Property rights at risk with court dismissal of landmark firearms ban challenge: critics
Property rights at risk with court dismissal of landmark firearms ban challenge: critics

A Federal Court justice dismissed all claims made by the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights (CCFR) and other applicants in their landmark case against the Canadian government’s gun control policy.

Justice Catherine Kane’s ruling also extends to the general property rights of Canadians, say critics.

The Federal Court ruled in favour of the May 2020 Order-in-Council that prohibited over 1,500 models of what the government termed as “assault-style firearms.” The CCFR, along with five other applicants, had challenged this ban for over three years, asserting that the government did not possess the regulatory authority to enact such prohibitions.

In one of their YouTube videos, the CCFR explained the broad implications of this court proceeding. 

“The government can decide without any real justification that something you own should be illegal and will be confiscated,” said the CCFR. 

Not only firearms but any legally owned asset—from land and bank accounts to cars—could be at risk. The rationale for such confiscation might be cloaked under various guises: a climate emergency, a pandemic, public safety concerns, or economic reasons, the video highlighted.

They stressed that this legal battle was to defend against the massive confiscation of property from hundreds of thousands of Canadians who were licensed to own these firearms.

“Today, it’s about legally purchased firearms, but tomorrow it might be about something you own or a right you value,” they said in the video.

Rod Giltaca, the CEO and Executive Director at the CCFR, had been at the forefront of the legal battle and was named numerous times in the decision. 

“Every [Canadian] should be alarmed with this ruling. The [government] can take whatever it wants, whenever it wants, and the courts seem to agree,” he Tweeted shortly after the decision.

Justice Kane’s assertion that the government does not owe procedural fairness to Canadians in such matters is alarming. It sets a potentially dangerous precedent where the government might circumvent due procedures to enforce their will, suggested Giltaca. 

“The Governor in Council does not owe a duty of procedural fairness to individual firearm owners who may be affected by the Governor in Council’s exercise of its authority to prescribe firearms as prohibited,” reads line 467 of the decision.

Tracey Wilson, Vice President of Public Relations, said that she is shocked and disappointed by the decision out of the Federal court today and what it means for gun owners and all Canadians.

“It is a clear indication that we do not have property rights in Canada, and everything we own is at the whim of the current government. This should be alarming to everyone,” she told True North in an exclusive interview.

“We can interpret this to mean that the government has the ability to ban anything they want, at any time, should they deem it unreasonable to own, despite a long history of safe ownership,” added Wilson. 

Giltaca and Wilson echoed a similar sentiment. 

“We promised we would fight this unjust and irresponsible action by this LiberalNDP government, and we will continue to do just that until every avenue and opportunity is exhausted,” said the CCFR in a media release.

It may be left to the court of public opinion in the next election, according to Wilson. 

“Canadians will have a choice to make: a government that will spend billions of their tax dollars attacking licensed, vetted RCMP-approved firearms owners, or a government that will craft and employ serious policy to reduce crime, violence, and gun smuggling. Either they want more division and debt, or they want a safer country,” she said. 

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