Three years ago, Alberta was devastated by severe flooding that destroyed entire neighbourhoods with the worst damage occuring in High River. As 13,000 residents fled leaving their belongings behind, the RCMP raided homes and confiscated legally owned guns.
Hundreds of licensed guns, stored legally under the terms of the Firearms Act were seized in an act that exceeded the authority of the RCMP, going far beyond ensuring the town was evacuated.
They seized property of innocent civilians and caused unnecessary damage to homes entering them specifically to take guns without warrants and without reporting to a Justice of the Peace as required by law.
It wasn’t the first, nor the last time citizens were punished for owning legal guns, for protecting themselves and their property, or even just challenging gun laws peacefully.
I’ve talked about Bruce and Donna Montague. Then there’s Ian Thomson, a former gun instructor who fired three shots with a .38 caliber revolver to scare masked men from his home as they threw firebombs and yelled death threats. He faced four charges of careless use of a firearm, pointing a firearm and two counts of improper storage and though acquitted, was embroiled in a court battle for two years simply for defending himself.
Reclassification can also result in ridiculous consequences especially considering that the reasons for it are usually political or because a gun looks “scary”. When the government decided to reclassify two weak .22 calibre rifles to prohibited, it meant that owners of those guns could face up to ten years in jail for being in possession of them.
In Canada, legal responsible gun owners granted their firearms licenses from the RCMP are treated like second class citizens. When government decides to change the rules, or valid self defence measures are taken, or when peaceful protest of the law occurs, they’re more likely than not to be treated as criminals.
Under this Liberal government, promises have been made to change and enforce new gun rules. Some of those changes include background checks, keeping records of firearms purchases and showing a valid permit when purchasing a gun.
Unfortunately, government doesn’t consider that criminals are rarely legal gun owners and will get their hands on a gun regardless.
You don’t have to show a license to an illegal gun dealer.
Canada takes the wrong approach by keeping an eye on legal gun owners when what policy makers should be doing, is focussing on real criminals.