Sep 222013
 

The Coalition for Gun Control wants you all behind bars

Dennis E. Florianby Dennis E. Florian
Gun Owners’ Resource

If, by some bizarre chance, there were ever any doubts as to the true goals and intentions of such malignant organizations as the Coalition for Gun Control, they can now surely be put to rest. Their protestations that they’ve no intention of making anyone a criminal or stealing their property ring as hollow as their heads.  It’s all about safety, they say, and all they’re asking is for those mean, nasty gun nuts to just… be reasonable.

No, it isn’t and no, they aren’t.  Do not be fooled.  Wendy Cukier and her ilk want to wipe their backsides with your fundamental human rights, they want to steal your rightful property, they want to see you in the dock (or better yet, behind bars), and they want to see you branded as a criminal menace to society, like some latter day mark of Cain.  Don’t believe me?  Read on.

By now, everybody and their dog has heard about the disgraceful conduct of Canada’s own answer to the Schutzstaffel during the flooding in High River, Alberta, in June of this year.  After clearing out the town, ringing the municipality with hundreds of military and paramilitary personnel, and refusing to allow any residents access to their own homes (even those whose homes and/or businesses were in absolutely no danger of flooding), the RCMP then went from house to house — to more than 1,900 homes — kicking in doors and looting private property.  Guns, to be specific.

At first, they claimed to be only looking for people or pets that may have been left behind, stranded and otherwise in distress and in need of rescuing.  Then video surfaced of them putting along in a boat with no stretchers, pet carriers, med equipment, or anything else one would logically expect to be brought along on such an operation.  There was, however, a reference to firearms over the radio.

After that, they said they only took firearms that were “in plain view … to secure them for the owners.”  Then we hear about the fellow whose guns were in his basement, in a closet, behind some boxes.  The RCMP’s response?  Well, it may not be in plain view when you’re standing in the middle of the room but, if you happen to open the closet door and move the boxes, it becomes in plain view.  Spoken with a straight face, no less.

 … and I’m coming and I’m telling you now, and this idea about the RCMP officers who had their doors booted in: we have two on our street.  Every door has been booted in but two –  You want to guess which two?  They’re really nice guys and if I was a mountie, I would have protected my house, too.  I mean, if I work at Walmart, I get a Walmart discount; I guess this was a mountie discount.  —Unamused High River resident

Yes, Alison, Dani knows exactly what you're full of.  How did you guess?

Yes, Alison, Dani knows exactly what you’re full of.

Even now, like some bratty kid who’s been caught in a lie but still sticks to it anyway, the RCMP and the Redford government are still obstinately insisting that everyone should just move along, there’s nothing to see here.  And they especially wish that Wild Rose Party (and Official Opposition in Alberta’s Legislative Assembly) leader Danielle Smith would just STFU already.  You may recall that she’s the one that came damn near to clobbering Redford in the last Alberta election and she’s been a thorn in the Premier’s side ever since.  Danielle Smith lives in, and is the MLA for, High River — The only town in Alberta to be looted by government goons during the flooding.

Make of that what you will.

You’d think that the people of High River had suffered enough.  Apparently not.  As the NFA has learned, the usual suspects at the CGC want to rub salt in the wound by having as many victims of this government malfeasance as possible tossed in the dock.  In a letter to interim chairman Ian McPhail, Ms Kookier outlines how the good people of High River should be further abused at the hands of the state, all under the auspices of her beloved Bill C-68.

Coalition for Gun Control Letter to the RCMP Public Complaints Commission on the situation in High River, AB

September 11, 2013

Mr. Ian McPhail, Q.C.
Interim Chair
Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP
National Intake Office
P.O. Box 88689
Surrey, BC  V3W 0X1

Dear Interim Chair,

On behalf of the more than three hundred organizations that comprise the Coalition for Gun Control, I am writing in regards to the complaint and public interest investigation, announced on July 5, 2013, into the conduct of those RCMP members involved in entering private residences and seizing firearms following flooding in High River, Alberta in June and July 2013.

According your announcement of July 5th, you will specifically be investigating:

  1. whether the RCMP members or other persons appointed or employed under the authority of the RCMP Act involved in entering private residences in High River complied with all appropriate training, policies, procedures, guidelines and statutory requirements;
  2. whether the RCMP members or other persons appointed or employed under the authority of the RCMP Act involved in seizing firearms from private residences in High River complied with all appropriate training, policies, procedures, guidelines and statutory requirements; and,
  3. whether the RCMP national, divisional and detachment-level policies, procedures and guidelines relating to such incidents are adequate.

In order to investigate the foregoing, and in particular the applicable “statutory requirements,” it will be critical for you to also consider those statutes and regulations setting forth the obligations of firearms owners to secure their firearms in their residences, and otherwise.  In order to investigate RCMP members’ conduct, it is necessary to determine the very laws that the RCMP were seeking to enforce.

Unattended and unsecured firearms pose a risk to public safety and to RCMP members.  As such, the safe storage of firearms has been a requirement under firearms regulations since 1991.  The contravention of these safe-storage regulations under the Firearms Act triggers penalties under the Criminal Code.

Specifically, SOR/98-209 on the Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms by Individuals Regulations states:

5. (1) An individual may store a non-restricted firearm only if

(a) it is unloaded;

(b) it is

(i) rendered inoperable by means of a secure locking device,

(ii) rendered inoperable by the removal of the bolt or bolt-carrier, or

(iii) stored in a container, receptacle or room that is kept securely locked and that is constructed so that it cannot readily be broken open or into; and

(c) it is not readily accessible to ammunition, unless the ammunition is stored, together with or separately from the firearm, in a container or receptacle that is kept securely locked and that is constructed so that it cannot readily be broken open or into.

Section 86 of the Criminal Code sets forth the penalties for careless and improper storage of firearms:

Careless use of firearm, etc.

86. (1) Every person commits an offence who, without lawful excuse, uses, carries, handles, ships, transports or stores a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition in a careless manner or without reasonable precautions for the safety of other persons.

Contravention of storage regulations, etc.

(2) Every person commits an offence who contravenes a regulation made under paragraph 117(h) of the Firearms Act respecting the storage, handling, transportation, shipping, display, advertising and mail-order sales of firearms and restricted weapons.

Punishment

(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment

(i) in the case of a first offence, for a term not exceeding two years, and

(ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, for a term not exceeding five years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Safe storage laws save lives. They have long been a key component in firearms safety in Canada.  Public health and security experts maintain that they have contributed to the significant reduction in firearm deaths in Canada, with nearly 400 fewer firearms deaths per year in 2009 (730) compared to 1991 (1,444), when these particular safe storage laws came into effect.  Moreover, the majority of police officers killed with firearms have been shot and killed with rifles and shotguns in smaller communities.  Safe storage of firearms has implications for officer safety as well as community safety.

Furthermore, safe storage is key to deterring gun thefts. The vast majority of Canadian-sourced firearms that reach the hands of criminals in Canada come from the over 3000 guns that are stolen in the country every year.

There exists significant confusion amongst firearm owners as to what obligations remain in place, since the elimination of the long-gun registry in 2012, and the many other changes to firearms laws over the past year.  This concern has even been raised by the Public Safety Minister’s Firearms Advisory Committee, a group consisting almost exclusively of gun owners advocating for reduced regulations.

Accordingly, we feel that it is extremely important that you carefully consider the obligations of firearms owners under Canada’s Firearms Act, the rights of RCMP members, the importance of ensuring public safety and the legal requirements of safe storage.  Otherwise, there is a risk of further contributing to confusion on the obligations of guns owners thereby jeopardizing public safety.

In addition to addressing the current laws and practices governing the safe storage of firearms, we would also encourage your investigation to consider the application of firearms storage in the context of emergency situations, such as the High River floods.

Given the media attention this issue has received to date, it is likely that your ruling will receive significant coverage.  Furthermore, your ruling will not only be a judgement on this case, but will affect how other police forces address unsecured firearms during future emergency situations.  Your ruling will impact whether police act in a forthright manner, in the name of public safety, during an emergency situation, or instead deviate from interests of public safety, unsure of what actions are allowed or fearing the consequences of political or public complaint.

Finally, in your statement of July 5th, you reference the actions of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) regarding RCMP conduct:  “The Prime Minister’s Office equally and publicly expressed concern in respect of the seizures.”  This raises particular concerns for us on whether it is actually appropriate for the Executive, and PMO in particular, under any circumstances, to direct, criticize or intimidate RCMP members, let alone during an emergency situation.  Political independence of police is one of the cornerstones of our democracy.

As the former Chief Justice of Ontario has put it, “government has the authority to establish policing policy, but not to direct police operations.”[1]  The actions of the PMO may have violated this principle, and certainly call into question the independence of the RCMP.  The perception that the politically motivated concerns expressed by a PMO spokesperson precipitated your investigation is also cause for concern due to its potential chilling effect on future investigations.  The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP ought to be seen as politically neutral.

For more than 20 years, the Coalition for Gun Control’s supporters, including the Canadian Public Health Association, the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, the YWCA Canada, the Canadian Labour Congress, and victims of gun violence, have worked to promote strong and effective gun control.

We thank you for your consideration and look forward to seeing your ruling.  If possible, we would appreciate being kept informed on your investigation and in contributing our expertise.  Please don’t hesitate to contact our office at (416) 604-0209 if you would like to discuss this request further.

Yours truly,

(Original Signed)

Wendy Cukier
President, Coalition for Gun Control


[1] Hon. Sidney B. Linden, Commissioner. Report of the Ipperwash Inquiry. (Ontario: Queen’s Printer, 2007) at 676.

Up here in Canada, we have this weird little thing called the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  It’s kind of like, you know, a law or something. It’s got nifty things in it, like:

  • Section 8: freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, like having cops boot in your door without a warrant and steal your stuff.
  • Section 9: freedom from arbitrary detention or imprisonment, like being locked up just because gun grabbers don’t like you.
  • Section 11: the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
  • Section 13: rights against self-incrimination.
  • Section 15: equal treatment before and under the law, and equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination, whether you own guns or not.

But in the eyes of Cukier & Co., if you own a gun, you can damn well take your Charter rights and shove them up your arse.

Enough of this.  The Firearms Act has to go, all of it, now.  Not at some vaguely promised distant date; not after the next federal election; but now.  Enough with being patient, enough with being nice.  The time has come to get off your butts and start leaning on your local MP, hard.  Make it plain as day that, unless they get rid of this abomination, it’s going to cost them.  The alternative is to make the same mistake that Martin Niemoller did, and sit silently until they finally come for you.

And they will.

But I’ll let NFA VP Blair Hagen have the last word:

Canada’s firearms storage and transportation laws are famously complicated, and designed for maximum potential for charges even when no threat to public safety exists. High River residents were put in an impossible situation due to the flooding of their homes, a situation that allows for the exploitation of Firearms Act regulations towards criminal charges which Ms. Cukier is now demanding.

It seems that the real purpose behind these regulations, firearms confiscation and criminal charge of victims – not public safety – has now been unmasked by the Coalition for Gun Control’s demands.  Hopefully, High River flood victims will be allowed to dry out before they are carted off to jail according to the wishes of the like of Wendy Cukier.

  3 Responses to “So much for doubt”

  1. The thing that we must remember is that The Coalition for Gun Control is a “for profit” lobbying company. A quick search of Industry Canada indicates that they are registered under “The Canada Corporations Act”, not “The Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act” as non-profit organizations are. The executive of the coalition are obviously shaking down a group of hoplophobes for profit. The garbage that they turn out is only to justify their “fundraising”.

  2. Maybe now the naysayers will finally get it through their heads that they cant just wait this garbage out. They WILL come for YOU too sooner or later.

  3. Nice work Dennis!

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