Layton’s New Deal for Firearms Owners


Sorry, Jack, NO DEAL


NDP Leader, Jack Layton, claims to have blessed Canadians with a “compromise” solution to retain the gun registry. Can he seriously believe that firearms owners are sufficiently naive to acquiesce to this latest attempt to justify the existence of this bloated, wasteful, and ineffective program?

Let’s examine why:

Layton is not really offering a compromise at all. In an attempt to make the onerous laws authorizing the registry’s existence appear to be more friendly, the Leader of the NDP is offering to create a “non-criminal, ticketable” offence for first-time offenders who fail to register their long-guns. It’s a nice thought but impossible without re-writing the Criminal Code. The Government of Canada does not possess the legislative ability to make this happen. The long-gun registry was passed as federal criminal law. To comply with the constitutional powers of Parliament, any offence under that legislation must be criminal.

So even if you could be issued a ticket, payable with a fine, you would still have a CRIMINAL RECORD!

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Mr. Layton’s so-called improvement of making an offence “ticketable” merely makes it easier for firearms owners to plead GUILTY to a Criminal Code offence by streamlining the prosecution process. If you wish to plead not guilty, you still go to court and endure the same legal process and if found guilty you will have a CRIMINAL RECORD and a probable firearms prohibition.

Millions of Canadian hunters, sport shooters and farmers say, “NO THANKS, NO DEAL.”

Just as the Liberals have used half truths, misinformation and false statistics in their attempt to portray the gun registry as a valuable tool for police, they and the NDP are now using these same methods to appear to streamline the registration paperwork. Nice try, but the onerous and unnecessary paperwork is in the licensing system and there is little that can be done to improve the registration process save eliminating it entirely. Once again, the opposition parties are fudging the registry and licensing system together. We would love to explain the important differences. Just call us.

It’s interesting that the opposition leaders have taken great pains to refer to this proposal as a compromise between their rigid position and the needs of his rural caucus. Unfortunately, they’ve missed the target again. While there is a high level of resentment against the registry in rural Canada the fact remains that the largest firearms retailers in Canada are located in the cities, because that’s where many outdoors sports enthusiasts reside. This weak attempt to play to a declining urban base while trying to placate the rest of Canada, only serves to alienate all Canadians, regardless of where they live. If your solution is a result of advice from your caucus, the myopic offer leaves us cold.

Mr. Layton and Mr. Ignatieff, we are your neighbours, friends and family. The millions of men, women and children who enjoy the shooting sports are proud, law abiding Canadians, from all walks of life. We work hard and pay our taxes.

Why do you continue to dismiss our concerns?

For further information, contact:

Tony Bernardo

Larry Whitmore

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