Time For Canadians To Stop Being Polite

I took time to read the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms today. Obviously, there is no equivalent of our Second Amendment in it. Interestingly, there is no protection for property of any sort within it unlike our Fifth Amendment. Some Canadian scholars have written that this was purposely omitted as it was seen as a restriction on government. Indeed the first article of the Charter expressly states the rights guaranteed within it were “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law”.

I’m not a Canadian legal expert but that sure as heck sounds like the whole Charter is founded upon the rational basis level of scrutiny. Given that, it is no wonder Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thought a mere Order in Council was sufficient to ban over 1,500 firearms from ownership. In his mind, there was no need to bring it to Parliament and have a debate on the ban.

There is a petition demanding that the matter be brought to the House of Commons for debate. It has over 175,000 signatures currently. It has been presented to Parliament by MP Glen Motz who represents the Medicine Hat area of Alberta.

Perhaps it is time to stop being so polite.

Maybe it is time to tell Trudeau and his cop to politician Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. I might suggest even flying a Canadian version of the Gonzales Flag similar to the rough one I just Photoshopped below.

The bully-boys of the RCMP firearms unit might not like it. Nonetheless, Article 2(b) declares “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression” as a Fundamental Freedom guaranteed to all Canadians.

Canadian Rangers Retire Lee Enfield

The Canadian Army has used the SMLE or Short Magazine Lee-Enfield rifle in .303 British since the Boer War. Until this last week, their volunteer Arctic-based Canadian Rangers were still using it. However, it has now been replaced by the Colt Canada C19 bolt action rifle which a modified Tikka T3 CTR built under license.

Canadian Rangers drilling with their Lee-Enfields

As to why the Rangers used the SMLE for so long, the National Post has this from an arms expert at the Canadian War Museum:

The Lee-Enfield’s powerful .303 cartridge was famous for killing enemy soldiers with one shot, and it’s equally good at stopping a charging polar bear.


Its wood stock makes it uniquely resistant to cracking or splitting in extreme cold. The rifle is also bolt-action, meaning that every shot must be manually pushed into place by the shooter. This makes for slower firing, but it also leaves the Lee-Enfield with as few moving parts as possible.


“The more complicated a rifle gets … the more prone you are to problems with parts breaking or jamming in a harsh environment,” said Eric Fernberg, an arms collection specialist at the Canadian War Museum.


“It might seem old-fashioned … (but) the retention of the Lee-Enfield by the Canadian Rangers was a wise choice for their role and environment.”

According to the Department of National Defence, the surplus rifles will be split between Army Cadets, museums, and the Rangers who wish to buy them.

The Lee Enfield Declaration of Surplus was approved by VCDS on January 21, 2015. Approximately 9,500 rifles will be transferred to the CAF Cadets, mostly as non-functional rifles, to complement their entitlement of drill and training rifles. Another 5,000 rifles approximately, will be offered to serving Canadian Rangers individuals as a donation/gift to preserve heritage. Up to 50 rifles will be offered to CAF affiliated museums and units as display artefacts.

I guess this means that few, if any, of these Enfields will be headed south of the border.

You can see the replacement C19 in the photo below. It will come with the Pelican case and has the Canadian Rangers shield on the laminated stock.

A Video Overview Of Canadian Gun Laws

The second-largest country in the world by area, aka the Great White North or Canada, has gun laws that would alternately have Americans cheering and jeering. For example, a Norinco M-14 clone which is banned from import in the US sells for approximately $650 Canadian or about $520 US. It is a semi-auto with an 18.5″ barrel and is non-restricted. However, if you would rather have a FN-FAL or G-3 clone, they are prohibited. Another example would be short barrel pump shotguns which would be classified as NFA items in the US. In Canada, they are non-restricted so long as the overall length is 26″ or greater.

Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons discusses the various categories – non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited – with John from Marstar Canada Classic Collectibles in the video below. Non-restricted allows gun owners to shoot anywhere it is legal to shoot, restricted firearms are only allowed to be shot at approved ranges, and prohibited firearms, in general, are not allowed to be shot anywhere. As with all laws, there are exceptions and the RCMP has a firearms page with both FAQs and more detailed information.

In Gun News From The Sub-Polar Region To The North

The Canadian Firearms Blog is reporting that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Director of Firearm Regulatory Services has decreed that 80% AR lowers are prohibited. The rationale given is that they can be converted into M16 lower receivers. This prohibition also extends to receiver flats for the AK-47/74 and AMD-63/65.

From the memo issued by Robert J. O’Reilly of the RCMP:

Receiver blanks are firearms since they are nearly completed receivers and fall within the adaptability clause of the firearms definition in Section 2 of the Criminal Code. In other words,
a receiver blank is considered a
“barrelled weapon from which any shot, bullet or other projectile can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death in a person,
and includes any frame or receiver of such a barrelled weapon and anything that can be adapted for use as a firearm”. As such, they are subject to the firearms-related regulatory and enforcement provisions of the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code, including licensing and registration.

Depending on their properties, receiver blanks can fall into any one of the three firearm classifications: non-restricted, restricted, or prohibited. 

The memo goes on to say that individuals have no legal authority “to possess or acquire prohibited receiver blanks”. The memo contains a table listing many of the most common receiver blanks and their classifications under Canadian firearms law. The only receiver blank that is listed as “non-restricted” are ones for the Ruger 10/22. The rest are either prohibited or restricted.

The Canadian Firearms Blog goes on to report some hearsay evidence behind the RCMP’s decision and the reaction within the Canadian firearms community.

A user on a popular Canadian firearms forum on Reddit, who wished to remain anonymous, has reportedly spoken with RCMP firearms techs in Ottawa, stating they had explained that their interpretation is “so long as the blank (in whatever state it may be in) can be ‘easily’ turned into a firearm, it’s a firearm, and since machining is ‘easy’ that any completion of the receiver is enough.”

This decision by the RCMP has drawn considerable criticism, with some expressing concern that, by the verbiage used in the memo, any unmilled piece of alunimium or polymer in the size or shape of an AR-15 receiver can be affected, and some fearing that this is the foundation to reclassify AR-15s as a whole.

I feel for our Canadian gunny friends. While I have neither the skill nor the inclination to complete an 80% lower, I understand the appeal especially if you live in either Canada or California.  I doubt that they are going to get any relief from these onerous regulations in the immediate future given their respective governing parties.

Our Gun-Owning Neighbors To The North Are In For It

The Liberal Party headed by political legacy Justin Trudeau just ousted the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in nationwide elections yesterday. The Liberal Party took 184 seats out of 338 which gives them a working majority. They will not have to try and form a coalition government with other smaller parties. The Conservatives retain only 99 seats or 29% of the seats in the Canadian Parliament’s House of Commons.

So what does that mean for Canadian gun owners? First, let’s remember that the Conservative government under Stephen Harper did away with the ineffective and outrageously expensive gun registry. Second, there is this from the Liberal Party platform:

We will take action to get handguns and assault weapons off our streets.

Over the last decade, Stephen Harper has steadily weakened our gun laws in ways that make Canadians more vulnerable and communities more dangerous.

We will take pragmatic action to make it harder for criminals to get, and use, handguns and assault weapons. We will:

  • repeal changes made by Bill C-42 that allow restricted and prohibited weapons to be freely transported without a permit, and we will put decision-making about weapons restrictions back in the hands of police, not politicians;
  • provide $100 million each year to the provinces and territories to support guns and gangs police task forces to take illegal guns off our streets and reduce gang violence;
  • modify the membership of the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee to include knowledgeable law enforcement officers, public health advocates, representatives from women’s groups, and members of the legal community;
  • require enhanced background checks for anyone seeking to purchase a handgun or other restricted firearm;
  • require purchasers of firearms to show a license when they buy a gun, and require all sellers of firearms to confirm that the license is valid before completing the sale;
  • require firearms vendors to keep records of all firearms inventory and sales to assist police in investigating firearms trafficking and other gun crimes;
  • immediately implement the imported gun marking regulations that have been repeatedly delayed by Stephen Harper; and
  • as part of our investment in border infrastructure, invest in technologies to enhance our border guards’ ability to detect and halt illegal guns from the United States entering into Canada.


We will not create a new national long-gun registry to replace the one that has been dismantled.

We will ensure that Canada becomes a party to the international Arms Trade Treaty.

The only thing positive in that list is the claim that a Liberal government will not create a new long-gun registry.

I hate to say it but the next five years are not going to be good ones for Canadian gun owners. Or the rest of Canada for that matter.

Oh, Canada! Please Keep The Liberals As The Loyal Opposition

I would think most people would want important decisions left in the hands of elected representatives and not in the hands of faceless bureaucrats. After all, a politician can be turned out of office while the bureaucracy lives on forever.

Not so the Liberal Party in Canada. They are quite upset that Stephen Harper and his Conservative government want to remove the power of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to make determinations on which firearms should be prohibited. As can be seen in the poster they put up on Facebook, they consider it “unacceptable”.

The Liberal Party is the official opposition in the Canadian Parliament and is led by Justin Trudeau. His father, the late Pierre Trudeau, was Prime Minister of Canada from 1968-1979 and from 1980-1984. While serving as Justice Minister, the elder Trudeau introduced Bill C-150 which established a good deal of the gun control in Canada including the non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited categories of firearms.

Their official statement in opposition to Bill C-42 says, in part:

“First, it eliminates the need for owners of prohibited and restricted firearms to have a transportation license to carry those guns in their vehicles. This means they could freely transport handguns or automatic weapons anywhere within their province, whether to a grocery store or a soccer field.

“Secondly, it would take the power to classify firearms out of the hands of the police – the experts in keeping Canadians safe – and put it in the hands of politicians like Stephen Harper. And it would allow those decisions to be made without Parliamentary approval or oversight.

“We think Canadians will agree that this is wrong.

Somehow I doubt Canadian gun owners would consider this wrong.

Bill C-42, the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act, was introduced in October by Minister for Public Safety Steven Blaney (middle picture in the poster).  The bill had its Second Reading on November 26th.

Here is a quick outline of what Bill C-42 would do from the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.

  • Create a six-month grace period at the end of the five-year licence period to stop people from immediately becoming criminalized for paperwork delays around license renewals;
  • Streamline the licensing system by eliminating the Possession Only Licence (POL) and converting all existing POLs to Possession and Acquisition Licences (PALs);
  • Make classroom participation in firearms safety training mandatory for first-time licence applicants;
  • Amend the Criminal Code to strengthen the provisions relating to orders prohibiting the possession of firearms where a person is convicted of an offence involving domestic violence;
  • End needless paperwork around Authorizations to Transport by making them a condition of a licence for certain routine and lawful activities;
  • Provide for the discretionary authority of Chief Firearms Officers to be subject to limit by regulation;
  • Authorize firearms import information sharing when restricted and prohibited firearms are imported into Canada by businesses; and,
  • Allow the Government to have the final say on classification decisions, following the receipt of independent expert advice.

This bill is, from what I can gather, a start. Neither the Coalition for Gun Control nor the National Firearms Association are altogether happy with Bill C-42. The former opposes the bill because it relaxes some gun control measures. The latter has decided not to endorse the bill because it doesn’t address what they consider the many significant problems with Canada’s firearms regulation. These include decriminalizing firearms possession, addressing regulations that classify firearms by their appearance, and eliminating the punitive safe storage requirements from the criminal code.

Like all bills reforming existing gun controls, it doesn’t go far enough. However, if passed, at least Canada can say it is no longer the New Jersey of the North when it comes to firearms transport.

It Only Makes Sense To Me

Today is Independence Day and Tuesday, July 1st was Canada Day or, as I still call it, Dominion Day. The former celebrates our birth as a nation and the latter celebrates the British North America Act of 1867 which united the provinces of Canada (Ontario and Quebec), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia into the Dominion of Canada within the British Empire.

Roberta X makes the very sensible suggestion of celebrating the days between July 2nd and 3rd, as Co-Dependence Days.

I’ll be excoriated for this, but the inhabitants of U.S. and Canada ought to celebrate July 2 and 3, the days between Canada Day and Independence Day, as “Co-dependence Days,” in which we consider all that we love and loathe about our neighbor. We share the longest border in the world without armies watching one another over it, about 2/3 of a common language and all manner of customs, habits and entertainments — and we share them about the same way fraternal twins between the ages of seven and twelve share the back seat of car over the course of a day-long excursion.

I’ve always liked Canada and Canadians. The country has a spectacular beauty in many places. As to the Canadian people, they are a likeable people with perhaps the sometimes exception of the Francophones in La Belle Province. Perhaps I hold a rosier view of Canadians as my first girlfriend was Canadian.

Still, I could see this joint holiday working.

Interesting Controversy Going On In Canada



The Royal Canadian Mounted Police recently made a decision to reclassify the Swiss Arms PE90 as a prohibited firearm. The Swiss Arms PE90 is the Canadian version of SigSauer’s SIG551. The RCMP are in charge of how firearms in Canada are classified. As I understand it, a firearm can be classified as unrestricted, restricted, or prohibited by the RCMP’s Canadian Firearms Program.

The problem here is that the RCMP had originally classified the Swiss Arms Green Classic PE90 as either unrestricted or restricted depending on barrel length 10 years ago. Since then, Canadians have purchased upwards of 2,000 of these rifles at a cost between $3-4000 each. Now the RCMP is telling the gun owners that they must surrender these rifles to them without any sort of compensation.

The CBC has a rather good story on the whole controversy which is shown below: