Firearms Owners Association
Biggar RCMP Firearms Confiscation Court Argument
Re: Criminal Code s. 117.03 RCMP Biggar occurrence number
1. The Firearms Act of 1995 and its attendant changes to the Criminal Code primarily does three things: - see Appendix A
2. My associate Jack Wilson and I believe this law is unjust.
3. By peaceful, non-violent civil disobedience members of our Association and we have challenged this unjust law. On nine specific occasions we gave the federal government and the police advanced notice that we would be in possession of a firearm without a licence to possess it - twice in Ottawa, twice in Saskatoon, once here in Biggar and once in Wilkie, twice in Humboldt, and once in Craik, Saskatchewan.
4. We have been arrested and jailed five times; thrice in Ottawa, and twice in Saskatoon. The Crown in each case subsequently dropped all charges.
5. We have twice been through the complete court system here in Saskatchewan:
The Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan
The Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan
6. Only here in Biggar did the RCMP charge Mr. Wilson with a Criminal Code section 91(1) violation for his unlicenced possession of a firearm.
7. On 11 September 2003 we notified Mr. Wayne Easter, Solicitor General of Canada and Sgt Kevin Weber, RCMP Detachment, Bigger, Saskatchewan, that we would be hunting on the Saskatchewan Wildlife Habitat Land at Argo Bush just southwest of Biggar, Saskatchewan, on Saturday 13 September 2003. We specifically declared that we would be in possession of a firearm without a licence to do so - see Appendix B.
8. On 13 September 2003 the Biggar RCMP answered our challenge. They detained Mr. Wilson for questioning, confiscated Mr. Wilson’s shotgun, and issued Mr. Wilson a summons to appear and answer a Criminal Code section 91(1) charge - see Appendix C.
9. When Mr. Wilson appeared in court, the Crown dropped the criminal charge.
10. But the RCMP retained Mr. Wilson’s shotgun.
11. Now, ten years later, the RCMP seek a court order to destroy Mr. Wilson’s property.
12. We have a very serious complaint with the actions of the RCMP and the Crown.
13. This application is about much more that the potential destruction of a shotgun.
14. The Supreme Court of Canada has declared that:
15. We did what we did intentionally, knowing full well that the unlicenced possession of a firearm was illegal. We wanted to be charged; to be taken to court.
16. The RCMP interrupted our peaceful activity, detained us, seized Mr. Wilson's property, and appropriately ordered Mr. Wilson to appear in court on a charge of illegal possession of a firearm.
17. While under a criminal charge, a person has all the protections afforded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, for example,
18. Inexplicably the Crown dropped the original section 91(1) criminal charge.
19. Yet the RCMP still seek to use Criminal Code section 117.03 to destroy Mr. Wilson's property.
20. Now, with no criminal charges, this section 117.03 strips Mr. Wilson of the enumerated Charter protections, specifically the presumption of innocence and the right to trial.
21. We submit that the RCMP and the Crown's "either/or" application of either Criminal Code section 91(1) or Criminal Code section 117.03 makes a mockery of the protections guaranteed citizens under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Rule of Law.
22. We specifically submit that the Crown and RCMP, in violation of the basis principles of the Rule of Law, have acted in an arbitrary manner.
23. We therefore submit that the actions of the RCMP and Crown are unconstitutional.
24. The constitutional status of the rule of law is beyond question. The preamble to the Constitution Act, 1982 states:
Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.
Re: Manitoba Language Rights - see Appendix E
IV. Argument: The Rule of Law forbids arbitrary laws
"The Reason why Men enter into Society, is the preservation of their Property; and the end why they chuse and authorize a Legislature, is, that there may be Laws made, and Rules set as Guards and Fences to the Properties of all the Members of the Society,...;
"Whenever the Legislature endeavors to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience, and are left to the common Refuge, Which God hath provided for all Men, against Force and Violence."
- John Locke, The Second Treatise of Government, Edited with an introduction and notes by Peter Laslett, Cambridge University Press, 1988, § 222.
"When we speak of the ‘the rule of law’, ...
Professor A.V. Dicey, An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, 1885.
"Freedom: independence of the arbitrary will of another." (p.12)
"The recognition of property is clearly the first step in the delimitation of the private sphere which protects us against coercion."
"The rule of law means that government must never coerce an individual except in the enforcement of a known rule, the rule of law constitutes a limitation on the powers of government, including the powers of the legislature. … ."
"The rule of law, of course, presuppose complete legality, but this is not enough: if a law gave the government unlimited power to act as it pleased, all its action would be legal, but it certainly not be under the rule of law." (p.140)
"The rule of law, therefore, is also more than constitutionalism: it requires that all laws conform to certain principles." (p.205)
"From the fact that the rule of law is a limitation upon the legislature, it follows that it cannot be law in the same sense as the law passed by the legislator. … The rule of law is therefore not a rule of the law, but a rule concerning what the law ought to be, a meta-legal doctrine … ."(p.206)
"The rule of law restricts government only in its coercive activities. … ."
"The chief means of coercion at the disposal of government is
Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali (Latin, lit. "No crime, no punishment without a previous penal law")
"The rule of law presupposes a very definite conception of what
is meant by law and that not every enactment of the legislative authority
is a law in this sense. …
"The rule of law requires that the executive in its coercive action be bound by the rules which prescribe not only when and where it may be use coercion but also in what manner it can do so."
"The only way in which this can be ensured is to make all its action of this kind subject to judicial review." (p.211)
"While in all civilized countries there exists some provision for an appeal to courts against administrative decisions, this often refers only to the question as to whether an authority had a right to do what it did. … ."
"If the law said that every thing a certain authority did was legal, it could not be restrained by a court from doing anything."
"What is required under the rule of law is that a court should have the power to decide whether the law provided for a particular action than an authority had taken. In other words, in all instances where administrative action interferes with the private individual, the courts must have the power to decide not only whether a particular action as intra vires or ultra vires but whether the substance of the administrative decision was such as the law demanded." (p.214)
"If bills of rights are to remain in any way meaningful, it must be recognized early that their intention was certainly to protect the individual against all vital infringements of his liberty and that therefore they must be presumed to contain a general clause protecting against the government’s interference those immunities which individuals in fact have enjoyed in the past." (p.216)
"Judicial forms are intended to insure that decisions will be made according to rules and not according to the desirability of particular ends or values."
"They are designed to make the law prevail, but they are powerless to protect justice where the law deliberately leaves the decision to the discretion of authority. It is only where the law decides – and this means only where independent court have the last word – that the procedural safeguards are safeguards of liberty."
"To use the trappings of judicial form where the essential conditions for a judicial decision are absent, or to give judges power to decide issues which cannot be decided by the application of rules, can have no effect but to destroy the respect of them even where they deserve it." (pp.218 - 219)
"Questions of legal right and liability should ordinarily be resolved by application of the law and not the exercise of discretion."
"Dicey was adamantly opposed to the conferment of discretionary decision-making powers on officials. This, he believed, opened the door to arbitrariness, which is the antithesis of the rule of law." (p.48)
"There is … profound truth in the observation of a great
American justice, Justice Jackson, in the Supreme Court of the Untied
States in 1949:
Conversely, nothing opens the door to arbitrary action so effectively as to allow those officials to pick and choose only a few to whom they will apply legislation … Courts can take no better action to assure that laws will be just than to require that laws be equal in operation." (pp. 58-59)
"First it must be recognized that fairness means fairness to both sides, not just one. The procedure followed must give a fair opportunity for the prosecutor or claimant to prove his case as also to the defendant to rebut it."
"A trial is not a fair trial if the procedural dice are loaded in favour of one side or the other, if (in the phrase used in the European cases) there is no equality of arms." (p.90)
"Mr. S. Jayakumar, Deputy Prime Minister, co-coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Law of Singapore, was clear in his view:
"Legislated law is not all there is to law.
"When the laws themselves may be as arbitrary as you like ... then the “protection” that the individual get at the hands of the law has turned into arbitrary tyranny of the very type that we might have hoped government would function to prevent."
"The wrong laws can kill us, and certainly impoverish us, at least effectively as no laws at all." (pp.138-139)
Jan Narveson, You and the State, Rowman & Litttlefield Toronto, 2008,
30. We seek not the simple return of Mr. Wilson's property.
31. As the Supreme Court reiterated in Manitoba Language Rights:
32. We seek the Court's protection from the arbitrary application of laws.
33. We ask the Court to declare Criminal Code section 117.03 ultra vires Parliament.
submitted on behalf of:
Thursday, 12 September 2013
The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) regarding the issuance of licenses, authorization certificates and authorizations, including regulation respecting the purposes for which they may be issued ... and prescribing the circumstances in which persons are or are not eligible to hold licences; ...
(c) prescribing the circumstances in which an individual does or does not need firearms
91. (1) Subject to subsections (4) and (5) and section 98, every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm unless the person is the holder of
92. (1) Subject to subsections (4) and (5) and subsection 98, every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm knowing that the person is not the holder of
(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsections (1) and (2) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable
Criminal Code of Canada
SEIZURE ON FAILURE TO PRODUCE AUTHORIZATION /
(1) Notwithstanding section 117.02. a peace officer who finds
(2) Where a person from whom any thing is seized pursuant to subsection (1) claims the thing within fourteen days after the seizure and produces for inspection by the peace officer by whom it was seized, or any other peace officer having custody of it,
the thing shall be forthwith returned to that person.
(3) Where any thing seized pursuant to subsection (1) is not claimed and returned as when provided by subsection (2), a peace officer shall forthwith take the thing before a provincial court judge, who may, after affording the person from whom it was seized or its owner, if known, an opportunity to establish that the person is lawfully entitled to possess it, declare it to be forfeited to Her Majesty, to be disposed of or otherwise dealt with as the Attorney General directs. 1995, c.39, s. 139.
*** *** ***
Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Associaktion
The Honourable Wayne Easter, P.C., MP
Dear Mr. Easter,
Formal Notice: Hunting with an unregistered firearm and without a firearms possession license
We hereby officially inform you that members of CUFOA will be in the field hunting migratory game birds with an unregistered firearm and without a firearms possession license this Saturday, 13September2003.
We take this action deliberately. We are intentionally contravening the Firearms Act of 1995, purposefully being in open, public noncompliance.
The Firearms Act destroys our Canadian heritage and culture. This unjust law violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, specifically our rights to privacy, security of person, presumption of innocence, association, representation, mobility, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.
We will never submit to this unjust law. We will never surrender our Liberty to a law which is based upon a lie; a law which can never deliver the false promise of increased security. We demand the opportunity to have this unjust law declared unconstitutional in court.
We will be hunting on the Saskatchewan Wildlife Habitat Land at Argo Bush just southwest of Biggar, Saskatchewan. We will hunt on this site from 10 a.m. until noon. We have personally notified the Bigger RCMP Detachment, speaking directly with Constable Davies of our plans.
We will be hunting with an unregistered Cooey 12 gauge shotgun, serial number 39346, owned by Jack Wilson of 33 - 2401 Koyl Ave, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. You can easily verify that neither Mr. Wilson, nor this shotgun, are on record with the Canadian Firearms Center.
As we have consistently demonstrated in our previous seventeen public non-compliance actions all across Canada, everything we do will be peaceful and non-violent.
Mr. Easter, your government has wasted enough time and money on this
futile exercise. Demonstrate your common sense. Protect our Canadian
heritage of responsible firearms ownership and use.
CC: Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
Reference re Firearms Act (Can.), 2000 SCC 31,  1 S.C.R. 783
The Attorney General for Alberta
56 ... Whether a law could have been designed better or whether the federal government should have engaged in more consultation before enacting the law has no bearing on the division of powers analysis applied by this Court.
If the law violates a treaty or a provision of the Charter, those affected can bring their claims to Parliament or the courts in a separate case.
The reference questions, and hence this judgment, are restricted to the issue of the division of powers.
Manitoba Language Rights,
IN THE MATTER OF Section 55 of the Supreme Court Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. S-19, as amended;
AND IN THE MATTER OF a Reference by the Governor in Council concerning
certain language rights under Section 23 of the Manitoba Act, 1870,
and Section 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and set out in Order-in-Council
P.C. 1984-1136 dated the 5th day of April 1984
1984: June 11, 12, 13; 1985: June 13.
Present: Dickson C.J. and Beetz, Estey, McIntyre, Lamer, Wilson
and Le Dain JJ.
The duty of the judiciary is to interpret and apply the laws of Canada and each of the provinces, and it is thus our duty to ensure that the constitutional law prevails.
49 As this Court said in Amax Potash Ltd. v. Government of Saskatchewan,  2 S.C.R. 576, at p. 590:
63 The constitutional status of the rule of law is beyond question. The preamble to the Constitution Act, 1982 states:
This is explicit recognition that "the rule of law [is] a fundamental postulate of our constitutional structure" (per Rand J., Roncarelli v. Duplessis,  S.C.R. 121, at p. 142).
The rule of law has always been understood as the very basis of the English Constitution characterising the political institutions of England from the time of the Norman Conquest (A.V. Dicey, The Law of the Constitution (10th ed. 1959), at p. 183).
It becomes a postulate of our own constitutional order by way of the preamble to the Constitution Act, 1982, and its implicit inclusion in the preamble to the Constitution Act, 1867 by virtue of the words "with a Constitution similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom".
64 Additional to the inclusion of the rule of law in the preambles of the Constitution Acts of 1867 and 1982, the principle is clearly implicit in the very nature of a Constitution. The Constitution, as the Supreme Law, must be understood as a purposive ordering of social relations providing a basis upon which an actual order of positive laws can be brought into existence.
The founders of this nation must have intended, as one of the basic principles of nation building, that Canada be a society of legal order and normative structure: one governed by rule of law.
While this is not set out in a specific provision, the principle of the rule of law is clearly a principle of our Constitution.
65 This Court cannot take a narrow and literal approach to constitutional interpretation. The jurisprudence of the Court evidences a willingness to supplement textual analysis with historical, contextual and purposive interpretation in order to ascertain the intent of the makers of our Constitution.