Alberta’s CFO says the way exhibitors at the Calgary Gun Show do things is illegal. Problem is, there’s a reason they do things the way they do: It’s the same way the cops do things. It would seem that in his little fiefdom, some animals really are more equal than others.
Chief Firearms Office finds fault with identical trigger guards that police use in court
Farcical ruling flies in the face of police and courtroom best practices
(TORONTO – March 13, 2013) The Alberta Chief Firearms Office (CFO) requires Calgary Gun Show retailers to use commercial trigger locks on their display guns, yet the traditional plastic tie straps they replace have been the choice of police and judges for decades.
Although the Alberta CFO assured the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) in writing that gun show rules would remain unchanged from last year, gun vendors were suddenly informed that the plastic tie straps that disable a gun’s trigger action are insufficient. The CSSA says the ruling is obviously a tactic to create frustration, inconvenience and added expense for firearms vendors in Calgary.
Ed Burlew, one of Canada’s eminent firearms lawyers, agrees.
“The plastic ties are the accepted standard for disabling firearms in courtrooms because they are perfectly suitable,” says Burlew. “If the CFO is pointing the finger at Calgary Gun Show vendors, it must also believe that Canada’s police services and legal system are wrong, too. I know a lot of lawyers and judges who would be less than pleased to be accused by a CFO of endangering the public by using plastic trigger ties.
“Handguns are typically disabled by taking the magazine out, opening the breach and running the plastic tie through both,” explains Burlew. “With a revolver, the tie runs through the cylinder to prevent loading. And the disabling procedure for rifles and shotguns is similar. This has been the normal practice in all courts, including the Superior Court of Ontario, for the 35 years I have practiced. The Alberta CFO’s edict that plastic ties are not adequate is harassment and unfair to the firearms community.”
CSSA is calling for the abolition of Chief Firearms Offices across the country because they have positioned themselves as law enforcement authorities who conjure up their own laws to enforce.
“It’s beyond comprehension that the CFO expects every firearm vendor at the Calgary Gun Show to snap to attention and go buy hundreds of trigger locks when the plastic ties do the same thing,” says CSSA spokesman Tony Bernardo. “If the plastic ties are good enough for Canadian court rooms and media conferences with tables full of guns displayed in public, it works for a gun show.
“It’s not that the CFOs have outlived their purpose, it’s that they never had a purpose,” adds Bernardo. “We advocate using a single CFO that serves all Canadian gun owners, with the emphasis on serving. They should be helping gun owners get the required documentation without choking them with red tape. It’s Parliament’s mandate to create law that the police enforce. It’s a waste of time and money when a nanny office hassles sport shooters under the guise of public safety. The CFOs are pretending to fix problems that don’t exist, so it long past due that the provincial CFOs cease to exist.
For further information contact:
Canadian Shooting Sports Association / Canadian Institute for Legislative Action
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