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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lemieux: Garry Breitkreuz’s Bill C-301

In this week's column, Pierre Lemieux examines some of the steps and missteps that have been taken in Canada recently toward restoring our right to own guns without interference from the state.

As you can tell from the title, the centerpiece of Lemieux's analysis is Bill C-301, a private members bill introduced by Garry Breitkreuz, a Conservative MP from Saskatchewan.

On the surface, Bill C-301 looks like it might be a good thing. According to Breitkreuz's press release, it would "scrap the useless long-gun registry."

Unfortunately, Lemieux argues, gun control in Canada has become so convoluted, so entrenched, that Bill C-301 only addresses one part of the problem (and a small part at that.)

The probability that a private member’s bill without official government support, which is what C-301 is, will be adopted by the House of Commons is small. If the House does not get to vote on the bill in third reading, no damage is done to the power of the state and the support of some gun owners will have been bought at a cheap political price. If there is a vote, it is unlikely that the bill will gather a majority; Harper can then claim that he has no choice but to embrace the Liberals’ law. If the bill were to pass, the essential of the Liberal gun controls would remain in place. One way or another, Bill C-301 can only entrench C-68.

What Lemieux means is that Bill C-301 would leave untouched changes to the criminal code that established what he calls "the cattle registry" or what the Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association calls "the people registry."

Gun owners/users in Canada are required to apply for a license every five years ("Gun owners are registered like cattle," Lemieux writes.) If someone fails to renew his license, he can be stripped of his guns and sent to prison for up to ten years. Bill C-301, even if adopted, would do nothing to alter this part of the law.

Lemieux points out in some detail how the federal Conservatives have weakened their opposition to both "the cattle registry" and "the long-run registry" over time. Now, virtually no one attacks the former, while the Conservatives have only half-heartedly opposed the latter.

Listen to Harper who, in Miramichi (New Brunswick), headquarters of the despicable national firearms bureaucracy, he sided with the bureaucrats and declared, two days before Bill C-301 was tabled: “The firearms centre here does more than just the long-gun registry, there are other aspects of gun control that this government has every intention of maintaining.”

With friends like Harper, do the opponents of gun control in Canada need any enemies?

I like Lemieux's suggestion for an improved Bill C-301, a measure that would get near unanimous support from the Conservatives if they were really friends of liberty. Look for it at the end of his column.

Posted by Terrence Watson on February 18, 2009 | Permalink


Political Correctness has infested the Conservatives. They can't imagine that no restrictions on long guns would be politically acceptable in a nation that survived for more than a century with none. The situation is that generally, people with no knowledge nor experience with guns are imposing their paranoia-inspired coercion upon peaceful citizens minding their own business.

All statist tyrants must eventually disarm their citizens because widespread gun ownership is their citizen's most significant symbol of, and bottom line means of defending, liberty.

The revolution that produced liberty and capitalism has faded and the West is slowly returning to the more historically normal conditions of tribalism, socialism, and feudalism. The Nanny States are destroying the human spirit as they incrementally take away the individuals adulthood (responsibilities) keeping the populous in a permanent state of adolescence.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-02-18 11:05:32 PM


Posted by: G L Pollon | 2009-02-18 11:35:54 PM

John said it all and well.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-02-19 11:59:47 AM

If, and I admit it's a big if, the Tories were really opposed to the current gun control regime they need not start with new legislation. They would only need to use the regulatory powers they have to reduce the impediments to obtaining and using firearms. For a start they could reclassify most prohibted firearms as restricted, order CFOs to issue far less restrictive authorizations to transport and extend renewal periods for all permits and licenses.

Posted by: F.T. Ward | 2009-02-20 12:12:01 AM

I would rather see the monies that go into the gun registries (all of them) go towards law enforcement and employing prison guards so that we can put the real gun criminals (that is, people who use guns in the commission of a crime as compared to law-abiding gun owners) behind bars for 10 years without parole.

Posted by: Donovan | 2009-02-20 12:49:23 AM

I disagree - what the conservatives are going is not politically correct it is realistic. They know as well you and I that a bill to get rid of the registry completely would never be supported by any one outside the conservative party, so it would be a waste of time. Gun control activists are not out there making bold changes, they support every regulation of firearms no matter how small, they see every regulation as a victory and they are right. Gun owners could stand to learn form that approach and begin seeing every favorable piece of legislation as something worthy of support. The gun registry is not going to be done away with in a day, and sitting around waiting for conservatives to "understand" is not very productive.

Posted by: Ivan | 2009-04-07 1:04:33 PM

There are regulations that stiffle the ownership even further than c68. The government would have had no problem whatsoever repealing those, and also repealing the ridiculous restricting and prohibiting OICs. Those regulations still remaining in force speaks louder than inaction on the bill.

Posted by: Hilltop Boy | 2009-06-17 10:40:21 AM

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