Ontario Landowners Association Press Release
On May 1, 2020, the Federal Government passed Regulation SOR/2020-96, formally known as Regulations Amending the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted. The Regulation bans approximately 1,500 types of firearms that were previously classified as restricted or non-restricted. Contrary to the government’s deliberately confusing and misleading rhetoric, none of these firearms constitute “military-style” or “assault-style” weapons. In fact, the vast majority of them enjoyed widespread lawful use as sporting and hunting guns before they were banned. Instead of enacting legislation and subjecting the new law to committee review and parliamentary debate, the government used an Order-in-Council to pass the ban behind closed doors and avoid public scrutiny.
The Regulation was created without consultation with the multitude of individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations (such as gun clubs and sporting leagues) that are affected by the new law. It was created at a time when Canadians are preoccupied with the health and economic consequences of COVID-19.
The government’s Order-in-Council is undemocratic and appears to have been passed in bad faith. It scapegoats law-adding, licensed sportsmen and hunters, whose private property will now be confiscated by the government. Fortunately, there is a way to fight this injustice in court. Pursuant to s. 117.15(2) of the Criminal Code of Code, an Order-in Council may only be used to ban firearms that are not “reasonable for use in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes”. Since nearly all of the guns banned on May 1, 2020 have long been used for hunting and sporting purposes, the Order-in-Council is inconsistent with the provisions of the Criminal Code and therefore invalid.
The implications of the May 1, 2020 Order in Counsel extend far beyond the narrow issue of gun ownership. The government’s actions amount to an arbitrary and undemocratic attack on private property rights in general. In keeping with its mission to defend property rights and promote democracy and natural justice, the Ontario Landowners Association is seeking to raise funds to support the legal challenge that will soon be brought in Federal Court by Arkadi Bouchelev, Barrister and Solicitor, on behalf of several individuals who are seeking to overturn the Regulation. This will undoubtedly be a hard-fought legal battle and we need your support