Thursday, February 17, 2005
Most firearms owners in Canada, they believe that they are way too
smart, or law-abiding to ever get into trouble with the Firearms Act.
sad reality is that the Liberal inspired Firearms Act is so confusing
that firearms owners, law enforcement officers, lawyers and crown
prosecutors all are confused.
Mandatory Reading: The Police are at your Door! You Are a Firearm Owner. What Now?
and ... Winning Strategies in Court Cases
That is where the National Firearms Association comes in...
National Firearms Association fights and wins more court cases,
protecting your rights, than every other organization in Canada
The sad truth however is that more firearm owners,
especially under the new law, get into trouble -- and then put
themselves deeper into trouble trying to "talk their way out". Use your
right to SILENCE. Read our A Primer on Search Warrants
today! In French Le mandat de perquisition
Court of Canada -- R v. Finlay. CC s. 86(2), "careless storage." The
NATIONAL FIREARMS ASSOCIATION paid the lawyer who represent Finlay. The
case went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. This case was
lost, but the loss was almost as good as a win, because it established
that conviction required proof that the accused did something that no
prudent person would do. It raised the standard for conviction to a
level roughly equal to proof of criminal negligence. Later cases
expanded around that, and it is now VERY difficult to get a conviction
under CC s. 86(3). This case cost 5000 (pro-firearm-lawyer special low
rate), and that was both a great bargain and a lot of loonies.
Court of Canada -- R v. Hasselwander -- costs split, half paid by
National Firearms Association and half by the Ontario Handgun
Association. We lost, and when the Supreme Court of Canada reversed a
favourable Ontario Court of Appeal decision. That Supreme Court of
Canada decision makes for an impossible situation, because it says that
a firearm which can be made to fire full automatic "in a relatively
short time and with relative ease" is a "prohibited weapon."
Unfortunately, nearly ANY firearm meets that criterion. This case was
later negated by an National Firearms Association case in a provincial
court, R v. Rogan, which found that the use of parts available to the
police but not to an ordinary person meant that the Hasselwander test
was not met. This is a most confused area, even today. The National
Firearms Association designed the arguments in the Rogan case, supplied
an expert witness, and helped in every way possible. The "frame or
receiver" of a Sten Mk V submachine gun was returned, and the case was
upheld on appeal. Our half of the Supreme Court of Canada case
cost $2500 -- again, a great bargain from a pro-firearm lawyer.
v. Bowskill -- A lawyer called the National Firearms Association and
asked if we could suggest any defence for an Ontario druggist who kept
a loaded shotgun in the back room, and who had been charged with
improper storage. David Tomlinson, the National Firearms Association's
Legal Chairman advised the lawyer on how to proceed. The counsel
agreed, with what Tomlinson suggested -- and so did the judge. The
shotgun was not in storage -- it was in use for personal protection.
Bowskill was found innocent.
Call from woman in Northwest
Territories. Husband died while in possession of an FN FAL rifle, which
automatically became a "prohibited weapon" on his death. The RCMP had
arrived to seize it. David Tomlinson got her to put the officer on the
phone, and read him the relevant passages from the Criminal Code. He
left without the gun, satisfied that everything was legal, and that
CFR/FRAS was out to lunch. This later led to an exercise we cannot
describe here, but which should have good effects in that general
Call from Lorraine DeWetter. RCMP came to notify her of
her husband's death, and seized both guns in the house (.22 rifle and a
shotgun). I dictated a letter to her, called the two RCMP detachments
involved, and read them the riot act. When she arrived with the letter,
the guns were returned to her immediately. She had no FAC.
Tomlinson has appeared as an expert witness -- at National Firearms
Association expense -- in one murder trial [R v. Kesler] and one
attempted murder trial [R v. Brown] -- both actually legitimate
self-defence. Our side won both -- clean not-guilty verdicts. The
National Firearms Association designed the entire Kesler defence
strategy and briefed the lawyer -- supplying a complete explanation of
everything that happened, including decisions made by the accused, maps
of movements of all parties involved, timed scenario, technical
information, etc. -- all done at National Firearms Association expense.
The National Firearms Association briefed the lawyer extensively in the
Brown case, helping him to understand how everything happened and
firearms details -- at National Firearms Association expense.
has also appeared as an expert witness for a young man accused of
"careless use" of an AR-15 in an Ontario gravel pit (we won). And for a
man accused of possession of a "prohibited weapon" (semi-auto Bren LMG,
in the days when that firearm was unrestricted) in Corner Brook
Newfoundland -- all at National Firearms Association expense. And
similar cases in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta have been
treated the same way. We have won in most such cases.
years, we have sent out thousands of legal transcripts, mostly of
favourable court decisions, and many including lawyers' arguments --
which help in case preparation. We ask for a donation to cover the
expense of sending those -- except in cases where the requester has
been accused of an offence -- but we have never refused to send them.
National Firearms Association funds quite a few cases, mainly those
that have the potential to set a good and useful precedent. We cannot
fund all cases, because there are far too many. I cannot list every
case we have been involved in -- deeply or shallowly -- but there have
No one who calls on the National Firearms Association
is charged for advice, transcripts, expert witness work, or anything
else. In couple of cases, a wealthy defendant has paid the fare to get
an National Firearms Association expert witness to the court area --
but that is very rare. The National Firearms Association has never
charged expert witness fees in any case but one. In that one, a large
dealer needed an expert witness -- and the National Firearms
Association expert witness was paid $200 in trade goods. In that case,
the dealer stood to lose 300 guns worth about $300 each -- $90,000. Our
side won the case.
Currently? We get about 5 calls a week, on
average, from people in trouble. The worst cases are those where the
person calling has already pled guilty and been given a criminal record
-- when we could have won the case if he or she had called us BEFORE
trying it alone.
The future? We will continue to do what we have
been doing for the last 14 years, and, if we have more money coming in,
we will be able to do more of it. This is an area where you are the
person who actually decides what will happen.
Wayne ****** was
charged with unsafe storage last year. He left a .22 rifle in his
locked truck, with the .22 covered with a blanket. Police claimed they
could see a corner of the rifle sticking out, broke into the truck, and
This spring, when the case came to court, charges
were stayed because the police officer didn't show up. The National
Firearms Association's feeling is the crown knew they would lose the
case, so this was very convenient for them. Firearms and
ammunition have been returned with no apologies or explanation.
stated he "would like to thank Dave, Larry and the National Firearms
Association. for all information, documentation, financial assistance
and moral support that was so helpful". This was passed to us by
telephone. Wayne is in the midst of spring farming. He indicates his
own letter with his own wording is forthcoming as soon as he can find
time to compose a letter to show his appreciation and feelings.
know this gentleman and he was flabbergasted and dumb-founded as well
as utterly surprised that there was any organization that would
actually support him and back him with regards to these charges.
On behalf of Wayne *** a most heart-felt "thank you" to the National
Firearms Association and all that were involved. THANK-YOU!