NFA to seek intervener status at SCC in opposition to mandatory sentencing
by National Firearms Association
Canada’s National Firearms Association will seek intervener status with the Supreme Court of Canada in in support of a recent Ontario Court of Appeal Decision striking down the 3 year mandatory minimum sentencing for firearms offences.
“Mandatory sentencing for victimless crimes and the resulting removal of judicial discretion goes against everything that the NFA has been fighting for since it was first founded to fight firearms prohibitions in the 1970s,” said NFA President Sheldon Clare. Speaking from Prince George, Clare continued, “The effect of such a law is that people who commit what are in effect regulatory offences find themselves facing mandatory jail time when their victimless regulatory offence has harmed no one. Members of Canada’s firearms culture have been unfairly stigmatized by Part III of the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act for decades, and mandatory sentencing is one area where that the Ontario Court of Appeal has wisely recognized that the offence does not fit the crime. To that end we have engaged the services of lawyer Solomon Friedman of the Ottawa law firm Edelson Clifford D’Angelo Friedman LLP. We regard Mr. Friedman as an expert on this area, and we know that he will serve our interests well.”
Clare pointed out, “It is important to understand that our organization does not believe that there should be a prohibited class of firearms which has in effect stolen property rights from Canadian firearms owners, and limited the lawful use and transfer of firearms property by perfectly responsible people. There are thousands of otherwise innocent Canadians who are in unlicensed possession of items classed as prohibited who have no criminal intent, and yet the law as it is written would put these people in prison.” Clare concluded, “While the NFA supports strict penalties against those who use aggression against others, the penalty must fit the crime, and right now that is not the case in Canadian firearms law. The peer-reviewed research is clear that nearly 40 years of increased regulation of firearms owners has been a complete waste of resources and effort. None of Canada’s firearms laws from 1974 to 2008 have affected violent crime rates and it is time for Canadian laws to be written based on science and research rather than emotion and ideology.”
Canada’s National Firearms Association is this country’s largest and most effective organization representing the interests of firearms owners.