Mayor Tory and Toronto City Council
12th floor, West Tower, City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Dear Mayor John Tory and Councillors:
Subject: Firearms Control Statements by Mayor Tory
As the President of a national organization concerned with civil rights and personal freedom, I was both surprised and alarmed to learn that Mayor John Tory would be proposing additional firearms control measures such as limiting firearm purchase quantities by citizens.
On behalf of the many lawful firearms owners, users, and businesses in your fair city, I respectfully request that Toronto City Council retract requests to the federal minister of justice regarding additional intrusion into Canada’s already highly bureaucratic and unnecessary firearms control regime. Despite the emotional attachment mistakenly given to firearms issues, such a change as trying to place a limit on quantities of firearms purchased would only harm innocent citizens who own these items, businesses that sell them, and likely serve only to increase violent crime.
I also request that a representative of our organization meet with council to explain the nuances of Canadian firearms law, and the research cited below.
I note that in the examples given in the media, the people involved were alleged to be engaged in criminal activity and were arrested for their actions. Historically, Canadians have made good use of firearms to feed their families and to enjoy recreational shooting activities that are well known to reduce stress and build personal discipline – they have also used them for personal and general defence. Canadian athletes who shoot have done Canada proud in sporting events both at home and around the world. As a sponsor of several of Canada’s top biathletes, one of our top pistol shooters, and shooting events and teams, we are well aware of the value of excellence in shooting disciplines. At over 70,000 members, Canada’s National Firearms Association is this country’s largest advocacy organization promoting the rights and freedoms of all responsible firearm owners and users. We are also an official United Nations NGO with consultative status to ECOSOC.
In addition, firearms and ammunition are owned by Canadian re-enactors and collectors who appreciate their historical significance and are proud to share that aspect of history. Firearms ownership and use is not, as has been claimed by the ignorant and ill-informed, a “dangerous hobby.” If that were the case, why is it possible that Canada’s National Firearms Association can offer 5 million dollars primary liability insurance for all legal firearms activities for only $9.95 per year? Anyone who has tried to get similar insurance for their car or other activities well understands that insurance companies know what is dangerous and what is not.
Clearly ownership and lawful use of firearms and ammunition is not a dangerous activity. The peer-reviewed research by Dr. Caillin Langmann, PhD, MD as published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence in 2012 (copy attached) conclusively demonstrates that there is no relationship between any of Canada’s firearms laws and violent crime rates in Canada. In addition, research by Professors Gary Mauser and John Lott, Jr., has conclusively demonstrated that having more firearms in the hands of good people has a net effect of reducing crime, especially violent crime.
All available national data show that smuggling is the predominant source of crime guns; not from licenced firearms owners
It has also been demonstrated that in areas where firearms are heavily regulated or banned such as in England that crimes of violence dramatically increase – Joyce Lee Malcolm’s peer-reviewed book Guns and Violence: The English Experience is clear on that matter. This is not fantasy – it is verifiable fact. Academic reference material such as Professor Mauser’s work published in his article “Hubris in the North” and his article “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? – A review of International and some domestic evidence” in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy written with Don B. Kates, and Professor Lott’s book More Guns, Less Crime are but a few which demonstrate the accuracy of my comments.
Firearms laws have often been pushed upon Canadians under the guise of public safety when in fact these laws are merely serving to limit civil rights and hard won freedoms. Neither the firearm registration system, nor the licensing programs have ever truly been about saving any lives. These laws have really been about trying to destroy a positive Canadian firearms culture.
Thank you for considering my remarks. I look forward to hearing from you.
Canada’s National Firearms Association