Recreational Firearms Community
of Saskatchewan
Greg Illerbrun-Bringing You The Facts
May - 2004

Greg Illerbrun, RFCSask Chairmam

Hats off to SGI, who have now confirmed in writing that they will pay out claims on unregistered long guns. This keeps in line with the Province's position of opting out of the enforcement and registration of Bill C-68.

To date, we still have not secured a meeting with the Federal Government, even though one was suppose to happen the week of February 23-28, as a result of our impromptu meeting with the Prime Minister during the SWF convention on February 20.

As a result of a phone conversation with Albina Guarnieri, Associate Minister of Defense and Minister of State and Civil Preparedness, we have been able to determine that licensing of all owners and registration of all firearms are not on the table for discussion. This contradicts her statement in January 2004 that, “All options are on the table.”

Further to this, Minister Guarnieri has let it be known through the press that it is very unlikely any changes will be made before the election.

These two facts are in direct opposition to our requirements for change as noted below. While the Government seems to be willing to make some changes, failing to address points 1 & 2, which are paramount to us, leaves us no other option but to keep up the fight.

The following 13 points include what we are asking to be addressed with the Federal Government. The package would save taxpayers 100's of millions over the long haul, but still deliver on public safety, and we would actually work with them as no doubt the eight provinces and 3 territories that have opted out would too.

Our requirements for change are as follows:

  1. To secure the support of Saskatchewan firearms owners this initiative must be agreed upon and implemented, OR acceptable assurances of change and implementation provided and announced publicly in their entirety before a federal election.
  2. Registration of long guns must be immediately eliminated.
  3. The Firearms Act must be removed from the Criminal code. This includes re-visiting penalties, ending inspections of private residences, search and seizure provisions without a warrant, etc. to bring them in line with normal summary offence or “ticketable” types of offences which are not criminal code violations. A significant aspect of this is to remove the reverse onus character of the legislation which makes citizens criminals, not from the commission of an offense, but rather the failure to live up to the requirements of the Act. As well the ability of Cabinet to make changes to the regulations through Order-In-Council must end. Legitimate firearms owners are not to be demonized as criminals or the source of firearms crime in Canada.
  4. Licensing: There will be only 1 form of certification for new or existing firearms owners. Existing holders of a Possession Only License (POL), Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) or Firearms Acquisition Certificate will be grandfathered in during an amnesty period. Renewal of this certification every five years would not be required. Individuals must remain eligible to own and purchase firearms unless they commit a criminal act. Associated cost is a one-time fee which must not escalate over time to become cost prohibitive.
  5. Training: It should be co-ordinated with the province so there is only one course to avoid duplication. This may be as simple as recognizing the Saskatchewan course as equivalent to the federal training. Federal funding must be immediately restored and maintained on an annual basis to ensure training costs are not discouraging entry by new users. This approach ensures the safe use of firearms which all parties support.
  6. Eliminate gun show regulations and re-examine onerous provisions for firearms ranges. These legitimate activities have been ongoing for decades without incident.
  7. Authorizations To Transport (ATT's) will be authorized on the individual’s license for Canada wide transport to shows, ranges and repair shops. This simplifies the process, avoids duplication and administration, thereby reducing cost for all parties. After all these folks were already cleared to own restricted firearms when they were licensed.
  8. Eliminate section 12.6 regulations regarding barrel length and calibre. If you are licensed by the government as a person who can own restricted firearms, it shouldn't matter if the barrel is only 4" or it is a .25 calibre. Similarly demonizing firearms for their appearance, action type or magazine capacity must be eliminated (example; “military assault rifles” are restricted because they “look dangerous”). The transfer of firearms between classifications must end immediately. (example; moving additional longarms into restricted or prohibited status must stop).
  9. The Federal Firearms User Committee should be comprised of a majority of firearms users (nominated by firearm user groups). Inclusion of a member of the public at large is agreeable, however, a majority of interests representing anti-gun movements is not. The government must show serious commitment to implementing the Committee recommendations or demonstrate publicly why they are not.
  10. Eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and cost by cutting the federal CFO positions. Firearms owners are more than adequately served and prefer to deal with their local RCMP as they did in the past.
  11. Enforce the laws which were on the books prior to the Firearms Act. It is well documented that existing stringent penalties for the use of a firearm during a criminal act, are the first to be plea-bargained away. New “tough” gun laws are not required. Use the ones that were already there, as firearms owners support them.
  12. Provisions of the act dealing with the disposal of firearms seized by public agents must be changed to allow for the firearms transfer to the general public and/or a non-governmental, non-profit organization.
  13. The definition of antique firearms needs to be redefined to properly encompass all antique firearms. All firearms over 100 years old of obsolete caliber, whether long guns or handguns, should be deemed an antique.

Keep in mind that decriminalization, which they appear willing to do, is a very small step in itself and still leaves them with the ability to refuse law abiding citizens licenses and confiscate your firearms. Remember, Bill C-68 takes away your right to own a firearm!

The Ontario provincial court decision on March 2 ruled that the Federal Government cannot make 2 aboriginal men pay their fees to register their guns because their treaty gave them “full and free rights” to hunt. The judge further ruled that the sort of social hunting they were practicing is also part of their constitutionally protected treaty right to hunt.

This ruling sets the stage for the upcoming challenges by both the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) and the Territorial Government of Nunavut. It is my opinion that any court that does not uphold First Nations’ right to hunt without any licenses or encumbrances would not be honoring the spirit of the treaty. The resulting positive court decision in this matter would ensure the right for First Nations people to own a firearm. Obviously, we would expect under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for that right to be extended to the rest of society.

There is an obvious solution to this problem…the Federal Government must turn the authority for gun control back to the province. This will allow for the flexibility required to address the social, legal, regional and cultural concerns of all parties.

However, the Liberal philosophy seems to be the ends justify the means. As a result, we have issues like the 250 million dollar sponsorship scandal, 480 million for the cancelled military helicopters, 60 million for canceling the Pearson Airport contract, 101 million for luxury challenger jets, 1 billion for the mismanagement of Human resources, which by the way was funding employees for administration of the gun control fiasco. All of this pales when compared to the 2 billion now being reported by CBC for gun control.

You should also be aware that 100’s of thousands were given to the Coalition for Gun Control under Wendy Cukier, Canada's leading anti-gun, anti-human rights activist, in the form of grants. The coalition in turn hired lobbyists to lobby the Liberal government for more gun control. Sound familiar?

So when the Prime Minister says he is going to account for Government spending, and “that spending” must pass a cost benefit analysis, it is time to hold him accountable for that.

The Feds are about to spend another 300 million for another computer system, the 4th system, with no guarantee that it will work either. In the meantime, lineups for hospital beds continue to grow and elective surgery has been cancelled in Saskatoon because they are out of money. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has no money to live up to its original commitment to fund 50% of health care.

An election is coming. Make sure your voice is heard!! National Firearms Association (NFA) green bag signs are available through the Recreational Firearms Community, Box 462, Moose Jaw, SK, S6H 4P1 or e-mailing giller@sasktel.net

As usual
Never Forgive - Never Forget

PS: The Chretien Gag Law is still in effect, which restricts the freedom of speech by individuals or groups during an election. Do you suppose Mr. Martin will address this as part of his campaign to eliminate the democratic defeat before the election? It is time to fish or cut bait Mr. Martin.
 

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