The repeal of the gun registry is expected to go from a Senate standing committee to third reading in the Senate within the next two weeks.
While the ineffective and expensive long gun registry will have been repealed there still remain issues with Canadian gun laws.
We still need to make the regulations more straight forward and more common sense.
Why should a gun license have a constantly expiring date that the owner has to track? Once you buy the gun it doesn't dissappear nor should the license. The current system imposed by Allan Rock means that once you obtain a Possession and Acquisition License you have to keep renewing it, paying more money each time or be deemed a criminal when the time frame expires. If your automobile license expires you don't become a criminal by merely owning the vehicle.
I remember taking Hunter Education in junior high school and applying for my Firearms Acquisition Certificate at the local police station. In the good old days there was no differentiation about whether I wanted to acquire or merely possess a firearm. A pretty lame distinction in my mind. Who wants to track all that paperwork and incur the costs of constant renewals? In 1993/94 the cost of administering Canada's gun control regime was just $15.5 million while the over two billion dollar gun registry has provided no measurable improvement in public or police safety. The old FAC system worked so why complicate it?
Furthermore, I believe in the castle defense. A man's home is his castle. If someone breaking into my house has a gun then I support the old common law rule that I can defend my house with equal force. Farmers are allowed to have firearms and ammunition readily available to protect livestock from wild predators. We should exempt home owners from prosecution for unsafe storage of firearms and ammunition if the firearm is being used to defend oneself, family, home or property from attack by an armed intruder. Laying charges against home owners for unsafe storage when they are trying to defend their domicile is the wrong way to discourage crime.
Nobody should be deprived of their property without fair compensation. Recently the RCMP reclassified some .22 caliber rifles that looked like AK-47s and issued notices of registration revocation. They were very different firearms without similar mechanical ability. Firstly, there should only be reclassification that has been expressly approved by the Minister of Public Safety. Secondly, the Minister apparently had to order the RCMP to pay compensation to the owners who received the revocation and surrendered their guns.
Imagine if your off road SUV was recently deemed to be military inspired and too aggressive a vehicle. Liberals began murmuring why do people like you want the ability to go off road anyway. Next the transportation department ruled that your SUV was to be reclassified only for government purposes. So hand over your SUV or else face charges all without compensation. It seems ridiculous but how ridiculous is confiscating small caliber .22 rifles that kids hunt gophers with.
There is more to be done before our gun laws return to the common sense ground that existed before Allan Rock started meddling with our private property rights.
Rob Anders is the Member of Parliament for Calgary West and a regular contributor to the Prince Arthur Herald.