January 19, 1996 For Immediate Release
NOW THE GUN BILL IS LAW, EVERYONE'S RIGHTS ARE THREATENED
"Even if you don't own a gun, you could still be 'inspected'. Is this happening in Canada?"
Yorkton - Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville reassured gun owners that not everyone in Ottawa is as confused as the Department of Justice when it comes to the implementation and effects of the recent gun bill. "While various sections of Bill C-68 came into effect on January 1, 1996, the registration and licensing provisions will not take full effect for seven years. In fact, firearm owners will have until 2001 to obtain a Firearms Licence and until 2003 to register all their firearms," informed Breitkreuz. "Unfortunately, criminals will laugh at the police wasting their time registering everyone's gun but theirs. I don't want to tell law-abiding gun owners what they should do but I can tell everyone that I have decided not to do anything until after the next election. Because, if Canadians elect a Reform government Bill C-68 will be repealed."
Even though Breitkreuz is telling responsible firearm owners they have time before they are forced to register their guns, he issued a warning that the Liberal government has given itself and the police a number of powers that any totalitarian regime would be proud of. These new and unnecessary powers include:
(1) Unilateral powers to ban any firearm: Bill C-68 gives the Minister of Justice the power to prohibit any firearm which, in his opinion, is not reasonable for hunting and sporting purposes. This power is absolute and not subject to parliamentary or judicial review. Question - What protection do hunters and sport shooters have?
(2) Autocratic Regulating Powers: Bill C-68 allows the Minister of Justice to make firearm regulations without Parliamentary review if the regulation, in his opinion, is "immaterial", "insubstantial" or "urgent". Question: What mechanisms are there to hold the Minister of Justice accountable?
(3) Inspection Powers for Businesses: Bill C-68 permits an inspector to enter a business or any place other than a dwelling-house without a warrant, including any part of a dwelling-house used for business purposes, at any reasonable time if they believe that there are more than 10 firearms present. Evidence that a crime has been committed is not required. The bill also requires that every person found in a place of inspection must provide the inspector with all reasonable assistance or be subject to a criminal charge. Question: What happened to your right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself?
(4) Inspection Powers for Homes: Bill C-68 says that if you fail to consent to an inspection of your home that a warrant can be obtained even though no evidence exists to believe a crime has been committed or is about to be committed, or that you even own a gun. Question: What protection do law-abiding citizens have from unlawful search and seizure?
"While the registration and licensing provisions will not take full effect for years, Allan Rock could use his new powers whenever he has the urge, and his 'inspectors' (anyone who Rock or the provincial ministers designate) could start 'inspecting' any time they want. Conceivably, they could even use 'inspections' to enforce all existing gun laws, including safe storage laws, passed by the Conservatives in Bill C-17," advised Breitkreuz. The rights of all Canadians are under attack, so 'Be careful out there'."
For more information please call:
Yorkton: (306) 782-3309
Ottawa: (613) 992-4394