“Car Control” in Canada

September 30, 2010

Have you ever stopped to think about what Canada’s Traffic Laws would look like if they were designed and enforced like Canada’s Gun Laws?  Here’s a quick overview of what we’d be looking at:

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Mopeds, Scooters, Motorbikes and Sports Cars are all being reclassified as “Non-Essential Vehicles” as these are the vehicles that seem to have little practical use and seem to be the most dangerous.

Mopeds and Scooters are going to be outright banned and confiscated as they’re simply too slow and thus dangerous to share the road with faster vehicles.

Motorbikes and Sports Cars will require a “Pleasure Vehicle” endorsement on your license which will only be available after additional training. Also, these vehicles will only be allowed to be driven on special government approved driving tracks of which you must pay a yearly membership to be a member of. If your membership expires, you will be forced to turn in your Pleasure Vehicles as you obviously have no valid use for them any longer. Driving Track records will be kept and anyone who does not regularly frequent the course will have their Pleasure Vehicles confiscated.

Because it’s impossible for Police Officers to tell what kind of engine a car has, vehicles that even LOOK fast will be restricted to track use only.

If your driver’s license or vehicle registration expires, you will no longer just get a ticket; instead, ALL your vehicles will be confiscated and held until your paperwork is in order. If this takes too long, (30 days I think – and it probably will since you will only be able to apply for renewals via snail-mail) your vehicles will be destroyed with no compensation AND you will be charged under the Criminal Code – as it is YOUR responsibility to keep your paperwork valid.

Since these vehicles are more dangerous than other “Passenger” or “Commercial” vehicles, the doors must remain locked at all times when not in use AND in a locked garage so that no one without a “Pleasure Vehicle” endorsement can gain access and use them illegally.

And if you’re caught on the open road with one of these vehicles, the entire police force including the SWAT team will arrest you at gunpoint, handcuff you and the rest of your family and then refuse to issue an apology when it is later discovered that the car you were driving only LOOKED like one of the banned ones.

Yes, this actually happened here in Canada to a legal gun owner (and his family) who had done no wrong.

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Kind of messed up, eh?  But this is frustrating reality that law-abiding gun owners in Canada have to deal with.

“Well…” you might say to yourself, “…these are GUNS we’re talking about here.  They’re more DANGEROUS than cars are!”  Well actually, they’re not.  Literally thousands of more people are killed every year in car accidents than in gun accidents.  Even when you compare what guns are primarily used for in Canada – hunting – cars STILL kill TEN TIMES more animals than guns.

So why have we allowed ourselves to be treated like common criminals when it comes to our guns?  I don’t know either.  But the next time you think that the latest gun law that is being put into effect is “reasonable”, imagine that it was being applied to your car instead and see if it still sounds like a good idea.


Authorization To Carry

October 25, 2009

The topic of ATC (Authorization To Carry) permits has recently begun to rise in popularity among legal firearm owners here in Canada.  Contrary to the popular belief of many Canadians, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, there is in fact a permit available to the general public allowing them to carry a concealed firearm for the purpose of self-defense.

The reason you don’t see this happening in Canada is that the government has given the authority to issue these permits at the discretion of the Provincial CFOs. (Chief Firearms Officer)  So, not only does the criteria need to be met, the CFO must also feel that it is in your best interest to have such a permit.  Suffice it to say, the CFOs have gotten together and agreed to not issue these permits if at all possible.

Recently, an FOI (Freedom Of Information) request was issued to the Government of Ontario to request the number of ATCs that have been issued in that province.  With a population just shy of 13 million people, and grand total of 13 ATCs have been issued.  You can probably bet that these people are not ordinary Joe Blow citizens whose lives are in danger, rather these are more than likely high ranking government officials who have enough influence to determine the career path of the CFO to which the application was presented.

Lets look at the three general criteria that have been put in place:

-the life of the applicant must be in imminent danger

-police protection is not sufficient in the circumstances

-the individual has successfully completed training in firearms proficiency

Well right away there is a problem.  What exactly does in mean to be in “imminent danger”?  By definition, “imminent” means “ready to take place”.  So must we then wait until we are being chased down a dark alley by a group of thugs intent on beating us to death before we submit our application?  I offer this thought; we are all in constant imminent danger as we will never know when we are about to be attacked until it is too late.  The CFO does not see it this way however and will use this as his first excuse not to issue the permit.

Lets move on to the second requirement: police protection is not sufficient.  Well that’s an understatement in itself.  There is no possible way that the police can protect us at all times.  The government would have you believe that they can and, more importantly, that they do, but the reality is that they cannot and they certainly do not.

Take a home invasion as an example.  A crack-head thug has broken into your home just after you have gone to bed.  You call 911 as soon as you hear the front door splinter.  Now, what I’d like you to do, is go to your front door and pretend that you are the thug.  (extra points for screaming like a lunatic and scaring your cat into a fuzzball)  Time yourself as you run up the stairs, or down the hall or to where it is that your bedroom is located, pretend to bust down the door and then pretend to stab the stuffing out of your pillow.  The pillow in this case is actually you seeing as you probably can’t play both roles without some sort of clone.  Your wife or roommate would also make a good stand in, but they might move out if you don’t give them advance warning.  :-)

So, how did you do?  I’m guessing you accomplished this in less than a minute.  Now imagine calling 911.  You relay what is happening to the operator, they call the local police for you and they dispatch a car.  How long do you figure that it going to take?  Probably a lot longer than a minute.  Of course, with this scenario, you are at home and hopefully you have fairly quick access to some sort of improvised weapon, better yet a firearm (that is legally stored of course) that you can use to defend your life and the lives of your family.  Just imagine that you are walking back to your car with your significant other in the middle of the almost deserted movie theatre parking long after the sun has set.  You are approached by three or four scary looking guys who are intent on a little action.  What do you do then?  Well, since you live in Canada, all you can do is call 911 on your cell and hope for the best.  Chances are though, you’ll end up as a chalk outline and the headline in the next day’s paper.

The last criteria seems to be the easiest to comply with: successfully complete training in firearms proficiency.  Actually, this is easier said than done.  As far as I can tell, with the exception of armoured car services, no one offers this sort of training in Canada and there isn’t really even an outline that is to be followed.

So, what can you as a concerned citizen do about this?  Well for starters, you can join the Canadian Association for Self Defense at casd.ca.  You can write your Member of Parliament to convey your displeasure in the fact that the CFOs have the authority to issue these permits at their discretion.  You can get your friends and family involved and spread the word that we are no longer going to let the government decide who or what is more valuable.  As it stands right now, your money is more valuable than your life.  Why else do Armoured guards get to carry guns?  Let’s band together and tell our government to get their priorities straight.


A Brief Overview of Canadian Gun Laws

August 27, 2009

Here is a brief description of the current Gun Control laws that we have here in Canada:

Firearm Classifications:

Non-restricted firearms are those that you would expect to see if you were out hunting.  They include  any firearms that are not already classified as restricted or prohibited, and have an overall length of 26 inches or more and have a barrel length of 18 inches or more.  There are a few exceptions to the barrel length rule, but I’ll get into that later.

Restricted firearms include those that have overall lengths less than 26 inches and barrels less than 18 inches.  So no handgun, for example, could ever be classified as non-restricted as it is too short.  Certain military styled firearms that meet the requirements for non-restricted are also classified as restricted by name.  Popular examples are the AR-15 and the G-36.

Prohibited firearms include all fully automatic firearms, any handgun that has a barrel length of less than 4.2 inches, any handgun that is designed to shoot .25 or .32 calibre ammunition, and certain military styled rifles that have been prohibited by name.  Popular examples include the AK-47 and the MP-5.

So what do the classifications mean?

You may hunt with, target shoot with and transport any non-restricted firearm anywhere that it is legal to do so.  Technically, you can carry a non-restricted rifle with you where ever you go, so long as you only load it where it is legal to discharge it.  So it would need to be unloaded if you were in your car, in town or anywhere else that you are generally not allowed to shoot a gun.  Obviously, it is not a good idea to carry a rifle while going for a stroll downtown as you will attract a lot of unwanted attention from the police, but it is legal to do so.

Restricted firearms, on the other hand, may not be used for hunting and may only be used at, and transported to and from, an approved range.  On top of that, you also need an ATT (Authorization To Transport) from the local Firearms Office to do so.

Prohibited firearms are all the guns that government wants to get rid of.  They decided that it would be too costly to confiscate them all, so they decided that the people who already owned them could keep them, but when they died, the guns would have to be turned in and destroyed.  You can still get an ATT for prohibited handguns to take them to the range for target shooting, but not for prohibited rifles.

Barrel length exceptions

As I mentioned earlier, there are a few exceptions to the barrel length laws:

- semi-automatic centre-fire rifles and shotguns must have a barrel length of more than 18.5 inches to remain non-restricted (does not apply to semi-automatic rimfire rifles)

- non-restricted, non-semi-automatic,  rifles and shotguns (along with semi-automatic rimfire rifles) may have barrel lengths of less than 18 inches (providing the overall length remains more than 26 inches) as long as the barrel was manufactured that way from the factory

Magazine limits

All semi-automatic centre-fire rifle magazines are limited to 5 rounds of ammunition.  All handgun magazines are limited to 10 rounds of ammunition.  Because the law is worded so that it is the magazine that is being controlled, it has allowed AR-15 owners (and owners of other firearms that use the popular AR-15 magazine) the ability to use 10 round pistol magazines in their rifles.  This is because there is a pistol variant of the AR-15 and the magazine designed for the pistol variant will also work in the rifle.  There are no limits set for any rimfire rifle magazines.

Storage

Non-Restricted firearms must be unloaded, trigger locked or locked in a sturdy container.  Ammunition must be stored separately or locked up in the same container as the firearm.

Restricted and Prohibited firearms must be unloaded, trigger locked and locked in a sturdy container.  Trigger locks are not required if the firearm is stored in an approved safe.  Ammunition must be stored separately or locked up in the same container as the firearm.

Transportation

To transport non-restricted firearms, they must be unloaded.  That’s it.  You do have to be aware of Provincial hunting laws however, as they usually require that the firearm be cased when you are not permitted to hunt.  If the firearm is left unattended in the vehicle, the firearm must be locked in the trunk.  If the vehicle does not have a trunk, the vehicle must be locked and the firearm must be out of sight.

Restricted and Prohibited firearms must be unloaded, trigger locked and locked in a sturdy container.  The bolt must also be removed from automatic firearms if able.  If the firearm is left unattended in the vehicle, the firearm must be locked in the trunk.  If the vehicle does not have a trunk, the vehicle must be locked and the firearm must be out of sight.

So that, in a nutshell, is a quick look at Gun Control in Canada.  The actual laws are obviously quite a bit more wordy and complicated, but this will give you a running start on understanding what we are up against.  You’ll notice (especially if you’re American) that there is no mention of Concealed Carry.  Canada does have an Authorization To Carry permit (ATC), but unless your job requires you to carry a firearm to protect money (armoured vehicle services) or you work in a remote area where you are considered to be food by the local predators, there’s literally a one in a million chance that you can get one.  A good site to learn more about Concealed Carry in Canada and what we can do to make it easier to obtain such a permit is casd.ca.


Authorization to Transport

July 24, 2009

An ATT (Authorization to Transport) is a page printed off at a Provincial CFO (Chief Firearms Office) and mailed to any owner of a Restricted or Prohibited firearm that requests one.  Its purpose is to grant permission to the owner to transport his or her firearms to the range.  The thing is, the only place you’re allowed to shoot Restricted or Prohibited firearms is at a range.  Why do we need a piece of paper allowing us to do the only thing that we’re allowed to do with these particular firearms?

The gun control advocates would have you believe that your streets are safer because of these pieces of paper.  They claim that they (the ATTs) prevent firearm owners from taking their Restricted or Prohibited firearms anywhere else other than the range.  This is absolutely true… if you’re a law abiding citizen.

Criminals, on the other hand, generally are not considered law abiding citizens.  They do not buy their Restricted or Prohibited firearms from a licenced dealer, but rather the trunk of a car in some dark alley.  They do not register their firearms and they certainly do not apply for ATTs to transport them to and from the range.

So what exactly are these ATTs doing to help protect the public?  That’s right, you guessed it, nothing.  It is nothing more than a wasteful display of bureaucracy in an attempt to make the government appear to be serving some useful purpose in the protection of its citizens.

A Private Member’s Bill was recently introduced in Ottawa called C301.  It was a revision to the Firearms Law to repeal the wasteful Long Gun Registry and do away with the useless ATTs; as well as a few other things.  It was shot down primarily because the Government still foolishly believes that ATTs still serve some useful purpose.

I’m sorry, but issuing a piece of paper that allows a legal firearms owner to do the only thing he or she was allowed to do in the first place, is not a useful purpose.


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