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Letter to Hon. Vic Toews, MP – Review and Repeal of Firearms Classification lists

11 October 2012

Hon. Vic Toews, MP
House of Commons
Parliament Bldg.
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6

Minister of Public Safety

Dear Minister Toews:

Subject: Review and Repeal of Firearms Classification Lists

Canada’s National Firearms Association requests that the Conservative government take steps to remove legislative restrictions in the Firearms Act and its related regulations that are unnecessary and have no effect upon public safety.

As you may be aware, Canada’s National Firearms Association supports allowing firearms owners to make use of, and sell their firearms property regardless of classification.  That is, there should not be a category of firearms known as prohibited, as this category effectively limits the lawful use of those firearms and further prevents people from passing on these firearms and their value, both sentimental and financial, to their heirs and successors, or from profiting by transferring these firearms to other interested lawful persons.

Currently the prohibited class prevents new collectors from obtaining and transferring these firearms to each other and from bringing in new firearms so as to improve collections.  The prohibited class does not provide any protection whatsoever to public safety and is based upon a false assumption that limiting access and eliminating lawful use will somehow prevent crime.  Peer-reviewed research by Professors Gary Mauser and John Lott, Jr. indicates that the reverse is true – widespread access to firearms by lawful citizens provides a general deterrent to criminal activity.  Laws regarding possession and use of particular types of firearm do not have any effect whatsoever upon the use of those firearms by those seeking to do ill, and should not hamper innocent firearms enthusiasts from fully enjoying and making use of their property.  As well, the requirement of converting standard size magazines so as to limit capacity is broadly ignored by criminal elements, so why should it affect innocent firearms enthusiasts?

In addition, many firearms especially popular civilian versions with military appearance are currently classified as prohibited or restricted primarily due to their cosmetic looks rather than because of any other factor and thus should become non-restricted.

The National Firearms Association recommends:

– That all firearms currently listed as prohibited be re-classified as “restricted”, and

– That all firearms included in the larger “restricted” category undergo a comprehensive re-assessment,  and

– That there be a significant effort to remove many, if not most, firearms from the restricted category and make them non-restricted.

– That the prohibitions on standard capacity magazines be removed so that firearms owners may make use of the magazines designed for their specific    firearms.

Administering this regulatory requirement provides a significant administrative burden on the government and taxpayer, as well as a potential criminal liability on otherwise innocent people who possess such items, especially when they are prevented from enjoying their property or from profiting from their investment in it.

I ask that your government take steps to repeal these unnecessary and burdensome regulations and restore the ability of Canadian firearms owners to make use of their own property.

Yours truly,

Sheldon Clare
President, Canada’s National Firearms Association