Archive for the ‘Legislation’ Category

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Today is the third and final installment of my analysis of just what “Turncoat” Charlie Angus’ Private Member’s Bill C-580 really says, compared to what Jack’s plan said.

Addressing issues with inherited firearms

[C-580 s 11] (2) Paragraph 112(2)(b) of the [Firearms] Act is replaced by the following:

(b) a person who comes into possession of a firearm by operation of law and who, within 90 days or such longer period as may be granted by a chief firearms officer under subsection (2.1), lawfully disposes of it or obtains a registration certificate for it; or

(3) Section 112 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):

(2.1) A chief firearms officer may grant an extension of the 90-day period referred to in paragraph (2)(b) of no more than 90 days, if the chief firearms officer determines, on the basis of prescribed considerations, that granting the extension is warranted and that the person seeking the extension meets the following conditions:

(a) the person applies to the chief firearms officer for an extension of time within the 90-day period referred to in paragraph (2)(b); and

(b) the person is unable to dispose of the firearm or obtain a registration certificate for it within the 90-day period referred to in paragraph (2)(b) because of prescribed circumstances.

Nobody I know in the Responsible Firearms Community thinks there was anything wrong with the “inherited firearms” issue; my guess is that this is coming from the po-leece, who are always wanting to “tighten up” on so-called “gun control” laws.  This will screw anyone who hopes to inherit any firearms from their deceased relatives – it will be nigh on impossible for them to schedule a course, fill out the forms, and obtain the appropriate license within 90 days.  Either the heirs will have to get the proper licenses beforehand, or they will have to be transferred to someone they trust to hold onto them until such time as they can.

Once more, they are fixing a problem that never existed…

But here’s a bit of a surprise that Jack didn’t mention in his plan:

Criminal Code

4. Section 117.15 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):

(3) The Governor in Council may make regulations requiring a manufacturer or importer to provide information for the purpose of establishing that the thing in question is reasonable for use in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes.

 
So, they’re going to force gun manufacturers to provide “proof” that their guns are “hunter/sporters”.  I guess that means you can kiss goodbye any of those long-range, high-powered, plane-killing, .50 calibre sniper rifles!

Here’s a few more bits and pieces:

Firearms Act

[C-580]6. (1) The portion of section 46 of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

46. An authorization to import goods described in section 43 shall include the serial numbers of those goods and may be issued to a business only if the business that applies for such an authorization

(2) Paragraph 46(b) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(b) identifies those goods in the prescribed manner, including by providing their serial numbers;
 
[C-580]7. Section 50 of the Act is replaced by the following:

50. A customs officer shall inform the Registrar without delay of the exportation or importation of goods described in section 43 by a business and shall provide the Registrar with the serial numbers of those goods.

They seem to have a real hard-on for “serial numbers”, as if they were some sort of magic incantation.  There’s nothing here that couldn’t have been done better and easier by making or amending a Regulation.  Certainly there is no real need to entrench this nonsense into the law itself.

So far, there is no mention of  ”merging possession and acquisition licenses” (which still hasn’t been fully explained), or of ”empowering municipalities to ban handguns from their streets” in this Bill.  I can’t begin to imagine what kind of a dog’s breakfast that would look like.

There you have it: trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, right before your eyes!

 

 

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Today we will continue our look at just what “Turncoat” Charlie Angus’ Private Member’s Bill C-580 really says, compared to what Jack’s plan said.

Aboriginal treaty rights must be protected.”

Criminal Code of Canada

[C-580] 3. The Act is amended by adding the following after section 117.11:

117.111 For greater certainty, no proceeding for an offence under any of sections 90, 91, 93, 97, 101, 104 and 105 may have the effect of abrogating or derogating from any existing aboriginal or treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

But…

Firearms Act

[C-580]8. Section 54 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (1):

54. (1) A licence, registration certificate or authorization may be issued only on application made in the prescribed form — which form may be in writing or electronic — or in the prescribed manner. The application must set out the prescribed information and be accompanied by payment of the prescribed fees.

(1.1) Despite subsection (1), no fee shall be paid for a registration certificate for a firearm that is neither a prohibited firearm nor a restricted firearm.

(1.2) For the purpose of identifying an individual who applies for a registration certif- icate for a firearm other than a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm, a Certificate of Indian Status issued to the individual by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, when accompanied by a firearms licence issued to the individual, shall be considered sufficient identification of that individual.

So, Natives will still have to get a license and register their long (and other) guns, it’s just that they can’t be prosecuted under the Criminal Code for not doing so…

Also, the proposed FA s 54(1.1) satisfies the “And there should never be a charge for long-gun registration” part of Jack’s plan.  Again, the owners of those evil handguns and prohibited firearms will still have to pay…

[C-580]5. Section 5 of the Firearms Act is amended by adding the following after subsection 5(2):

(2.1) The following records shall be disclosed to a chief firearms officer or, on a reference under section 74, a provincial court judge, in order to determine whether a person is eligible to hold a licence under subsection (1), namely, any record that indicates that the person

(a) has been a member of and discharged from a law enforcement agency or the Canadian Forces or other military entity; or

(b) has applied to become a member of a law enforcement agency or the Canadian Forces or other military entity and has been rejected.

I guess that this has something to do with the “sharing mental health information between the Firearms program, law enforcement and military agencies” – but this seems to encompass more than just “mental health” aspects.  There are any number of reasons to be “discharged” from a police force or the military; I’m not sure if the Canadian Forces use the same nomenclature, but one of the kinds of discharges is “honourably”.

Jack’s plan mentions the Dawson shooting situation, specifically; from Wikipedia:

[Kimveer] Gill briefly received military training from the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean, Quebec, from January 17 to February 16, 1999. He had told his friends he wished to eventually become a mercenary. He did not complete his basic training for unknown reasons.[4] He was deemed unsuitable for military service and was voluntarily discharged before receiving extensive weapons training.

Gamil Gharbi, the Ecole Polytechnique shooter, had his application to the Canadian Armed Forces rejected, so this would cover him, too, albeit retroactively…which is symbolic enough, I guess.

Gun-owners’ privacy needs protection too.”

[C-580]9. The [Firearms] Act is amended by adding the following after section 90:

90.1 For greater certainty, records that could be used to identify an individual shall not be released to any person inside or outside Canada, except in the interests of public safety, under a court order or as explicitly prescribed by an Act of Parliament.

This seems to be in response to the RCMP giving EKOS research a whole bunch of gun owner’s information so they could conduct a “customer satisfaction survey”.  Of course, while the CONservative Government deplores the action, it didn’t actually do squat about it.

Mandating the Auditor General to ensure the long-gun registry is cost-effective

[C-580]10. The [Firearms] Act is amended by adding the following after section 94:

94.1 The Governor in Council shall request the Auditor General of Canada to inquire into and report on the operations of the Canadian Firearms Centre starting in the year in which this Act comes into force and in each of the four following years, and to submit each of those reports to Parliament.

This isn’t quite the same as determining if the Canadian Firearms Program is “cost-effective”, and it’s a long way short of Garry Breitkreuz’s original Bill C-301:

26. The [Firearms] 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.

A real, verifiable “cost-benefit” analysis has never been done – at least, none that haven’t been classified as a “Cabinet Secret” for 20 years, by the Lieberals…

I think I’ll leave off there for now,  and save the “surprises” for tomorrow…

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Today, we are going to start taking a look at “Turncoat” Charlie Angus’ Private Member’s Bill C-580,  “An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Firearms Act and the Contraventions Act (long guns)”

First, let’s see what’s going on with the sections intended to “decriminalize” first-time non-registration of long gun charges…be warned, there is a large amount of bafflegab to go through.  Welcome to the world of the law-abiding gun owner!

Amendments to the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act:

Criminal Code of Canada

Unauthorized possession of firearm

91. (1) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm without being the holder of

(a) a licence under which the person may possess it; and

(b) a registration certificate for the firearm.

[…]

Punishment

(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Exceptions

(4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to

(a) a person who possesses a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition while the person is under the direct and immediate supervision of a person who may lawfully possess it, for the purpose of using it in a manner in which the supervising person may lawfully use it;

(b) a person who comes into possession of a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition by the operation of law and who, within a reasonable period after acquiring possession of it,

(i) lawfully disposes of it, or

(ii) obtains a licence under which the person may possess it and, in the case of a firearm, a registration certificate for the firearm.

or

[C-580]1. Subsection 91(4) of the Criminal Code is amended by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (a), by adding “or” at the end of paragraph (b) and by adding the following after paragraph (b):

(c) a person who possesses a firearm that is neither a prohibited firearm nor a restricted firearm, in the case of a first offence committed under section 112 of the Firearms Act.

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Possession of firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized

92. (1) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm knowing that the person is not the holder of

(a) a licence under which the person may possess it; and

(b) a registration certificate for the firearm.

[…]

Punishment

(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(a) in the case of a first offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years;

(b) in the case of a second offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year; and

(c) in the case of a third or subsequent offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of two years less a day.

Exceptions

(4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to

(a) a person who possesses a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition while the person is under the direct and immediate supervision of a person who may lawfully possess it, for the purpose of using it in a manner in which the supervising person may lawfully use it; or

(b) a person who comes into possession of a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition by the operation of law and who, within a reasonable period after acquiring possession of it,

(i) lawfully disposes of it, or

(ii) obtains a licence under which the person may possess it and, in the case of a firearm, a registration certificate for the firearm.

or

[C-580]2. Subsection 92(4) of the Act is amended by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (a), by adding “or” at the end of paragraph (b) and by adding the following after paragraph (b):

(c) a person who possesses a firearm that is neither a prohibited firearm nor a restricted firearm, in the case of a first offence committed under section 112 of the Firearms Act.

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The Firearms Act

[C-580]11. (1) Subsection 112(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

Failure to register certain firearms

112. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), every person commits an offence who, not having previously committed an offence under this subsection or subsection 91(1) or 92(1) of the Criminal Code, possesses a firearm that is neither a prohibited firearm nor a restricted firearm without being the holder of a registration certificate for the firearm.

These amendments seem to be setting up some kind of “if-then” sorting loop between the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act, such that a charge under one section has to refer to the other, and back again, trying to determine if someone has already been convicted under one or the other section.

These are the changes to the “Contraventions Act” (just an aside, had you ever heard of the “Contraventions Act” before now?):

Contraventions Act

12. Section 2 of the Contraventions Act is amended by replacing the definition “contravention” with the following:

“contravention” means an offence that is created by an enactment and is designated as a contravention by this Act or by regulation of the Governor in Council;

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Regulations

8. (1) The Governor in Council may, for the purposes of this Act, make regulations

(a) designating as contraventions offences created by any enactment, other than offences for which an offender may be prosecuted only on indictment;

(b) establishing short-form descriptions of contraventions;

(c) establishing, in respect of a contravention, an amount as the amount of the fine for the purposes of proceedings commenced by means of a ticket;

(d) prescribing the form of tickets and other forms that may be used for the purposes of this Act;

(e) providing for the fees, costs, penalties and other amounts that

(i) shall be imposed in respect of a contravention, or

(ii) may be imposed in respect of a contravention,

in the circumstances prescribed, at any stage of the proceedings; and

(f) prescribing classes of contraventions for the purposes of this Act.

Fees

(1.1) Different fees may be provided for in respect of each province.

[C-580.13. (1) Section 8 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (1.1):]

(1.2) An offence under section 112 of the Firearms Act is designated as a contraventions offence for the purposes of this Act.

[C-580.13.(2) Subsection 8(2) of the Act is replaced by the following: ]

(2) For greater certainty, the Governor in Council may revoke the designation of an offence as a contravention, other than a designation referred to in subsection (1.2).

Maximum fine

(3) An amount established under paragraph (1)(c) may not exceed the maximum amount established for the relevant offence by the enactment creating the offence.

Maximum fine for contraventions by young persons

(4) An amount established under paragraph (1)(c) in respect of a contravention, other than a contravention relating to parking a vehicle, may not exceed one hundred dollars, if the contravention is committed by a young person.

Minimum fine

(5) An amount established under paragraph (1)(c) may not be less than any minimum amount prescribed for the relevant offence by the enactment creating the offence.

Corporations and individuals

(6) Different amounts may be established under paragraph (1)(c) in respect of corporations and individuals committing the same contravention if the enactment creating the offence differentiates between them in prescribing the punishment for the offence.

Sufficiency of short-form description

(7) The use on a form prescribed under this Act of a short-form description established under paragraph (1)(b) or of a description that deviates from that description without affecting its substance is sufficient for all purposes to describe the contravention.

(8) [Repealed, 1996, c. 7, s. 4]

1992, c. 47, s. 8; 1996, c. 7, s. 4.

[Note: Sections 1 to 5 and 7, paragraphs 8(1)(a) to (c), (e) and (f), subsections 8(1.1) to (7) and 17(4) and sections 42, 54, 55, 58, 59 and 63 to 80.1 in force August 1, 1996, see SI/96-56.]

Clear as mud, isn’t it?  This is what Jack thinks will set up tickets and fines for not registering “first offences”.

But then there’s this section:

Relationship with Criminal Code and Youth Criminal Justice Act

5. The provisions of the Criminal Code relating to summary conviction offences and the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act apply to proceedings in respect of contraventions that are commenced under this Act, except to the extent that this Act, the regulations or the rules of court provide otherwise.

1992, c. 47, s. 5; 1996, c. 7, s. 2; 2002, c. 1, s. 168.

¿Que?  This appears to be saying that the Contraventions Act only applies to Criminal Code “summary conviction” offenses, not “indictable” ones.  Bur CCC s 92 doesn’t allow for a summary conviction option, just indictable.  They seem to be trying to force all first offences to default to FA s 112, first.  As another aside, to the best of my knowledge nobody has ever been charged under s 112 of the Firearms Act.

So not only do honest and responsible gun owners need to know the ins and outs of the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code, now we have to know the ramifications and procedures of the Contraventions Act, too!

REAL criminals must be pissing their pants laughing…

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13. (1) Section 8 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (1.1):