Canada’s Gun Laws – A Legal Quagmire For Law-Abiding Firearms Owners

Firearm Legal Defence Insurance
Firearm Legal Defence Insurance
Canadian Shooting Sports Association
Canadian Shooting Sports Association

Canada – -(Ammoland.com)- A firearms license is the first step to lawful firearms ownership in Canada.

While your firearms license is your defence against a charge of illegal possession of a firearm, it does NOT protect you from a myriad of other charges under Canada’s confusing and contradictory Firearms Act regulations.

Worse, it doesn’t matter how diligent you are at obeying these regulations. Most law enforcement officers do not comprehend the many intricacies of the Firearms Act. It is far too complicated, so police tend to lay charges and let the courts sort it out.

The unfortunate reality is that police can and will charge you with Firearms Act offenses should they have reason to cross your path and, innocent or not, you will face the threat of incarceration along with a crushing legal bill.

Too many firearms owners have faced criminal charges for breaches of the law they didn’t even know they were in violation of – effectively bankrupting their families.

Firearm Legal Defence (http://www.firearmlegaldefence.com/) was founded for this very reason.

Take the case of Erin Lee MacDonald, who just lost his appeal at Canada’s Supreme Court (R. v. MacDonald).

Originally from Nova Scotia, Erin MacDonald returned home to his Nova Scotia condo in 2009 after working in Alberta’s oil patch. He took his restricted firearm with him. Erin MacDonald’s mistake was not understanding that Canada’s firearms laws are national in scope, but their application is very much regional.

Authorizations to Transport (ATT) rules are regional, generally restricted to a single province. Erin MacDonald’s Alberta Authorization to Transport his restricted firearm was only valid for Alberta – not for cross-country travel. By taking his restricted firearm from Alberta to Nova Scotia, he unknowingly violated the transportation regulations.

When police responded to a noise complaint at his condo, MacDonald was arrested and charged with multiple violations, eventually being convicted of careless use of a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon. The charge of unlawful possession of a restricted firearm was overturned by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal since MacDonald didn’t understand he was breaking the law by taking his restricted firearm out of Alberta.

Crown prosecutors appealed the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal acquittal to the Supreme Court of Canada, where the nation’s highest court disagreed with the Court of Appeal ruling and reinstated the conviction, upholding the age-old maxim: “Ignorance of the law is no defence.”

While the maxim makes some moral sense, the reality is that not a single person can possibly know every page of the Firearms Act and its companion Criminal Code regulations, let alone comprehend every twist and turn contained within them.

Running afoul of these laws and regulations, however, can financially ruin you.

We buy fire insurance, not because we expect our homes to burn down, but because we can’t be assured they will not. We want protection from disaster in case the unlikely happens – so we buy fire insurance.

Firearm Legal Defence is insurance for firearms owners.

It makes sense – not because we firearms owners expect to break the law – but because we cannot predict how police and prosecutors may view our actions. We could face criminal charges for the most mundane of reasons, including police not knowing the law. It makes no difference if you obeyed the law, and the charges against you are bogus.

You still must defend yourself in court.

Legal fees – even for the most basic charge of “unsafe storage of firearms” – can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Add a charge of “illegal possession of a restricted weapon,” like Erin MacDonald faced, and those court costs and appeals all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada could bankrupt you.

Firearm Legal Defence – It’s the smart choice in an increasingly uncertain world. At $95/year ($10 less for CSSA members using Promo Code CSSA001), it’s a bargain.

**Please note: This program is not run by the CSSA, nor do we profit by it. We simply offer this service and its benefits to our members.*

About:
The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada’s firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities. Website www.cdnshootingsports.org

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Steve Hickmore

Too bad there’s no cure for STUPIDITY. If E.L. MacDonald had his music cranked, and answered the door with a handgun concealed behind his back, he is lucky that the police didn’t shoot him. Obviously this type of mentality should not be allowed to own a restricted firearm at all. I am all for cutting some of the red tape to allow responsible citizens to own firearms if they so choose, but because of idiots like MacDonald, laws have to be in place to protect the public, and the police.

Chris

What a poorly researched article! Erin Lee MacDonald was not convicted because he transported his pistol from Alberta to Ontario; he was convicted because when the police came to investigate a noise complaint, he answered the door while “holding a loaded 9-mm Beretta handgun”! A 30 second google search for Mr MacDonald’s name found this tidbit of factual information. Perhaps Ammoland might do the same before printing biased garbage?

Erin MacDonald

What a poorly researched article! Erin Lee MacDonald was not convicted because he transported his pistol from Alberta to Ontario; he was convicted because when the police came to investigate a noise complaint, he answered the door while “holding a loaded 9-mm Beretta handgun”! A 30 second google search for Mr MacDonald’s name found this tidbit of factual information. Perhaps Ammoland might do the same before printing biased garbage? Chris, You may just want to practice what you are preaching to others. All the court documents can be found “1000+ pages” and read what really happen. The weapon was behind… Read more »

BOB

Canadian gun laws are so complicated that their is absolutely no common sense to any of these laws.When the police can charge innocent people because they don”t know the laws they think their enforcing. Most Canadians have no idea that we are living in a POLICE STATE. I DON”T TRUST THE GOVERNMENT OR THE RCMP. THE RCMP HAVE THEIR OWN AGENDA AND ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE TO ANYONE BUT THEM SELVES. Legal gun owners in this country walk a very fine thin line. One small step in the wrong direction can ruin you for life financially. To bad as Canadians we… Read more »

Phyllis Duval

I had no idea that Canada was such a communistic country….Our country .(u.s) is headed that way but hopefully there are enough of us to keep it from happening… Poor Canadians have no way to defend themselves… Seems to me a bunch of communists got in control and literally took control of Canada.. i am so sorry.. I think there should be an uprising like there is going to be here soon…..

FH

The proposed laws in Maryland bear a striking resemblance to Canadian laws, including serious criminal penalties attached to regulatory paperwork. American friends, don’t compromise with nanny-state ‘progressives’ or you will end up in the same situation as us!

Lawrence Dolha

Ignorence of the law might is no excuse! What happened to Mensrey (not sure of the spelling) basically, you have to intentionally formed “the intent” . If you broke the law unintentionall?

Major Tom

Canada……the ‘not so benevolent’ police state……How did it ever become so?

TEX

Them Canucks need to clean house in the parliment and get people elected that have some common sense ! I think the judges there still wear powdered wigs and say ..,’long live the queen’ before the court comes to order ! What does that tell ya ?