally confirmed that compensation will be offered to High River residents who suffered damage to their homes as a result of forced police entry in the aftermath of the June flood. Given the rather straightforward nature of the situation (RCMP confirmed that such entries occurred, and confirmed that residents had complained about damage), such an announcement could have easily have been forthcoming weeks ago, and certainly should have occurred with little fanfare or controversy. Strangely, neither was the case.
In fact, Premier Alison Redford had expressed skepticism that such damage had taken place, and was rather incensed that Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith planned to hold a town hall meeting to discuss the matter. As it was, hundreds turned out to that town hall meeting, many armed with their receipts showing as much as $3,000 in repairs as a result of Mounties kicking down their doors. Then suddenly, last week, it was announced that these residents would in fact be compensated. The premier made it sound as if this was the plan all along. If so, why wasn’t this made clear weeks ago, thus negating the need for the town hall meeting that had the premier so riled up in the first place? And why the anger?
Of course, the issue of forced entries into homes is related to the seizure of hundreds of firearms by the RCMP from those homes, and the lingering question of whether Mounties went too far. After all, such actions did not occur in other areas where flooding led to forced evacuations. And that’s what really has the premier filled with such indignation: the perception that the RCMP is being criticized. Never mind that Redford’s own Justice minister wrote a letter to the RCMP seeking clarification on firearm seizures. Never mind that the RCMP commissioner himself called for an investigation into RCMP actions in High River. In Redford’s eyes, the police can do no wrong. And that tells us a lot about her.
Last week, the premier said she was “very disappointed” to see people “making hay of this when the RCMP were doing their job.” She again lashed out at the Opposition, suggesting their concerns were “never about compensation,” but rather about “politicizing and demonizing the RCMP.” The notion that to even ask questions about police conduct is to “politicize” and “demonize” is a rather alarming message from any elected official, let alone our premier.
But here we see a pattern from Premier Redford. In part, it stems from her own personal philosophical belief in the infallibility of the state. (By Rob Breakenridge – Calgary Herald – September 23, 2013)
(ED NOTE: What about the 7,500 lbs (3.5 TONS!) of ammunition the RCMP stole and burnt? This Gong Show just goes on and on!)
HUNTING IN AMERICA – BIG BUCKS AND BIG ECONOMIC IMPACT:
Check out the impact presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation: www.nssfblog.com/infographic-huntings-impact-on-the-economy/
COREN COLUMN FIRES ON ALL CYLINDERS: There is something distasteful, even obscene, about anti-gun zealots exploiting a shooting tragedy even before all of the dead have been identified. Surely grace and decency require a hiatus of respect. But if the fanatics scream, we the moderates have to speak. What occurred in Washington this week was horrible, and demonstrated once again why law-abiding, moral people are safer when armed.
Consider a few questions: Do you feel intimidated when you visit a farm in the United States, or Canada for that matter? Are you afraid of the idea of visiting Switzerland, certain that the streets of Geneva and Zurich are dripping red with gun crimes? Of course not. But North American farmers all have guns, and the Swiss own them in extraordinary numbers. So the conclusion is obvious: The problem is not one of guns but one of crime, not one of weapons, but one of evil.
In 1945 in Britain, and I am sure Canada was not dissimilar, tens of thousands of men brought enemy handguns home from the war. They weren’t stored that well, and kids played with them. But it was very safe to be a young person in those days. The reason was that family structure was strong, fathers told sons how to behave and chastised them if they didn’t do so, morality was considered absolute, concepts of right and wrong dominated, and – oh, the sheer horror of it – people still assumed that God was God. It’s really quite simple. Well-formed people raised in a loving home with a strong sense of authority will not shoot innocent people any more than they will stab, kick, or beat them.
How fascinating it is that the very sort of people who campaign the loudest and longest to control guns are usually the same people who believe in shorter sentences for offenders and the liberal, permissive raising of children. Which is not to say that there aren’t zealots on the other side, and some of the gun advocates in the United States in particular can be irrational at times. But that doesn’t obscure the justice of their argument. Better them than the Hollywood celebrities who earn millions of dollars through their movies where idiots shoot idiots, blood squirts, and guns abound, and then make irritatingly maudlin commercials telling us that guns are a curse.
If only we could shoot hypocrisy dead, but only with legal firearms, naturally. Of course there have to be controls. We have to make sure that only sane, responsible people have access to guns. The role of government, however, should be to keep guns from the bad, not take them from the good. And in case you are wondering, I don’t own a gun, and I’m not really even particularly interested in them. But I am interested in freedom, and I am so tired of extremists reacting rather than considering. There is no compelling evidence that gun control prevents crime, but libraries of evidence that criminals will use anything, including guns, to hurt others and break the law. Listen to the peacemakers, the neutrals, the makers of chocolate and cheese. Yes, listen to the Swiss. You will take my common sense from my cold, dead brain. (By Michael Coren — Sun News Network — September 20, 2013)
THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
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
116 Galaxy Blvd, Etobicoke ON M9W 4Y6
Phone 416-679-9959, Fax: 416-679-9910
Toll Free: 1-888-873-4339
E-Mail: [email protected]