And the noose tightens

Dave Killion — January 13, 2012

Victoria Libertarian Book Club member Jason T posts the following –

It seems that if they can’t get away with it directly and publicly, they will just change the rules right out from under you. The National Post recently reported that the RCMP is using its power to arbitrarily and without oversight reclassify different firearms into one of three categories: non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited. This wouldn’t be an issue if this were simply fixing some obvious oversight. The rifles in question are:

“the Armi Jager AP-80 and the Walther G22, are both unremarkable .22-calibre long guns. While any firearm is potentially dangerous, .22-calibre firearms are among the weakest around – indeed, they’re typically used to train rookie shooters basic firearm safety and operation.”

They have been changed from the non-restricted category to the prohibited. And since “(no) further licences are issued for the (prohibited) category,“ they have been effectively banned. The most insulting part of this is the seeming lack of concern about even having to justify these decisions:

“With the G22 rifle, the RCMP has at least a flimsy excuse for the reclassification: Because the rifle can be shortened by removing the back end, it’s too easily concealable to be a “non-restricted” rifle (although the blame still lies with the government for making the mistake in the first place). The decision to ban the AP-80, however, has no logic behind it at all.”

The article goes on to state that the AP-80 kind of looks like an AK-47…And that is their reason. I’ve seen kid’s toys that look like AK-47s too, should this logic also apply to those items?

The hardest part of all of this to swallow is the the way in which it treats gun owners:

“Any citizen who already owns an AP-80 or G22, and does not already possess a rare prohibited-class licence, has been ordered to turn in their rifles within 30 days. Failure to do so will mean they are unlawfully in possession of a prohibited firearm, and subject to as much as 10 years behind bars. It doesn’t matter if they purchased it legally and have stored it safely ever since. The RCMP has declared that it was a mistake to allow citizens to purchase these firearms, and wants them turned in, pronto…No apology for the error. No mention of monetary compensation. Just an order to hand them over or become a criminal. When a private citizen tries to do what the RCMP is doing, it’s called theft.”

This just strikes me as so brutally unnecessary that the slightly paranoid part of myself wants to suspect that this is actually just the RCMP testing the waters. They want to see how people will react to arbitrarily taking away what are probably not people’s primary or favourite firearms before moving on to other weapons that they think “was a mistake to allow citizens to purchase”. It’s a shame Canadians don’t have anything like the USA’s Second Amendment and instead must rely on the graciousness of our sheep-dogs for access to tools of survival and protection.

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