Before Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued Parliament this past December, Bill C-391, the proposed legislation designed to abolish Canada's much-maligned, costly long-gun registry passed second reading. While scrapping this wasteful boondoggle is a good start, the Firearms Act (C-68), which the long-gun registry is only part of, must be repealed entirely.
The Firearms Act, passed into law by the Chretien Liberals in 1995, is in the opinion of many Canadians (especially gun owners) the most draconian and intrusive legislation in Canadian history.
Under the guise of protecting public safety, C-68 allows the State to seize property without compensation and enter businesses and even private homes without warrants. Furthermore, this unjust law deprives law-abiding citizens who happen to own and enjoy firearms the right to procedural fairness, privacy as well as security, since the act's stringent safe-storage laws make home self-defense nearly impossible.
Bruce Montague, a gunsmith from Dryden, Ontario, has taken on the monumental task of challenging the Firearms Act. On Sept. 11, 2004, Mr. Montague, a hardworking family man with no criminal history, was arrested by police. His crime: being in possession of several unregistered and unlicensed firearms, a direct contravention of this illegitimate law.
Soon afterwards, Mr. Montague backed by thousands of committed supporters from Canada as well as from other countries, launched a court challenge on the basis that the Firearms Act violates 17 provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
After the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the Firearms Act was indeed constitutional in Mar. 22, 2008, Mr. Montague opted to appeal the judgment and have his case tried in the Ontario Supreme Court.
The next phase of Mr. Montague's fight for liberty and common sense gun laws in Canada begins on Feb. 18, in the Court of Appeal for Ontario. From there, the challenge should proceed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
I urge all Canadians to support this brave citizen who has gone out of his way to preserve our rights and freedoms by opposing a law which neither protects public safety nor keeps our society safe from crime.