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CFO WATCH

Lorne Gunter, Edmonton Sun, March 31st, 2013

Time to shoot down provincial gun cops’ ability to harass law-aibiding owners

“The CFOs, as the top provincial gun cops are known, now appear to be using the remnants of C-68 — licensing, storage, gun-show permits, etc. — to harass legitimate gun owners in a manner similar to what the registry provided. It is not too hard to imagine the CFOs hope they can make complying with their edicts and regulations complicated and aggravating enough that existing sport shooters, collectors and hunters will be encouraged to give up their hobbies and a new generation of potential gun owners will be discouraged from taking up firearms pastimes.

Take the example of the Calgary Gun Show, going on this weekend. The show is 51 years old and the largest gun show in the country. It has never had a single safety incident or accident in its history.”

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The Canadian Press, March 18th, 2013

Gun advocates want provincial firearms officers scrapped

A pro-gun advocacy group that has two representatives on a federal firearms advisory panel wants the Conservative government to eliminate all provincial firearms offices, saying they have "poked the lion" once too often.

The Canadian Sports Shooting Association has launched a national petition that asks Ottawa to establish a single "civilian agency" in place of provincial and territorial firearms officers that oversee licensing and other gun regulations.

The group is upset over recent moves by Alberta's chief firearms office requiring that guns on display at the Calgary Gun Show be equipped with trigger locks.

The group's spokesman, Tony Bernardo, has also taken Ontario's chief firearms officer to court over tighter authorization rules for transporting weapons.

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Kris Sims, SunNews, January 31st, 2013

Gunowners in NB, Ontario need invites to shoot guns at ranges

Handgun owners in both New Brunswick and Ontario are being told to carry written invites with them when they drive with their firearms to shooting ranges.

The tighter gun rules in both provinces took effect Jan. 1st, 2013.

It directs target shooters and instructors to get the paper permission slips if they ever visit a range where they don't have a membership.

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Restricted firearms owners in Canada need Authorizations to Transport (ATT) documentation to move pistols from their homes to shooting ranges. This is in addition to keeping the gun unloaded, with trigger locks and placed in locked boxes in their vehicles. The need for an invitation was printed on new ATTs sent to gun owners earlier this month.

Burlew says the new changes in Ontario also direct every person who goes to a range to use a handgun to submit their names, addresses, phone numbers, and birthdates to a file where it will be kept for years.

Sources say the move did not come from the federal government which is so far refusing to comment on the case as it is before the courts.”

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Kris Sims, SunNews, January 28th, 2013

Ontario’s gun police defend new rules

“The Chief Firearms Officer said the decision was his to make and gun owners can comply with ease.

"Most of the time, obtaining a written invitation will be easy," chief firearms officer, Ontario Provincial Police Supt. Chris Wyatt, told QMI Agency. "The invitation may simply be a print-out of an e-mail from the member of the host club who has invited the authorization-holder to attend, or it might be a copy of a notice of a competition generated by the host club that invites members of other clubs to attend."

Wyatt said he was "mindful" of the recent killings in Newtown, Conn., when making the change and pointed to the case where an innocent bystander was shot dead outside of a Toronto strip club in January 2008. The shooter, Edward Paredes, was a restricted firearms owner and carrying his gun with him in the club.

The new conditions appear on the Authorization To Transport (ATT) and advises owners they must be a member of their destined range or an invitee and be able to show police that invitation upon demand.”

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Lorne Gunter, SunNews, May 14th, 2012

Shadow gun registries can not be tolerated

“On Tuesday, after learning that most CFOs had instructed gun retailers in their provinces to start maintaining sales ledgers after the federal computer registry was disbanded, Toews wrote to Paulson (who is in charge of the CFOs) and told him the CFOs were violating the spirit of Bill C-19 - the legislation ordering the dismantling of the registry.

At least one CFO - Ontario's Chris Wyatt - said he didn't care what the minister wanted. Wyatt said his legal advisers had told him he could impose "reasonable" conditions on gun-shop owners and to his mind a ledger was reasonable. If the RCMP commissioner wrote him and told him to stop, that might be different. Then he would reconsider his options.

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On Friday, Commissioner Paulson wrote to Wyatt and the other CFOs and reiterated what Toews said on Tuesday - the registry-ending legislation prohibits the collection of any registry-like information. Stop it.

Paulson even directly addressed the legal argument the CFOs have been using to defy Toews. Section 58 of the Firearms Act permits CFOs to attach reasonable conditions to the business licences of gun shops.

Keeping ledgers is, to the CFOs' thinking, reasonable. Therefore they believe the law justifies their defiant action. They have also argued that because the ledgers existed before the registry began in 1998, the ledgers are nothing new and do not constitute a backdoor registry.

This, too, apparently isn't enough for the obstinate CFOs. As of late Friday afternoon, the CFOs in at least Ontario and Alberta were continuing to demand gun sellers keep ledgers.

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CBC News, May 8th, 2012

Toews tells RCMP not to use ‘unauthorized’ gun data

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is lashing out at provincial officials who he says are collecting unauthorized information on long-gun buyers, threatening to use legislation to make them stop.

In a letter to RCMP Commissioner Robert Paulson that was copied to all provincial chief firearms officers, Toews said the firearms officers "are attempting to collect point of sale data that they are no longer authorized to collect pursuant to Bill C-19 [the bill to end the long-gun registry]."

"To be clear, the Firearms Act neither authorizes this activity, nor any other measures that could facilitate the creation of a provincial long-gun registry," Toews wrote in the letter.

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CBC News, May 4th, 2012

Ontario to retain gun ledgers despite ‘contempt’ accusation

“A letter from Ontario's Chief Firearms Officer to gun vendors, outlining their responsibilities to collect personal information about legal purchases, continues to draw fire from firearms groups concerned the province wants to implement its own "back-door" firearms registry.

But Ontario Provincial Police Supt. Chris Wyatt says the request in his letter creates no new requirement. "Ledgers existed for decades before the long-gun registry. This is nothing new," Wyatt told host Evan Solomon on CBC's Power & Politics Thursday.

Any person who purchases firearms in Canada must hold a valid firearms licence. Wyatt says businesses are required to keep records as part of their licence to sell firearms. The federal government says those rules changed with the passage of legislation to abolish the federal long-gun registry last month.

"It's in the interests of public safety to ensure that firearms aren't being sold to criminals or persons who are prohibited from having firearms," Wyatt told Solomon.

The ledgers list the make, model and serial number of the gun sold, as well as the name and firearms licence number of the purchaser. There was also a column to record the registration certificate number from the federal firearms registry, but this information will no longer exist with the end of the registry.”

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National Post, November 29th, 2007

Elderly gun owners target of inspection

“Ontario's Chief Firearms Office says it is responding to concerns raised by Toronto police, which have in the past been called to the homes of gun owners who had either died or been hospitalized and did not have their registered firearms securely stored. In some cases, the guns were found lying around. Authorities worry they could get into the wrong hands.

"This is a very real public safety concern," Ontario's Chief Firearms Officer Chris Wyatt wrote in a letter to the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA), which is against the idea.

The Chief Firearms Office says it is exercising its right, under the Firearms Act, to inspect homes where there are more than 10 firearms, including a restricted or prohibited gun.

It is targeting owners who are 75 years or older. The office has sent letters to 48 owners in Toronto advising them of the upcoming inspections, which will be prearranged.”

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