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NFA Commentary

NFA Commentary
Sunday, February 20, 2005
The Classification Mess
Thursday, February 17, 2005
 On October 26, 1995, Lawyer Ian Binnie (now a Supreme Court Justice) appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs concerning "Consideration of Bill C-68, an Act respecting firearms and other weapons."

Mr. Binnie's Stated Credentials: "Perhaps I should say to the committee that I have a special interest in aboriginal matters. Essentially for the last 15 years, I have looked at aboriginal issues from the government perspective. I was Associate Deputy Minister of Justice federally from 1982 to 1986. I was responsible for all litigation to which the Crown was party, but with particular responsibilities for aboriginal matters, including constitutional conferences on aboriginal rights which took place during those years." (Page 61:9)

Page 61:10 of the Proceedings: "My concern, as expressed in the opinion letter, is that Bill C-68 does not indicate that Parliament has really put its mind to an issue to which the courts have said Parliament must put its mind, and that is the particular balance between what Parliament wants to do for the general population and Parliament's desire to sweep up aboriginal people in the general policy."

"The only evidence in the original bill that aboriginal peoples were considered is that relief could be granted at the discretion of the Governor in Council by way of regulation. As I indicated in my letter, I do not think that is good enough. I do not think Parliament can say, 'We override these rights, but the government can grant relief if it so desires.'"

"It is clear that the Supreme Court of Canada expects the government to consult with aboriginal peoples regarding provisions in the law generally applied to Canadians insofar as that law has a special impact on aboriginal and treaty rights. It also seems clear, as I understand the testimony, which has been given to this committee, that there was no such consultation."

Mr. Binnie outlined, to the Standing Committee, the three general concerns he had with the specific provisions of Bill C-68 in relation to aboriginal rights:

(1) His first concern was the vagueness of many of the standards imposed on both the licencing and registration side.

(2) His second concern was that the administrative machinery seems geared to big-city crime and has little relationship to most aboriginal communities, and

(3) His third concern is that the licensing and registration provisions give far too much discretion and subjective ability to the firearms officers and registrars as to who may or may not possess what weapon for the purpose of exercising aboriginal rights..

Other Comments and Concerns made to the Senate Standing Committee by Mr. Binnie

"...where aboriginal people have either a treaty or aboriginal right to hunt, they have the right to weapons and ammunition to accomplish the hunt." (Page 61:11)

"Perhaps instead of a licencing system there should simply be a process of exclusion whereby the potential trouble makers, the potential risk people, can be identified and prohibited from holding arms." (Page 61:11)

"Under section 70, the licence could be revoked for any good and sufficient reason. What has that to do with the specific requirement imposed by the courts on the government to establish a necessity for overriding rights which have been solemnly affirmed by the Constitution." (Pages 61:11 and :12)

"In respect to the registration provisions, again the language 'any good and sufficient reason' is used. I think that is too general. The courts will say that it is not good enough to have some reason, not even if it is a good and sufficient reason; it must be a reason directed to public safety, and it must be established that giving a firearms to this particular individual poses a danger to the public." (Page 61:12)

"The added amendment states that nothing in the act is to be construed so as to derogate from constitutionally guaranteed aboriginal and treaty rights. I suggest this amendment is not adequate, and I say so for the following reasons." (Page 61:12)

"...the non-derogation clause simply stands as a symbol of Parliament not having forgotten aboriginal peoples and thus it was not intended to take away those rights. However, all the problems have been left in place." (Page 61:13)

"As a practical matter, it creates a patchwork policy across the country." (Page 61:12)

"The bill does not say to aboriginal peoples, 'We understand there should be a regime for aboriginal people, and we will put in place a suitable regime.' The bill simply says, 'Well, if you can establish that we are violating a constitutional right, then I guess the bill does not apply.' That is an abdication of responsibility." (Page 61:13)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

 The Most Dangerous Item in C-68

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. The 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...

The National Firearms Association fights and wins more court cases, protecting your rights, than every other organization in Canada combined.

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.

Supreme 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.

Supreme 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.

R 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 region.

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.

David 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.

David 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.

Over the 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.

The 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 been many.

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 charged Wayne.

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.

Wayne 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.

I 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!

Thursday, February 17, 2005
There is a tremendous difference between a street fighter and a boxer. The tactics and techniques are very different. So are the venues for the fight.

There are tremendous differences in the tactics, techniques and methods used to protect firearms rights in Canada by different individuals and organizations.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

White Paper on Authorizations to Transport:  Eliminating Excessive Regulation
This is an update on the National Firearms Association's efforts on Authorizations to Transport 02 Feb 2005


Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Severe firearms control legislation is an idea that the federal Liberal Party imported from Britain. Sold to gullible Canadian voters as a way of decreasing the violent crime rates, it has now spectacularly increased our violent crime rates. That should not have come as a surprise, because it is what has happened in every country, world wide, where that idea has actually been tried. Look at what it did to Britain.

Britain has gone through several cycles of:

  1. Violent crime rates are increasing. We will stop that by imposing tougher and tighter gun control laws.crime rates went up instead of down.
  2. Violent crime rates are increasing. We will stop that by imposing tougher and tighter gun control laws.
  3. Violent crime rates went up instead of down.
  4. Violent crime rates are increasing. We will stop that by imposing tougher and tighter gun control laws...

By 1997, the British government had outlawed every privately owned handgun in Britain. As a direct result of that, violent crime rates in Britain, which had been very low before they started cycling this bad idea, had climbed to the point where they exceeded U.S. violent crime rates in every category. Handgun crime was at an all-time high--even though no one could legally have one.

Now Paul Martin has announced that he plans to do the same thing in Canada. That is a remarkably stupid idea; severe gun control laws have been a flat failure at reducing violent crime levels in Britain, Australia, Canada, and everywhere else they have been tried. Instead, they have sharply increased violent crime rates!!

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