Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Conservative M. P. supplied me with a copy of its proposed "new"
firearms control law. It is a grave disappointment, but I was
expecting that; I know how Ottawa works. The Ministers tell their top
bureaucrats to draft new laws, and what effects he wants the new laws
to have. The bureaucrats then draft the new laws for Parliament to
pass--laws that will have the effects the bureaucrats want them to
have. Their draft Bill C-21 is scheduled to become law this fall.
this case, the Conservative Ministers wanted new laws that would keep
the firearms community in solid support of the Conservative
Party--without alienating anti-gun soccer moms. The bureaucrats
wanted new laws that would increase the number of their employees,
the power of top bureaucrats, and the funding of their bureaucracy.
You can judge the results:
transfer a .22 single-shot Cooey rifle under the new Firearms Act
section 23, "A person may transfer a firearm if, at
the time of the transfer...the transferor
[a dealer or an
individual] has no reason to believe that the transferee is not
authorized to acquire and possess that kind of firearm."
seller just has to see the buyer's firearms licence, right? Wrong!
new Section 23 goes on to say, "In the case of a transfer to
[by a dealer or another individual], the
transferor informs a chief firearms officer and
obtains the authorization of the chief firearms officer
for the transfer...and...the prescribed conditions are met."
the seller has to ask the CFO for his permission to actually
transfer the rifle to the buyer who has a licence. The purpose of the
licence, we were told, was to identify a person as being a person who
could acquire and possess a rifle. But after spending $1 billion
in tax dollars on their flawed licencing scheme, the bureaucrats who
drafted this are now telling us that the licence is meaningless. A
licence cannot and does not identify any person as being qualified to
buy any firearm.
27 then creates new work for the bureaucracy. It says, "On
being informed of a proposed transfer of a firearm under
section 23, a chief firearms officer shall verify whether the
transferee holds a licence
[that requires a licence record
check], whether the transferee is still eligible to hold that
[that requires a criminal record check, and a complete
check, including a mental health check, to make sure that the
transferee has not fallen into ineligibility under FA s. 5(2)(a)(I),
(a)(ii), (a)(iii), (b), or (c) in the interval since he was issued
his firearms licence], and whether the licence
authorizes the transferee to acquire that kind of a firearm...
that the CFO can) decide whether to approve the transfer...
hands a lot
of unjustifiable power over to the CFO. The buyer
has already done everything required to satisfy all that, just to get
his licence. He or she has paid all the required fees for training
and the licence itself. Now--just to let him buy a single-shot .22
Cooey--the bureaucracy is going to assume that the licence he already
has is meaningless. It is going reinvestigate the buyer to find out
if he or she is qualified to have the licence the bureaucracy has
makes no sense at all! If the law is going to require that, the
licence should be totally scrapped as being a completely meaningless
document that is totally ignored.
requirement in this law for the CFO to notify either the
transferor or the transferee of his decision. There is no time
constraint on the CFO. That is a recipe for long delays, and for
inability to determine the cause of a delay in a transfer decision. I
have seen far too much of this sort of bad systems design to believe
this badly-designed change can possibly work well!
and RED WARNING:
an ordinary rifle or shotgun by this very complex method will create
very real problems. Obviously, the CFO has to do a lot
"authorize" such a transfer. What he "shall"
do requires complex analysis of all government records pertaining to
the buyer. The presence or absence of a licence is clearly not enough
for the CFO to be able to "verify" the things he is
required to "verify." Verify is a very powerful word,
requiring hard work and solid proof
to satisfy the "verify"
Bill C-21 becomes law in its present form, the entire licence program
will become meaningless and should be discarded once C-21 comes into
force. The additional workload will require more staff in the office
of each CFO.
C-21 isn't going to save any of our tax dollars. It will make
operating the gun control system even more
bureaucrats who drafted the changes to FA s. 23 and 27 have produced
a nightmare. For example, is the "notification" of the CFO
to be verbal or in writing? Is the "authorization" by the
CFO to be verbal or in writing? If either is allowed to be verbal,
what will happen in a court case involving a transfer that may not
have been done to the standard, "the prescribed conditions are
met" [FA s. 27(a)(iii)]? The "prescribed conditions"
are all set by Order in Council. There are already so many of them,
plus so many changes to the older ones made by other Orders in
Council, that no one in Canada fully understands what "conditions"
are "prescribed." This is just one more step in making
firearms ownership more expensive, more complicated, and riskier.
bill, if adopted, leads inevitably into a system in which all the
"notification" and "authorization" is done in
writing. That must be done to provide the necessary records. Instead
of a simple transfer of registration done at one national
(RCMP) central processing site, transfers of ordinary rifles and
shotguns will be done at each
CFO's office. The processes will
differ from CFO to CFO. There will be a record of the location of
every rifle and shotgun in Canada--and how does that differ from
will be confusion when a rifle or shotgun is transferred from the
jurisdiction of one CFO's office to the jurisdiction of another CFO's
office. The confusion will probably be worse than a registration
transfer, which does not require so much CFO activity. The transfer
of a "restricted" or "prohibited" firearm
requires all this, plus a great deal of activity in the Registrar's
office. The cost of transferring such a firearm will be approximately
the cost of transferring a non-restricted ordinary
rifle or shotgun. The cost of transferring an ordinary rifle or
shotgun will be higher
than the current cost. And this is
supposed to save money? Pull the other leg!
top bureaucrats who drafted Bill C-21 were not trying to please their
Minister or the public. They were going all out to increase the
number of their employees, their budget in tax dollars, and their own
personal power over members of the firearms community. That is
the new laws (Bill C-21, scheduled to be passed this fall) are
unacceptable to you, join the National Firearms Association. The NFA
fights for every member of the firearms community.