How would you like to live in a place where un-elected officials can make regulations on a whim? Well, like it or not, you already do.
There are people appointed under federal regulations to administer federal law in provincial jurisdictions. These people are called Chief Firearm Officers (CFO). The CFO’s position was created through the introduction of the Firearms Act. It is the CFO’s job to oversee the implementation of the rules and regulations of the Firearms Act in his or her province of jurisdiction.
The vague wording in the Firearms Act empowers CFO’s with the ability to create regulations based on their own personal opinion. Section 58 of the Firearms Act states;
- (1) A chief firearms officer who issues a licence, an authorization to carry or an authorization to transport may attach any reasonable condition to it that the chief firearms officer considers desirable in the particular circumstances and in the interests of the safety of the holder or any other person.
The part that concerns me the most in this section are ‘may attach any reasonable condition to it that the chief firearms officer considers desirable’.
This gives too much power to the CFO’s, based on only their personal opinion. If the officer is against the civilian ownership of firearms, what do you think that officer would ‘consider desirable’?
What is the legal definition of ‘reasonable’? What can be considered ‘reasonable’ to one person is considered a personal attack on our Rights and Freedoms by another.
Example: a regulation implemented by Alberta’s CFO is that every handgun owner must prove they have a membership to a range or gun club. You will NOT be able to renew your restricted firearms license unless you do so.
It is important to note that nowhere in the Firearms Act does it state that a range membership is a prerequisite for ownership of a restricted gun.
This is a rule that was implemented by the CFO using the authority of Section 58 and has the full force of law. If you do not follow this rule, the CFO will force you to “dispose of your firearms”. For proof of this, read the actual letter from the CFO at the end of this article.
Can you imagine the uproar if all vehicle owners were told that they have to ‘prove’ they use their vehicle, or risk the loss of both their drivers licence and their vehicle?
Other examples of vague definitions used by the Firearms Act, used well by the CFO’s, are ‘reasonable time’ ,’reasonable grounds’ or, as Section 68 states:
- A chief firearms officer shall refuse to issue a licence if the applicant is not eligible to hold one and may refuse to issue an authorization to carry or authorization to transport for any good and sufficient reason.
There is NO definition in the Firearms Act or the Criminal Code of Canada for ‘good and sufficient reason’. Again, we fall back to someone’s personal “opinion” about what that phrase means.
Currently, the term ‘for good and sufficient reason’ lets the CFO enforce (BY LAW) his or her own personal beliefs or agenda. Remember that CFO’s need not explain their opinion or reasons to anyone.
What happens when bureaucrats are given unfettered power? They are happy as a pig in the mud.
What happens when you try to take that same power away? They will tell you ‘no’ and look for any way of keeping that power.
The CFO’s tried that when Bill C-19 (Ending the Long Gun Registry Act) came into force. The CFO’s wanted to keep the power of knowing who owned what gun, even though their boss, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, ordered them to cease and desist collecting records.
The CFO’s tried using a “back door” method of collecting records by forcing gun dealers to continue to use the old paper ledger book to continue the registry. It took a sternly worded letter from Minister Toews to RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson to put an end to the CFO’s mutiny.
I used the word ‘mutiny’ because that is what it is when you try to hijack the ship when you do not get your way. If you or I tried to disobey a direct order (safety concerns aside) and implement our own agenda, in our job, our butts would be turfed out the nearest exit. These CFOs never received any kind of a disciplinary reprimand for their mutiny, either.
When you fill out you PAL application, you are asked for references. Ever wonder what questions are asked of these people? This is a real eye opener as to what the bureaucrats and RCMP really think of gun owners and potential owners. These are very leading questions that presume the applicant should not have firearms, or already has criminal motivation for obtaining them.
- Were you pressured in any way to act as a reference?
- Tell me about any situations where [name removed] has displayed violent behaviour in the past .
- Tell me about any circumstance where [name removed] acted in a way that caused you to feel she would become violent.
- Tell me about any circumstance or any situation where [name removed] would approve of violence to resolve a problem.
- Tell me about any circumstance where [name removed] has ever made statements showing a fascination with violence, such as school, workplace or any other types of violence.
- Is there anything else you would like to add about [name removed] that I haven’t asked?
- You have no issues or concerns about [name removed] having firearms?
The CFO’s have far too much discretionary power.
Read the law, learn what it means and know what rights you have so they cannot be taken from you.
Remember, your most important right is to remain silent. I’m just saying…
Co-founder – Concerned Gun Owners of Alberta
Listen to this article: https://soundcloud.com/cgoa-1/discretionary-powers