My Letter (feel free to use yourself)
The Honourable Ralph Goodale
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario
Date: 18 January 2016
Subject: RCMP Reclassification of firearms
Dear Honourable Member Ralph Goodale
I would like to bring to your attention some of my concerns as it applies to how your ministry might interpret and act upon the Ministerial Mandate letter served to you by the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
The Prime Minister has tasked your ministry with taking action to “Get handguns and assault weapons off the streets by working with the Minister of Justice to strengthen controls on hand-guns and assault weapons, including by repealing some elements of Bill C-42”.
As it applies to ‘getting them off the streets’ I hope that the Prime Minister is referring to the criminal element of our society and not law abiding gun owners. The CBC recently reported on a letter provided to you by the RCMP which identifies 11 semi-automatic rifle platforms, and one handgun platform, identifying concern that they could conceivably be re-manufactured to fire fully automatic. It concerns me greatly that the RCMP is recommending re-classification of firearms based on what the criminal element ‘might do’ rather than use for law abiding Canadians.
As you are probably aware almost anything can be re-manufactured into something else providing they have the intention, the tools and the knowledge to do it. Any rifle or handgun, by itself, is just a semi-automatic firearm and which has passed the thresholds of the RCMP firearms lab to be non-restricted or restricted based on current criteria. While the criteria is not perfect or entirely reasonable (ie basing a classification on the way a rifle looks) it has been better than nothing.
If the RCMP is going to include new classification criteria to identify whether a firearm can be re-manufactured to a fully automatic fire capable state then the ultimate result would be to make all semi-auto firearms prohibited. It has been proven throughout history that with the right knowledge and resources any repeating firearm can be re-manufactured to be fully automatic; including bolt action rifles.
We cannot allow firearm classification criteria to be nebulous or base it on a future remanufactured and illegal condition. Each rifle must be assessed and evaluated on its current state and not on an imaginary future state. The criteria used by the RCMP on these eleven rifles and one handgun is based on perpetrating an illegal act. Altering a rifle or handgun to full automatic fire contravenes section 102 of the Criminal Code and may result in a jail term of up to ten years.
To pursue classification criteria like this is similar to making a Toyota Prius Hybrid prohibited because someone may install a small block chevy V8 into it.
In the Prime Minister’s mandate letter he asked you to make sure that “Canadians trust their government and that the government trusts Canadians”. It is important that we acknowledge mistakes before we make them by thoroughly thinking through a cost / benefit analysis to our country. Before you consider re-defining the firearm classification criteria know that you will be working contrary to this mandate. You will in effect be stating “The Liberal Party of Canada does not trust Canadians”.
After altering the re-classification criteria you will enjoy a cost-benefit relationship resulting in huge economic loss to the firearms industry, lawful gun owners and provide ZERO benefit to violent crime reduction in Canada. The morale and freedoms of law abiding Canadians will be adversely and materially damaged by what is being proposed.
Canadians do not expect you to be perfect but we expect you to be reasonable, fair, honest, sincere and to serve the public interest. Re-classifying these firearms does not meet the public interest test. There is no historical precedent of non-restricted semi-auto rifles being made full auto and used in a violent crime. There is no known, verifiable, measurable or identifiable threat to public safety coming from this.
You need to trust lawful Canadians or history will repeat itself and we will see the beginning of the Liberal power decline.
I own one of the rifle platforms listed and it is the rifle I use to feed my family during hunting season. Please do not hurt our family by making my property illegal to own and use for sustenance gathering. This is especially true for my First Nation friends as well.
I don’t subscribe to any political party. I am fiscally conservative but socially liberal and in many ways have been on the fence when it comes to elections. I can tell you with great confidence that reclassifying non-restricted or restricted rifle & handgun platforms will result is a very large re-consolidation of the right and the Liberals will not win the next election; a self-fulfilling prophesy.
I am asking the Liberal Party to tread carefully and with clarity on this issue because I want to see a continued Liberal presence in the House of Commons. Liberals are an important part of the balance to keep Conservatives and New Democrats in check but I grow very weary of the radical LEFT to RIGHT swing of the pendulum after each election.
Can we please cease the radical left policies, try to pursue middle ground and leave extremist decisions out of our legislature? Justin Trudeau promised bringing Canadians together – not divisive actions. This proposed action sir is very divisive.
Please do not reclassify these long-arms and handguns. Do not pursue reclassification and confiscation.
Yours in Freedom