First of all, let me introduce myself. I hail from Alberta, Canada (Think Texas with -40 and snow) and work in the oil patch. I am right leaning to the point of being libertarian. Of utmost importance to me are personal rights and freedoms. Sadly, those freedoms have been constantly under attack in the name of being socially progressive.
Here in Canada our firearms laws are strict, if not bordering on draconian. Currently we have a licensing system and a registry of arms that they consider to be “restricted” in nature. Firearms fall into three different categories. Non-Restricted, Restricted and Prohibited. I won’t bore you with the details of what falls into every category, but let me assure you in many cases they make no sense what so ever. Like many government laws they were created to be as convoluted as possible.
These laws did not come in all at once, it has been a death buy a thousand cuts, slowly whittled away over time. The Laws started happening in 1892, That year it became required to possess a permit to carry a sidearm and required Vendors to keep a record of who purchased the firearm and what the firearm was. In 1913 it became law that if you were caught carrying a sidearm outside the home you could face 3 months in prison, this year was also when the Police were given powers for search or seizure specifically for firearms. In 1919 it became law for everyone to possess a permit to possess firearms, this law was stuck in 1921 and the requirement became that only Aliens required permit. In 1933 the requirements to obtain a handgun permit were tightened.
You now needed to provide reasons as to why you wanted to possess a handgun. 1934 brought about some big changes, the biggest were the creation of a handgun registry and the sentence for possessing a handgun outside the home was raised from 3 months to 5 months to 3 years. A criminal offense while possessing a firearm was only a 2-year sentence. At this point in our history we are now punishing non-criminal offences with higher sentences then the criminals. This now leads into a relatively quiet time in firearms laws, while there were minor changes and some back and forth, no big things happened until 1968. In 1968 the government brought in sweeping reforms to how firearms were regulated. Classes of firearms were introduced such as Restricted and Prohibited.
This gave the government the ability to tell people what there were and were not allowed to possess and gave them the ability to change the classification within the government themselves without the need to pass a new law. At this time a licensing system was introduced for both individuals and businesses. The carrying of firearms for possession of property was now prohibited as well. Fully Automatic firearms were now prohibited. Provinces were given the option to make citizens take a safety course before giving them a FAC (Firearms acquisition certificate as the new license was called). In 1994 there were further requirements added to the FAC program including a 28-day waiting period and mandatory safety training. This brings us to 1995… the year the liberals created hundreds of thousands of criminals out of regular citizens. Major reforms were passed in a bill, there was some resistance at the time, but this was before social media and the word was slow to get out. The liberals passed this Bill through both houses quickly. A new licensing system was introduced that had multiple levels. A registry was to be created for ALL firearms. Any pistol that had a 4 inch or under barrel was now prohibited as well as any pistol that fired the 32acp round.
Rifles that were previously used for hunting and other sporting uses were prohibited or restricted. The AK 47, the FN-FAL and the M14 (in original convertible form) were all prohibited overnight, the owners given the option to be issued a license to keep them (prohibited license) or to turn them in. Those that chose to keep them found themselves to be in possession of safe queens as there was no where they were permitted to shoot them. The owners of the pistols now prohibited were allowed to keep theirs as well, they on the other hand were allowed to take them to approved ranges to fire them. All pistols were now only allowed to be used at a range and transport was only allowed between your house and the range. With the prohibited class of firearms, they now had a way to confiscate them without a expensive buy back program. Confiscation through attrition. The owners would die and the family would have to turn them in. Unless they could find another prohibited license holder to purchase them. Family members could not inherit them. In time they would all be turned in. 2012 and 2015 saw small victories for Firearms owners, the conservative government eliminated the long gun registry. Rifles and shotguns no longer needed to be registered. Other small changes that made things slightly easier happened. Firearms owners felt like it was not nearly enough, and they were right. The Conservative government could have done a lot more. But they made the decision to pander to votes in the major city centers, the places that really decide the elections in Canada.
What you have now seen is the death by a thousand cuts. They almost all have one thing in common, the illusion that there was a compromise. The anti-firearms government of the times would demand so much be taken, the firearms owners and groups would push back. The government would then say they would “compromise” and only do this. The problem is, one side was always getting some of what they wanted and the other was losing. This wasn’t compromise, it was a negotiation to take things with as little push back as possible. Slowly Canadians have woken up to this, with social media and the internet people are more aware then ever of the challenges that face us. Even now, the Liberal government in Canada is trying to make the already restricted AR15 prohibited, except now they want to have a buy back program. There is rumor that this prohibition could include all semi-automatic firearms that are magazine fed.
Its not unusual to hear a Canadian gun owner say the words Molan Labe, or that they will have a hard time taking it when its hot and empty. Cold Dead Hands now comes up often. More then that, they have realized we can no longer “compromise”. We have to stand and fight. NO COMPROMISE has become the battle call of many.
I share this with you, my American brothers and sisters as a warning, the slippery slope that “Compromise” creates. You keep giving up little by little and they always take. Don’t fall into this trap as we have.
NO COMPROMISE needs to be your battle cry as well. Don’t back down, stand up for your 2A rights, many of us north of the 49th wish we had it.