At present, the government would LOVE to be able to convert the Mini-14 to "prohibited weapon" status -- but it cannot do it.
Criminal Code section [CC s.] 84(1) defines "prohibited firearm" as "...(e) a weapon of any kind, NOT being an antique firearm OR a firearm of a kind COMMONLY USED IN CANADA FOR HUNTING OR SPORTING PURPOSES... [emphasis added - -- DAT]"
That language blocks the outlawing of the Mini-14 because it IS "of a kind commonly used in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes."
Under Bill C-68, that language is CHANGED. C-68's CC s. 117.15(1) authorizes the Minister of Justice (thinly disguised as the Governor in Council) to "make regulations prescribing anything that by this Part is to be prescribed." There is NO provision for Parliamentary scrutiny or examination of anything that he or she chooses to do when exercising this power.
The limitation on that power is also changed. It becomes, at C-68's CC s. 117.15, "...the Governor in Council may NOT prescribe any thing to be a prohibited firearm [or] prohibited device...if, IN THE OPINION OF THE GOVERNOR IN COUNCIL, the thing to be prescribed is REASONABLE FOR USE in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes."
The effect of that change is to permit the GIC (actually, it is not the GIC - -- that is only a thin disguise for the Minister of Justice, acting ALONE) to outlaw ANY firearm, firearms accessory (such as a loading press) or nearly anything else, by saying that it is not "reasonable for use in Canada" -- in his opinion.
The next effect of that language is to block the courts from overturning his opinion. A court CANNOT substitute its own opinion for the opinion SPECIFIED IN THE LAW.
That new language -- when and if C-68 comes into force -- gives the Minister of the day the power to outlaw any or ALL firearms, firearms accessories, etc., in Canada, with no possibility that a court of law could stop him.
What is going to happen to the Mini-14? You can now answer your own question.
The new legislation gives the Minister the uncontrolled power to confiscate every handgun -- like Britain. It gives him the power to confiscate every pump-action shotgun, pump-action rifle, semi-auto shotgun, and semi-auto rifle in Canada -- like Australia. And OUR government -- unlike the British and Australian governments -- REFUSES TO PAY COMPENSATION TO THE OWNER when it confiscates firearms by changing the law.
Now that those "most dangerous" firearms have been outlawed in Britain and Australia, the NEXT firearm on the list has become the "most dangerous" firearm -- and will be outlawed in its turn. It can't happen here? Think again.
If "It can't happen here," why did the Liberals pass a new law specifically DESIGNED to give the Minister the POWER to do it, and to do it in a way that no court can block?
Dave Tomlinson, National President, NFA
FOCUS: Since when has it been wise to give that much uncontrolled authority to a single Minister -- without any control by Parliament -- and deliberately PREVENT the courts from blocking him?