My friend and hunting buddy Jason Quinn shares my passion for hunting, dog training and the great outdoors. Oh yes, when people who see us together ask if we are father and son, I am quick to tell them, “no, he is not my father.” We are both gun owners, no surprise there, but Jason surpasses my interest in guns, being an avid collector and afficionado. He has membership in the Eastern Ontario Shooting Club, moderates the popular gun forum, Canadian Gun Nutz and has a vast knowledge of the history and the technology of the gun. He makes a point of being his own ombudsman when it comes to defending his right to own and use guns lawfully and peacefully. He and his wife Frances, a keen huntress herself I might add, were present in the House of Commons to witness the vote on Bill C-19 in 2012 that abolished the hated long gun registry. They were among those invited to the reception that followed and were introduced to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The long gun registry may be gone, but unfortunately the Firearms Act that spawned it is still in force. In a nutshell, this is a major problem in that the Firearms Act allows for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to amend the accompanying regulations without having them reviewed and approved by parliament. The RCMP has arbitrarily released a new list of prohibited a class of rifles manufactured by Swiss Arms, types of rifles that were lawful for Canadians to own since 2001 and cost between $3000 to $4000. It is estimated there are 2000 of the rifles in question in the hands of lawful owners in Canada. Understandably, this news is distressing to the owners, to say the least. They can take heart in the knowledge that there are men like Jason who refuse to roll over and go along with the arbitrary decrees of the RCMP. He wasted no time, drafting a letter to Prime Minister Harper, pointing out the glaring problem gun owners in Canada face with the Firearms Act in its current form still in effect. The text of his letter to the Prime Minister is listed below.
Dear Right Hon. Prime Minister Stephen Harper;
I am writing you today about the latest reclassification by the RCMP, of the entire Swiss Arms family of rifles from Non-Restricted to Prohibited. What does this mean? It means that the law abiding owners of these firearms are now required to turn them in without compensation. Keep in mind that there are approximately 2,000 of these rifles in Canada, with an average value of $3,500 and this represents $7,000,000 dollars worth of private property.
What will the result be from this arbitrary reclassification by the RCMP? Well, with a Federal election coming next year it will seriously hurt & undermine the CPC’s reputation amongst law abiding gun owners! Don’t forget that there are 2 million law abiding and licensed firearms owners in Canada and they represent the support base which handed your Conservative Party its majority in the last election.
And at this point, I think it is important to remind you of a promise you made in the House of Commons on the 19th of January 2002. Let me quote;
“I was and still am in total agreement with the statement made in the House of Commons by former Reform Leader Preston Manning on June, 13, 1995: “Bill C-68, if passed into law, will not be a good law. It will be a bad law, a blight on the legislative record of the government, A law that fails the three great tests of constitutionality, of effectiveness and of democratic consent of the governed. What should be the fate of a bad law? It should be repealed…”
“(Bill) C-68 has proven to be a bad law and has created a bureaucratic nightmare for both gun owners and the government. As Leader of the Official Opposition I will use all the powers afforded to me as Leader and continue our party’s fight to repeal Bill C-68 and replace it with A firearms control system that is cost effective and respects the rights of Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly.”
Prime Minister Harper, I believe it is now incumbent upon you to act swiftly and decisively. You must re-write Canadian Firearm Law before the next election so that it is clearly aimed at criminals and not the law abiding! Now is the time to, and I quote you;“Repeal Bill C-68 and replace it with a firearms control system that is cost effective and respects the rights of Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly.”
I will close by saying that in the last election you were given a clear mandate by Canadians. If your government chooses inaction on the firearms issue with such repeated miscarriages of justice by the RCMP, as outlined above, your Conservative support base will abandon you and this will pave the way forward for a change in government. The plight of both the Conservative Party and all law abiding firearms owners in Canada hangs in the balance while you decide whether or not to honour your promise repeal the Firearms Act and replace it with a firearms control system that is cost effective and respects the right of Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly.
I IMPLORE YOU TO ACT!
I remain, a hopeful Conservative voter for now…
Posted by Geoffrey