I am a gun owner. I am an Albertan. I am a Western Canadian. I believe there is an intrinsic relationship between the three.
Gun ownership is a lifestyle choice grounded in personal responsibility.
Whether you are are hunting for game, eliminating gophers or magpies on your farm, competitively target shooting, or shooting for no other reason than that you like guns – you as a gun owner bear the sole responsibility of where your shot lands and the consequences therein.
Ideologically, this is the only mindset that makes life in Western Canada possible. You as an individual are responsible for your actions and own the consequences, good or bad, therein.
A recent development has emerged that is probably the greatest threat to private gun ownership in Canada.
Ottawa is moving, and moving hard, to ban ALL gun ownership in Canada.
Below is an e-mail I sent out to members of a target shooting league I operate that explains the situation.
Below that, is a rebuttal on a forum to an individual who described my letter as “suggesting the situation was hopeless.”
I am saddened to have to send out an e-mail like this, but in lieu of recent events, I feel compelled to do so.
The RCMP Firearms Lab has in recent days re-interpreted a long standing regulation concerning magazine capacity of the highly popular 10/22 rifle – stating that any 10/22 magazine with a higher capacity than 10 rounds is a prohibited device.
For decades, and in accordance with the law, the rationale to determine magazine capacity has been that the legal magazine capacity is determined by the caliber and firearm the magazine is “designed and manufactured” for NOT what firearm it actually can be used in.
As a result magazines for the Ruger 10/22 as a rimfire rifle, had no limit to their capacity and within the firearms community, the 15 – 110 round magazines were both hugely popular and legal.
About 8 years ago, Ruger released a pistol called the Ruger Charger, whose receiver was very similiar to the 10/22, generally accepting the same magazines as the 10/22 rifle.
As a Ruger Charger owner myself, I can testify that not all magazines actually work in the Charger pistol and it is evident that certain older 10/22 rifle magazines are not compatible with the pistol at all. 10/22 rifle magazines that DO work in the Charger pistol appear to do so out of coincidence, not by design.
Being a pistol, magazines explicitly designed and manufactured for the Charger would legally have a limit of 10 rounds.
This was the case, as Ruger later released the BX-25 magazine, a 25 round magazine designed and manufactured for BOTH the Ruger Charger pistol AND the Ruger 10/22 rifle which subsequently (and under the law, clearly) was prohibited by the RCMP.
However, magazines that pre-dated the Charger pistol were NOT explicitly “designed and manufactured” for the Charger and thus presumed by dealers, owners, and law enforcement to be legal.
In particular, this includes the Butler Creek 25 round banana magazine that we have used extensively in the past for our Youth Shooting programs.
By deciding to re-interpret the regulations differently after years without incident, the RCMP have in effect, made hundreds of thousands of responsible, law abiding gun owners across Canada into criminals by simply being in possession of a device that, in many cases, they have owned and used responsibly and peacefully for decades.
Not only so, if this decision is not overturned, there are numerous other grey areas in the regulations that the RCMP can (and likely will) “re-interpret” that could turn almost every responsible Canadian gun owner into a criminal.
In effect, the RCMP have the ability to completely prohibit all firearms in Canada.
Here are some examples to illustrate what they are capable of:
-Prohibiting LAR-15 pistol magazines, as they can be loaded to 10 rounds and be loaded into some rifles
-Prohibiting 5-round .50 Beowulf magazines, as they can carry up to 15 rounds of .223 and be loaded into some rifles
-Prohibiting .22 LR magazines such as those used by the CMMG AR-15 rifle conversion kits, since they can be loaded with more than 10 rounds and be used in AR-15 pistols
-Prohibiting 10-round .40 Smith and Wesson pistol magazines, as some can be loaded with 12-13 rounds of 9mm and be loaded into some pistols
-Prohibiting 10-round 9mm pistol magazines that can be used in 9mm rifles, such as Beretta and Glock magazines used in the Kel Tec Sub 2000, Beretta CX-4 Storm, or JR Carbine
-Prohibiting EVERY semi-automatic, tube mag fed shotguns, as they can chamber shotshells of shorter length to hold significantly more than 5 shells
-Prohibiting tube mag extensions for pump shotguns that are compatible with semi-auto shotguns, such as the Remington 1100 and Remington 870
-Prohibiting Lee Enfield A1A bolt action magazines, as they can be loaded with 10 rounds and used with semi-automatic M1A and M14 style rifles
-and the list goes on much further
Sadly, there is little we as Canadian gun owners can do to resist.
In the case of the 10/22, to be in compliance with the law, we can permanently alter the magazines to only hold 10 rounds – however the construction of many of these magazines is such that doing so would likely render them completely unusable.
We also can dispose of them, most likely without compensation, thus taking on the significant financial loss of having to dispose of what, in some cases are expensive personal property.
We can offer financial support to firearms organizations such as the NFA, CSSA, CCFR, etc. but there is little consensus or unity among these organizations, owing to irreconcilable differences in opinions, attitudes, and values of many of those organizations and the members within.
We also can write letters to our members of Parliament, expressing our outrage at the situation, however the political situation in Canada is such that the ruling majority, the Justin Trudeau Liberals have both a proven history and a clear commitment to abolish lawful private gun ownership in Canada. Moreover, they enjoy popular support among most Canadians (especially Eastern Canadians) that likely will give them the confidence to ignore our concerns as responsible gun owners.
The Federal Conservatives are practically powerless as opposition to stop it.
In my opinion, even if the Tories were in power, they would be unable to overcome the institutional influence of the RCMP or public perception of certain regions of Canada about gun ownership (especially Quebec, who to this day want a long gun registry) to change the regulations to avoid unfair and unjust situations like this from happening.
Again, I wish I could offer better news, but this is the situation we face. I feel it best to be honest about the situation and offer my opinion on the issue.
The Forum Response:
I didn’t say the situation was hopeless.
I said: “there is little we as Canadian gun owners can do to resist.”
That’s my opinion, but prove to me that it’s not an accurate one?
Moreover, I highlighted what, within the framework of being a “Canadian gun owner” we CAN do, and my honest, personal opinion of what the outcomes for those choices would be.
Again, prove to me that my assertions aren’t plausible and probable?
Ultimately, there’s 2 overarching choices we can make that any of our actions would fall under:
1. Don’t be Canadian.
2. Don’t be gun owners.
I think I’ve made it clear in the past, I identify MUCH stronger as a gun owner than I do as a Canadian.
One option that I think we should pursue, especially in Alberta, is contact our local MLA’s and prompt them to raise the issue of terminating the RCMP’s contract for services.
The RCMP are the most iconic Canadian institution in the country, even though their history throughout Canada is extremely spotty.
For all intents and purposes, they are an armed federal paramilitary force designed to goon Canadian provinces into staying in Canada under the guise of offering rural policing services.
The 2013 High River Flood and subsequent forced entry into evacuated private residences by RCMP agents specifically to confiscate privately owned firearms illustrates their agenda perfectly.
Their history is clearly established in suppressing armed dissent against Canada through any means possible (think the Red River and Riel Rebellions in Manitoba).
They were founded by British Tories for whom the memory of losing (and losing badly) to armed American farmers (not soldiers) was fresh in their mind.
They will NEVER accept an armed citizenry because they exist to preserve what Canada was always meant to be: A nation of disarmed subjects, paying taxes to the crown.
As is the provincial motto in Ontario, Ut incepit fidelis sic permant.
Loyal She Began, Loyal She Remains.
Not because she, that is, Canada, has a choice in the matter but because armed goons and cruel bureaucrats from Ottawa force loyalty from her.
The RCMP as an institution has a lot more in common with the Gestapo and SA, and if it is going to selectively enforce laws to confiscate our property, we should make every effort politically to expunge it from our communities and provinces.