by Don Senft, VP Ops
On 30 Oct 2023, Justice Kane of the Federal Court ruled on the case CCFR vs Canada. The Court dismissed all claims made by the CCFR and five other applicants in the precedent setting landmark case. The case was brought to challenge the Liberal governments hastily implemented Order in Council from May of 2020 that instantly, without any notice, consultation, or legislation, banned 1550 models of what the Liberals described as “assault style firearms”. This was done as a vote-pandering publicity stunt following the rampage of an unlicensed mass murderer that had used illegal firearms smuggled in from the US in Nova Scotia to kill civilians in April of 2020.
The trial had been a 3-and-a-half-year multi million-dollar process supported by well over 100,000 individual firearms owners and was launched to highlight the undemocratic fashion that the current and previous Liberal governments have attacked law abiding firearms owners while doing little to nothing to address illegal firearms and their criminal use. The use of an OIC to ban these 1550 models and their “variants” did not follow any form of legislative process, bypassing parliament completely, and the subsequent banning of an additional 350+ models by the RCMP in the Firearms Reference Table, again with no oversight whatsoever, has impacted over 100,000 law abiding licenced, trained and vetted firearms owners in Canada who now stand to have their legally acquired property confiscated by the government. The target of these OIC bans was the AR15 sporting rifle, a firearm that has NEVER been used in a shooting in Canada. Much of the ban has been based on the appearance of the firearms listed and has nothing to do with their function or lethality. It has been purely a vote farming act of political theatre, designed to win Liberals votes from their uninformed urban base.
In this morning’s ruling, Judge Kane denied all claims by the CCFR and all other applicants, despite the unjust and irresponsible action taken by the government to attack law abiding firearms owners to garner votes. The case is precedent setting for private property ownership in Canada, confirming that with little to no justification, the Government can ban via OIC any private property that in their opinion is unfit for public ownership. Most alarmingly, and perhaps very telling of the state of Government in our country, Judge Kane specifically stated in her ruling that “The Governor in Council does not owe a duty of procedural fairness to individual firearms owners who may be affected by the Governor in Councils exercise of its authority to prescribe firearms as prohibited”. Understand that statement – they owe you no duty of procedural fairness. Now replace firearms owner with “combustion engine vehicle owner” or “sport motorcycle owner” or even “gas stove or fireplace owner”. The ruling sets precedent for Government to reach into your home, and based on their judgement and ideological agenda, ban your property via OIC. If nothing else, the fear now is that the Government can follow up this May 2020 OIC, and use that same mechanism to ban other firearms, such as use of semi-automatic long guns, or long-range precision rifles (long guns with scopes or bipods) etc etc. They owe you NO procedural fairness and will act in the best interests of their party and ideology to secure votes. Dark and dangerous times for law abiding firearms owners and Canadians in general.
Rod Giltaca, CEO of the CCFR has confirmed they are currently reviewing the decision and are assessing with their legal team the viability of launching an appeal. Certainly, had CCFR been successful today, then the government would also have appealed the ruling. This is but one battle in a long and costly war. More info from the CCFR on this case can be found at www.firearmsrights.ca
Bill C21 is currently before the Senate. I have asked you before to engage Senators urgently and do so again here today. Realistically, I did not have a great deal of faith in our Justice system to treat us fairly regarding the OIC, as it is dominated by Liberal appointed judges, nor do I have confidence the truth and facts will prevail in the Senate for C21. Unfortunately, the Senate is also dominated by Liberal appointees masquerading as “independent”. Of the 90 current Senators, Trudeau appointed 57, and another 9 were appointed by previous Liberal governments, giving them overwhelming control of the Upper House. Sadly, that means C21 will likely be pushed through much as this May 2020 OIC was, and all we are being given at Committees like SECU and SECD is political theatre designed to provide the illusion of democracy for the masses. Even with a minority government, the Liberals with their NDP coalition support are dictating ideological policy to Canadians.
In summary, a miserable decision for law abiding firearms owners today, with likely more to come. I urge you all to step up and get engaged in the next election, and not sit on the sidelines hoping others will do the heavy lifting. If you value your firearms, your sport, and your hobby, then our only hope is a change of government to a Conservative majority. The only silver lining is they too can then abuse our lack of democratic process and being procedurally unfair in undoing all these vote pandering attacks against our community.
In other news, still no word on Liberals taking any action to address gun smuggling or criminal use of illegal firearms as they continue their soft on crime hug a thug and jail and bail approach to public safety…