Helen Keller Could Have Seen This Coming

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Just read the rest.  I’m too pissed off to elaborate right now…

From the Toronto Sun:

Feds ban AK-47 look-alike

OTTAWA — The federal government is cracking down on a small game rifle, saying it was inappropriately classified as a non-restricted weapon.

But one firearms activist argues it’s an end run by federal bureaucrats related to a long-running court battle.

Owners of the Armi Jager AP80 .22-calibre rifle received a letter from the RCMP in December saying the registration certificates for the firearm would be revoked and they had a month to dispose of their weapons – with no compensation.

Unknown ObjectAs of Dec. 20, the once legally owned gun would be classified as prohibited.

According to the letter, the decision was made because the AP80 is cosmetically similar to the AK-47 rifle.

But Solomon Friedman, a lawyer with an expertise in firearms law, maintained Wednesday that despite the gun’s outward appearance, it is no different from any other .22-calibre sporting firearm.

“You can’t shoot anything bigger than a squirrel or a rabbit with this,” he said. “That’s it.”

Friedman argued the decision was a last-ditch attempt related to a court fight between the government and an AP80 owner who in 2000 tried to register the rifle he’d bought legally in 1984, only to be turned down on the grounds it was now considered a prohibited weapon.

“If they waited for this to be litigated to completion, they wouldn’t have a registry and they wouldn’t know for certain where these firearms were,” he said.

The federal bill to scrap the long-gun registry is expected to pass into law some time this spring.

Mike Patton, a spokesman for the public safety minister, said he couldn’t address concerns over the AP80 because it was under judicial review.

But he noted firearms laws dictating which guns are non-restricted, restricted and prohibited haven’t changed, and it was likely the AP-80 had simply been inappropriately classified years ago.

The RCMP didn’t respond to media requests by press time. The force oversees gun classification through the Canadian Firearms Program.

… and from the NatPost:

RCMP to seize more ‘scary-looking’ guns before registry dies

With the firearms registry on death’s door, the RCMP is using what little time remains to reclassify and seize certain scary-looking guns from the hands of Canadian firearms owners.

Among the guns being seized is a small-calibre varmint rifle called the Armi Jager AP80. Like many non-restricted rifles, it is semi-automatic and fires the .22-calibre bullet, the smallest and weakest used in any long gun.

The AP80 has been singled out because it looks too much like the infamous AK-47 assault rifle, although it shares no parts or technical similarities with that infamous battle rifle.On Dec. 20, the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program — the office charged with administering gun control regulations in Canada — served hundreds of registered firearms owners with a “notice of revocation.”

“This notice is to inform you that the firearm registration certificates indicated below have been revoked,” says the letter, obtained by Postmedia News. “You have 30 days to deliver your firearms to a peace officer, firearms officer . . . or to otherwise lawfully dispose of them.”

The letter says the AP80 was “incorrectly registered” in the past, and is being banned because it is now considered a member of the AK-47 family.

“The above mention firearm is prohibited as a variant of the design of the firearm commonly known as the AK-47 rifle,” the letter says.

Until Dec. 20, the AP80 was classified as a non-restricted firearm, the most lightly controlled category of firearms in Canada. It has now been moved to the most tightly controlled category: the prohibited firearms list.

As a result, the AP80 can now be owned or used only by people possessing rare “grandfathered” prohibited licences.

The RCMP have also issued a notice of revocation for the Walther G22 rifle on Dec. 30. This gun, also a .22-calibre semi-automatic, was prohibited because it has a removable “bullpup” style shoulder stock.

The Walther G22 vaguely resembles the Beretta Storm carbine, used in the Dawson College shootings.

The letters say nothing about compensating gun owners for the seizures.

Ottawa firearms lawyer Solomon Friedman says the consequences could be severe for any owners who don’t comply with the confiscation notice.

“If you don’t surrender this without compensation, the RCMP can come to your home, seize it and charge you with possession of a prohibited firearm,” he said.

Friedman says some owners of the AP80 are considering challenging the changes in court.

Under current firearms law, bureaucrats at the Canadian Firearms Program can reclassify any firearm through orders in council. Such classifications are done without parliamentary input or oversight.

Friedman said this confiscation effort contradicts the spirit of Bill C-19, the Harper government’s legislation that will relax gun control, which is currently before the House. He noted the RCMP served their letters of confiscation while MPs were away on holidays.

Moving the firearms into higher classification brackets means those owners who are allowed to have them will have to keep their weapons registered even after the Harper government’s firearms law passes.

By changing classifications now, the RCMP will retain records of ownership even after the long-gun-registry data is destroyed.

Friedman says activist bureaucrats at the Canadian Firearms Program are using what little time remains to move more firearms into the restricted and prohibited categories, for which registration will remain necessary.

“Remember, once (the) gun registry is eliminated, the RCMP will lose their ability to identify, target and harass law-abiding owners of non-restricted firearms,” he said. “They only took notice of (the AP80) when the gun registry is in its death throes.”

Friedman says there is a broader movement at the Canadian Firearms Program to seize small-calibre rifles that are dressed up to look like assault weapons.

They include .22-calibre semi-automatics made to resemble guns such as the M-16 assault rifle and MP5 submachine-gun used by police and army.

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