Canadian firearms owners rejoice!
After thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of letters flooded government offices in opposition to the reclassification farce involving the SG550 and CZ858 sport rifles in Canada by the RCMP, Conservative Safety Minister Stephen Blaney has announced that those rifles are now re-classified, returned to their original classification of non-restricted.
For those not in the know, this means these rifles are no longer ‘prohibited’, that they can now be taken out of their safes and bunkers and can once more be fired both at certified ranges as well as rural areas that are classified as “firearms safe”. Gun loving Canadians are reveling in the victory. Online stores are having ammunition sales of rifle-specific sizes and Facebook is being flooded with pictures of SG’s and 858’s emerging from the cavernous depths to which they were banished when the RCMP issued their draconian dicta stipulating that owners of these rifles had a certain amount of time to surrender them for destruction.
The power hungry bureaucrats of the RCMP firearms program have been forced to eat their own hats, so-to-speak. They will be sent back to the piles of paperwork they use to justify their existences, their lofty paycheques still clutched in hand. But further changes are in store for them; their usefulness and job security will again be threatened by the announcement that Bill C-42, the Common Sense Firearms Act, is coming into play. The Safety Minister has announced formally that this too shall come to pass.
Yet again, we, the gun owners, are making the RCMP bureaucrats sweat, shooting down their illegal attempt to change restricted firearms laws. For those not in the know, the RCMP were attempting to make it again more difficult to transport firearms. They ideally would have had restricted owners carrying paperwork to and from firearms ranges. In addition, the RCMP would have liked to see gun owners obtaining an extra authorization to transport their arms to gunsmiths. Ever more redundant paperwork, an endless queue of phone calls to the RCMP for ‘permission’, and a steadily tightening noose around the necks of firearms owners. A bureaucratic nightmare. This is what the RCMP had hoped eventually to bring about.
This all backfired immensely for the RCMP. For now, beginning September 2nd 2015, all a gun owner will require for authorization to transport their actual P.A.L. license… nothing more, nothing less. I, for one, am stoked about not having to sit on the phone with the office of the C.F.O. listening to that hellish elevator music interrupted by random ridiculous gun facts…
I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but…
On the other side of the coin (and somewhat of a concession), it is now harder for first time shooters to obtain a firearm . Instead of being able to challenge the firearms test for a reduced fee, individuals will now have to undergo a full weekend course, dishing out a considerable amount of cash for the privilege of being able to eventually buy a gun.
The majority of firearms enthusiasts probably don’t care about this, seeing as how they already own guns; they likely view it as minutiae, as trivial. But the wise understand that discouraging young gun owners is a step backward. It means fewer individuals in the pro-gun camp in the years to come.
When the Liberals implemented extreme changes to gun laws in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, a lot of complacent firearm enthusiasts were content simply to comply with the new prohibition laws. They, themselves were exempted from them if they already owned the soon-to-be prohibited firearms. They received a Prohibited License for their inconvenience, so all was right with the world.
However, gun owners like myself, too young to own firearms or fully appreciate what was going on at the time, are now exempt from ever owning a large variety (I would estimate approximately 40-50%) of sport shooting firearms. The changes significantly decreased the assortment of firearms that could be legally owned. Firearm owners of the day played right into the hands of gun-control advocates. Slowly, the controlling factions made it impossible to own a gun, one little baby step at a time. And with a whimper, not a bang, we all complied.
Hey wait a minute, Isn’t an election coming up…?
That being said, I am still happy with the reclassification of the SG550 and the CZ858, as well as the A.T.T. changes, but I have no illusions, the concession of now having to dish out more time and money to actually ‘get in the game’ is going to hurt us in the long run.
It is worth noting that there will be an election in October. I can’t help but feel skeptical that the Conservative government was more than happy to put this bill on the back burner in January when a deranged Islamic terrorist attacked parliament. It meant that they could conveniently push it through closer to the election in attempts to garner the vote of the 32% of our population who are gun-owners.
But at this point, who are we kidding? Both the NDP and Liberals are super-staunch supporters of gun-control, and worse, are virtually all advocates of the complete outlawing of firearms. So really, who do we gun owners have other than Harper to vote for? If you are a gun owner, the Conservatives are your only choice to protect your rights and property, so DO IT.
Two steps back, one step forward
I would love to be able to say that these recent changes are a case of two steps forward, one step back, but, when you really think about it, the RCMP took away our firearms by making them illegal, then attempted to push the agenda further by making it more difficult to transport our firearms. The public outcry only managed to win back our guns, giving us the original limitations we previously had for our licensing.
The RCMP came out on top by succeeding in making it harder to actually become licensed, before ever owning a firearm. In short, the bully stole our 3 dollars of lunch money and was forced to give it back. But, after an ear twisting, he only gave 2 dollars back. Add to that the fact that the Conservatives got a black eye by both the NDP and Liberals, drawing serious attention to certain fabricated lies about fully automatic weapons and squirrel hunting in Toronto . The Conservatives ended up looking like Gun-Nutty Republicans once more.
It might be happy days for gun owners now, but the price may be dear, indeed, in the future. If Mulcair or Trudeau get in, we could see one hell of a reversal. It won’t be two steps back, one step forward, but simply three full steps back… and a lurch into the abyss.