Firearms Owners Association
Saturday, 21 January 2012
Sam Magnus, Vice-President
Dear Mr. Magnus,
I am terribly disappointed in Mr. Harper’s treatment of responsible firearms owners. Bill C-19, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act, in no way meets the Firearms Policy of the Conservative Party of Canada. This Bill only eliminates the requirement to register a firearm. Bill C-19 does nothing to repeal the mandate of the Firearms Act to licence the owners of firearms. This inept Bill leaves the criminalization of the mere possession of a firearm firmly entrenched in sections 91 and 92 of the Criminal Code.
I was a voting delegate to the Conservative Party's Montreal Convention in March 2005. In Workshop D - Security at Home and Abroad - a capacity crowd which included now Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, debated the "pith and substance" of the Conservative Party's Firearms Policy. We agreed by a very large majority that the mandatory licencing scheme of the Liberals’ 1995 Firearms Act unjustly criminalized the simple possession of a firearm.1, 2 We also decided that a certificate screening system such as the Firearms Acquisition Certificate (FAC) provides for the same security checks to ensure public safety as a licence, but notably does not criminalize the peaceful ownership of firearms.2
In the plenary session, the delegates endorsed this view and - also by a very large majority - voted to eliminate reference to licensing to form today's Conservative Firearms Policy to respect “the rights of law-abiding Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly”.3
As someone who worked diligently for the past sixteen years to elect a majority Conservative Government, I strongly request that you instruct Mr. Harper to retract Bill C-19 and introduce legislation that truly honours the Conservatives’ promise to responsible firearms owners.
Dr. Joe Gingrich