GUN CONTROL: NO RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS IN CANADA WHATSOEVER!
In few of the future demise of the gun registry and the growing lobbying power of the gun owners and firearms industry I decided to write this blog making it clear there is no right to bear arms in Canada, whatsoever.
So many Canadians are under the mistaken belief that American rights and freedoms exist in Canada. That the Canadian government is bound by American customs, conventions, rights and freedoms, that exists under the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. This is understandable considering the overwhelming American cultural influence via media, tv, Hollywood, news media, politics in the everyday lives of Canadians.
But nothing good be further from the truth. Canada has a very distinct political and legally system under the Crown. Our fundamental law, the Constitution is very different from America and vastly more complicated. The Canadian Charter or Rights and Freedoms is fundamentally different from the American Bill of Rights. Most Canadians never realize this until they run smack up against the full power of the Canadian Crown state when they are charged with a serious offence under the national and unified federal Canadian Criminal Code. Thats when people realize how un-American our police, crown attorneys, and criminal justice system really are.
One of the most obvious examples is the use of weapons and fire-arms. The American Right to Bear Arms protected in the second amendment of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights. Via myth, socialization, propaganda, lobbying, advocacy, and perception this right has crept into gun owners, hunters, advocacy groups and even the general Canadian news media. Yet simply put the Right to Bear Arms does not exist in Canada in any way shape or form. Not in the constitution, Not in the Charter of Rights, Not in any Bill of Rights, Not in any law, Not in any court decision.
There are many gun advocates who do believe it exists in Canada, to the point they are surprised it doesn’t and then angry that it doesn’t, and demand that it does. Not only is there no right to bear arms there is no right to even actually own a weapon or firearm.
The issue of right to bear arms has recently come before the courts, both the Supreme Court of Canada, and the Ontario Court of Appeal. A firearms dealer and manufacturer Bruce Montague was found to be in possession of 200 unregistered firearms and over 20,000 rounds of ammunition, he was charged under s.53 C.C.C. At trial and appeal Montague argued he had a right to bear arms protected under the Canadian constitution. Montague argued that the preamble of the Constitution Act 1867 brought forth s.7 of the UK Bill of Rights 1689 and s.26 Charter of Rights preserved these historical rights. Further that s.7 Charter of Rights included a right of self defence. Montague claimed that these rights preserved a right to bear arms in Canada.
Both the trial court and Ontario Court of Appeal in 2010 completely rejected these arguments. both the trial court and Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that there is no right to bear arms in Canada. Montague appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. But the Supreme Court refused to hear Montague’s appeal, so settled is constitutional law that there is No right to bear arms in Canada.
The Supreme Court of Canada has specifically stated that there is no right to bear arms in Canada in R. v Hasselwander 1993 simply stating in passing, “The American authorities should not be considered in this case. Canadians, unlike Americans do not have a constitutional right to bear arms. Indeed, most Canadians prefer the peace of mind and sense of security derived from the knowledge that the possession of automatic weapons is prohibited.” To the Supreme Court it was obvious.”
The matter that there is no right to bear arms in Canada whatsoever should be settled law and principle. However, a warning should be made. With the growing Americanization of the legal profession and Canadian society the gun lobby will probably, with american legal and financial, support look for more opportunities to infuse the right to bear arms into Canadian legal and constitutional thought. The importation of this myth into the minds of Canadians could have serious legal and political consequences.
Grateful to article and work of the Centre for Constitutional Studies at the University of Alberta. Please see… http://www.law.ualberta.ca/centres/ccs/news/?id=358 for a deeper analysis and case citations.