|Press Release From RFC(Sask)|
June 18, 2001 - FSIN Court Challenge to the Canada Firearms Act
The Recreational Firearms Community (Sask) supports the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) in filing a court challenge to the Firearms Act. In their court challenge, the FSIN contends that the Federal Government did not consult with First Nations in a meaningful way, prior to implementing the Firearms Act.
On October 26, 1995, Lawyer Ian Binnie (now a Supreme Court Justice) appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs concerning "Consideration of Bill C-68, An Act respecting firearms and other weapons." In his presentation to the Standing Committee he expressed concerns that Bill C-68 does not indicate that Parliament has really put its mind to an issue to which the courts have said Parliament must put its mind, and that is the particular balance between what Parliament wants to do for the general population and Parliament's desire to sweep up aboriginal people in the general policy.
It is understood that the Supreme Court of Canada expects the Federal Government to consult with aboriginal peoples regarding provisions in the law generally applied to Canadians insofar as that law has a special impact on aboriginal and treaty rights.
It is important to note that where aboriginal people have either a treaty or aboriginal right to hunt, they have the right to weapons and ammunition to accomplish the hunt.
It is the experience of the Recreational Firearms Community (Sask) that the Federal Government has in no way attempted any meaningful consultations with firearms owners. Repeatedly, the Federal Government, by the actions of the Department of Justice, has attempted to mis-direct attention away from the ill-conceived and onerous piece of legislation known as the Firearms Act. The Recreational Firearms Community (Sask) will continue the fight for the rights of firearms owners and looks forward to the outcome of the FSIN court challenge to the Canada Firearms Act. The Recreational Firearms Community (Sask) views this court challenge as another battle in the fight to replace the Firearms Act with legislation that respects the rights of all firearms owners.
The Recreational Firearms Community (Sask) calls upon all Canadians to support the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) in their court challenge to the Firearms Act.
Tel: (306) 543-7599 Tel: (306) 773-1326
Fax: (306) 949-9072 Fax: (306) 773-0733
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