Arthur Cameron, a 66-year-old senior from Nova Scotia, reported a theft of a tractor from his farm to police. He welcomed police into his home.
Police found two long guns on a chair unsecured. Checking further, police discovered his PAL (paper licence) had expired. Instead of solving the theft of tractor, police charged this senior with two counts of unsafe storage and possession of a firearm without a licence. C-68 states that Cameron must forfeit his two long guns (20-gauge single shot shotgun and .303 British Enfield rifle).
Little did Mr. Cameron realize that in reporting the theft of his tractor, the law made him a criminal because his guns were not secured and his paper licence had expired. He was fined a total of $1,300 and the loss of two old guns ,which he owned for a lifetime. His stolen tractor is still stolen. Mr. Cameron is today a felon under C-68, the current Firearms Act, and now has a criminal record.
Stephen Harper continues to criminalize lawful firearms owners like Arthur Cameron.
There is no law on the books that criminalizes innocent law abiding people like C-68. Anti firearm folks use the example that all cars need a licence. That is true. No one is deemed a criminal when your driver or vehicle licence expired and you still have the vehicle.
Harper, make changes to this bad law. Dump the PAL (possession, acquisition licence) and return to the FAC system. The FAC (firearm acquisition certificate) works the same way as a PAL. The difference is the FAC doesn’t turn one into a criminal upon its expiration.
How many times has Harper promised to repeal C-68 before becoming PM? Too many to remember.
Stephen Harper, you can be sure firearm owners across Canada will be voting against you in 2015 if you don’t act.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 25, 2014