On May 2nd, the CCFR made a statement regarding a variety actions we were prepared to take to oppose the Liberal Gun Ban. Part of that statement was a commitment to coordinate mass filings of Sec.74 challenges should the RCMP revoke registrations for AR15s and other previously restricted firearms. See the end of this statement for a brief explanation of these types of challenge applications.
The purpose of this mass filing is to serve as a legal and reasonable form of protest. Though the applications would almost certainly fail to preserve the restricted classification of our firearms, the desired effect would be to allow use of our firearms while the matter is settled in court. It would also serve as an almost unmanageable bureaucratic burden on the court system resulting in delays that could stretch for years. Again, this is a reasonable and legal form of protest that could have been easily avoided had the government acted in a fair and honest way.
At this point, the CCFR has decided not to pursue this course of action. There are several factors we have considered in making this decision. The way this prohibition happened; we would not be able to continue to use our affected firearms in the interim thus negating one possible benefit. The way that Sec. 74 challenges typically work is not compatible in this situation. Next, the Canadian courts, both Provincial and Federal are significantly backlogged. Our coordinated filings would clog the courts so severely that many criminal cases would not have an opportunity to be heard in a reasonable time. This would trigger a flood of Jordan applications.
Jordan law applications are related to sec 11 of the Charter and its guarantee of a trial within a reasonable time. In 2019, a story from Global News revealed that nearly 800 criminal cases were stayed and offenders walked free because of unreasonable delays due to an overloaded court system. To date, six murder cases have been among those dismissed. There were roughly 6000 cases in Canada in danger of being abandoned as of 2018. These are the figures available.
Adding another 10,000 to 40,000 applications could result in serious criminals going unpunished for their crimes. As a law and order group, the CCFR finds this risk unacceptable. Adding the reality that this action would not allow us to use our firearms in the interim nor otherwise save them is the reason we will not pursue this course of action.
Public relations and representing licensed gun owners as the everyday, honest citizens they are, is not served by clogging the courts to make a point will fail to enhance our image to mainstream Canadians. In fact, it would leave us exposed to negative press; especially since we are already seeking remedy from the courts via our Charter challenge and injunction application.
The CCFR is currently investigating another approach to this situation. We are considering launching a single application under Sec 74 to test the limits of the law. We have two legal teams providing opinions on how much evidence can be entered and whether constitutional arguments can be introduced in a proceeding of this kind.
If you want to take the government to court, you already are. If you haven’t supported the CCFR’s legal fund, consider doing that. The CCFR is the first firearm organization to directly sue the government and file a charter challenge on behalf of gun owners in Canadian history. Our decision to not coordinate a mass filing is one we have made as an organization. We continually endeavor to be a firearm rights organization you can be proud to support. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
The Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights aims to be a strong and reputable, public-facing voice for Canadian firearms owners. We are committed to maintaining our current rights and freedoms while continuing to push as a mobilizing and organizational force for positive legislative change.