Sep 222009
 

A Witch Hunt for Paperwork Infractions

CSSA/CILACSSA/CILA

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair has begun a crusade against legal firearms in Toronto. His much touted “Project Safe City” is nothing more than a witch-hunt targeting lawful firearms owners, seizing their private property without compensation, and describing them as “criminals.” Their crime? Allowing their Firearms Licenses to expire.

[Editor’s Note: While we do not agree with the CSSA’s suggested course of action, due to our adherence to the principal that firearms licensing is a violation of our fundamental rights, we nonetheless recognize the hard work that the CSSA does and respect that they have as much right to their opinion as we do to ours.]According to the RCMP, over 200,000 law-abiding Canadians, for one reason or another, have not renewed their firearms licenses, thereby violating the Firearms Act and are now victims due to a flawed administrative process.  The Canadian Firearms Centre (CFC), in many cases, failed to notify them that their 5 year license was about to expire.  In many instances, the firearms owners renewed their licenses only to have their paperwork “disappear” in a bureaucratic maze.

The private property seized under this ruse was not “on the streets” as claimed by the Toronto Police, but were in the possession of their owners and safely locked up, as per regulations.  This ridiculous situation exists due to the incompetence of the Canadian Firearms Centre to ensure license holders are contacted. This is precisely why the Canadian Shooting Sports Association has been lobbying for years for life-time licenses as was included in the failed Bill C-301.

Chief Blair’s project also begs the question – is this really the appropriate use of scarce police resources? These firearms owners are not and never have been a threat to public safety and neither are the firearms they possess.   The public are being misled by claims that these seizures of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of private property would make Toronto safer.  It simply is not true.

We urge all firearms owners immediately to check the dates on their firearms licenses and, if they are due to expire within the next 9 months, to begin the renewal process.  If the license has expired, immediately transfer the firearms (no fee) to any friend or relative that is presently licensed (call the CFC at 1-800-731-4000 to begin the process), then re-apply for the license. Do it now! It is never too late.  Else they will also become victims of overzealous police enforcement across the country.

We also call on the Canadian Firearms Center, the RCMP and the Federal Government immediately to take measures to rectify this situation and halt this unprecedented violation of our rights.

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