Dennis R. Young, Canada’s foremost firearms researcher, passed into glory on the evening of January 15, 2021, after a second lengthy battle with cancer.
Dennis is survived by his wife Hazel, their children Jennifer and Steven, and their three grandchildren, and his brothers Kim Young and Gordon Young, sisters Ardyth Tait and Merle Lynn Watson.
A Devoted Husband
Dennis is perhaps best known for his devotion and dedication to his wife Hazel, who was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis in 1985.
“Dennis’s faithfulness to his wife was a shining example to all of us in our marriages,” said Garry Breitkreuz, former Conservative MP for Yorkton—Melville. “Lydia and I would go over to his home for dinner once in a while and we’d see his dedication to Hazel. His love for her was awesome to witness.”
A Tireless Advocate for Gun Owners
Dennis Young’s name is also synonymous with 2012’s “Ending the Long-gun Registry Act.”
“Dennis worked tirelessly behind the scenes to uncover all the facts the government tried its hardest to keep hidden from the public. Without his efforts, the whole gun registry fiasco would never have been exposed,” said Garry Breitkreuz.
“He was very loyal and absolutely fantastic to work with.”
“I think we might still have a long-gun registry if it hadn’t been for the work that Dennis Young did over all those years in Ottawa,” Jason Kenney said at an Alberta town hall meeting on October 10, 2017.
After retiring in 2007, Dennis Young continued his work as an independent researcher on firearms-related issues and published the results of all his Access to Information efforts on his website, DennisRYoung.ca.
Dennis Young’s legacy does not end with his death, thankfully. At Dennis Young’s request, author and current events commentator Christopher di Armani took over responsibility for Dennis Young’s website and continuing his decades-long ATIP program.
Dennis was an Honourary Life Member of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA), the National Firearms Association (NFA) and a Member of the Calgary RCMP Veterans Association.
Canadian Shooting Sports Association
“Canada’s firearms community is greatly diminished by the passing of Dennis Young,” said Tony Bernardo, Executive Director of the CSSA.
“Over the last 25 years, I have been proud to count Dennis as a comrade-in-arms and as a trusted friend. His tireless commitment to truth and honesty was a signpost that always pointed to the high road.”
“The CSSA is in mourning. Dennis Young will not be forgotten,” Bernardo said.
National Firearms Association
“Dennis Young was a life member of Canada’s National Firearms Association and the Canadian Shooting Sports Association,” said NFA president Sheldon Clare. “He was granted those honours because he worked hard for decades to fight for the rights of Canadian firearms owners, and thus benefitted the public at large.”
“Dennis was a great researcher – bureaucrats trembled at the volume and quality of his access to information requests over matters affecting firearm rights, and over the infamous High River gun grab. His humble yet vigorous efforts, without compensation or favour, were inspiring.”
“As a former Mountie, Dennis had tremendous respect for the law but hated to see process abused. After he left parliamentary service, Dennis continued to research and find information benefitting firearm rights, all while supporting his beloved wife Hazel in her struggle with MS.”
“I am pleased that we were able to host Dennis on a recent NFATalk programme and thank him directly for all of his service on our community’s behalf.”
Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton—Melville (Retired)
“Our friendship went far deeper than just work. It was also spiritual. He was a wonderful person and I prayed for him daily to come to Christ because I just wanted him to be in eternity with me. The result was his conversion to Christianity while working with me in Ottawa. That was one of the biggest blessings I ever had during my time on Parliament Hill.”
There will be a private family service held for Dennis Young in Calgary. The family requests their privacy be respected so they can mourn the loss of their loved one.