Jack’s Firearms Plan

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“Turncoat” Charlie Angus has just tabled a Private Member’s Bill to “fix” the Firearms Act.  More on that in a moment.  I would comment on the timing of this event, on a Friday afternoon, but first, I’d like to take a look at the NDP’s statements about what their “compromise” plan would entail.

From the news reports before The Day Democracy Died, it would seem that Jack’s plan mimicks what the Lieberals came up with:

http://www.ndp.ca/press/gun-registry-building-bridges

Gun Registry: Building Bridges

Mon 30 Aug 2010

I’ll be clear: If Bill C-391 stands unamended, I will vote against it — in no small part because it pits Canadians against each other.

Everybody was blaming Harper for “divisive politics” and not being willing to “compromise” and “work together” – you know, the Canadian way.  But it was the Lieberals who forced this monstrosity on law-abiding gun owners to start with, thus creating the division.  It was the Seperatist Coalition, including the NDP, who all voted together in the Public Safety Committee to stop consideration of Bill C-391, right before it got to the clause by clause examination – that’s the stage where any amendments to the Bill would have been made.  So much for “working together”…

And that is why today I am announcing ….when Parliament returns, New Democrats will introduce legislation to address legitimate complaints about the long-gun registry and strengthen gun control:

  • Penalties for non-registration should start as non-criminal fines.
  • Aboriginal treaty rights must be protected.
  • Gun-owners’ privacy needs protection too.
  • And there should never be a charge for long-gun registration.

I am also announcing we’re proposing legislation empowering municipalities to ban handguns from their streets, if their citizens choose that. And we’re proposing a system to identify threats early — by sharing mental health information between the Firearms program, law enforcement and military agencies – legislation that addresses the system failures which may have prevented the Dawson tragedy.

Jack’s talking out of both sides of his mouth – in the same breath he talks about “gun owner’s privacy”, and then he says he wants “mental health” information to be “shared with” just about anyone.

As for “non-criminal fines”, that’s just a rip-off of Iggy’s “ticketable offence”.  I don’t know how they plan to work this; it would seem to require a “ticket book” for Federal or Criminal Code offences, which I don’t believe exist.  Can you imagine having to issue a second ticket book to all peace officers in Canada? And how would this not abrogate the Supreme Court decision that the Firearms Act was “constitutional” only because it involved making “criminal law”?  You can bet your bottom dollar that the Provinces are going to start squaking about this intrusion into their “division of powers”.

Aboriginal treaty rights” have fallen so far off the radar, I thought everybody had forgotten about it, except for the Natives.   Under the auspices of the Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Inuit are not required to register their (long) guns:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2010/07/26/north-gun-registry-inuit-exemption-questioned.html

Under a court injunction, Inuit are not required to register their guns until the resolution of the legal challenge by Nunavut Tunngavik, the Nunavut land claims organization.

The injunction was granted in July 2003 by Judge Robert Kilpatrick, who said at the time that the registry could interfere with their traditional way of life.

Other Aboriginal groups also have complaints that they were not “consulted with” regarding legislation that affects their Treaty Rights, which would make the Firearms Act null and void for them.

And there should never be a charge for long-gun registration” fits in nicely with the NDP’s “everything’s free” philosophy, doesn’t it?  Of course, people who still own those evil handguns will still be required to pay for the “privilege” of being a criminal.  Even more, Jack’s plan is to allow “municipalities to ban handguns from their streets”.  It doesn’t matter that the handguns of law-abiding responsible owners aren’t actually “on the streets”, and that no ban ever kept guns out of the hands of criminals, who are.  The cognitive dissonance of leftists never fails to amaze me.

But wait, there’s more!

http://www.ndp.ca/press/new-democrats-vote-to-fix-long-gun-registry

They include:

· merging possession and acquisition licenses;

· addressing issues with inherited firearms;

· addressing mental health issues and gun ownership;

· mandating the Auditor General to ensure the long-gun registry is cost-effective.

I don’t quite know what they mean by “merging possession and acquisition licenses”; there are “Possession and Acquisition Licenses” (PAL), and then there are “Possession Only Licenses” (POL).  Does Jack plan to merge the two?  There’s just one small problem: POL holders were never required to take a safety test to qualify for their license.  This was the “perk” that such gun owners were accorded in the Firearms Act, for not buying more guns – which is just another round-about way to destroy the shooting sports.

The RCMP says that there are some one million POL holders – are they going to force all these safe, responsible, law-abiding gun owners to take a safety test, at great expense and inconvenience?  It’s not like you can go to your local DMV office and take the test right away – there are only so many Safety Instructors to go around (by design), and they usually wait until they have enough people to fill a class before they schedule one.  This can take weeks or even months to take place.  There’s going to be one hell of a backlog to do this.  But if they don’t force POL owners to take the course, then they put the lie to the whole nonsense that the Firearms Act was ever about “public safety”…

I didn’t know there were any “issues” with “inherited firearms” that needed “addressing”.  Nobody I know has ever said there was a problem, other than that most executors are unaware of the laws regarding the disposition of estate firearms, and might either be forced into disposing of them without receiving a fair compensation for the heirs, or might get charged for illegal possession.

I’m sure that everyone would agree that the dangerously mentally ill shouldn’t have access to guns – that should go without saying.  But are gun owners more or less likely to be such a danger, to themselves or others?  Yes, statistically the probability is not “zero”, but does that mean that all gun owners must now pass some mental health evaluation to get a license?  I wouldn’t be surprised.

Finally, something I can get behind!  Gun owners have been saying for years that the Firearms Act needed a “cost effective” analysis, and Garry Breitkruez had this in his original Private Member’s Bill, C-301:

26. The Act is amended by adding the following after section 97:

Cost-benefit analysis

97.1 The Auditor General shall be directed to conduct a cost-benefit analysis on each existing firearms control measure every five years to determine its effectiveness at improving public safety, reducing violent crime and keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals.

So, this is Jack’s plan. We’ll have to see how the legislation stacks up against the promises.

(Readers of “Papillion” will understand the significance of the term “plan”)

 



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