This article is from the can.talk.guns FAQ, by Skeeter Abell-Smith firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Bill C-68 (now "Chapter 39 of the 1995 Statutes of Canada" or "S.C.
1995, c. 39") was the latest legislative installment in Canada's "gun
Among many other things, it means:
- Bill C-68 was drafted before evaluating of the effectiveness of the
current program (as per the Auditor General's 1993 report).
- requiring licences for possession of property means the government
owns the firearms and citizens are really just renting them for a fee
- the justice minister can ban any thing he/she thinks is
unreasonable for hunting or sporting purposes without judicial
or parliamentary review.
- such prohibitions will continue to steal lawfully-owned (registered)
property from law-abiding Canadians and/or their estates.
- the justice minister can regulate where, when and how all firearms
may be used.
- these sweeping Order in Council provisions, affecting everything
from the operation of gun shows to licence fees and effective
dates, undermine our democratic system of government which
normally requires the separation of executive, legislative and
- prohibition orders may be granted against persons "associated" with
someone who is the subject of a prohibition order.
- various sections read "the onus is on the accused [to prove no crime
was committed]", which is contrary to basic rights in law.
- "inspectors" can search any place they suspect has a legal
"gun collection" or a record of a "gun collection". (Normally,
homes cannot be searched without suspicion of a crime.)
- "inspection" provisions allow seisure of property and computer
data even where there is no suspicion of any crime.
- people who forget to renew possession licences can be
imprisoned for up to five years.
- all pistols that are .25 or .32 calibre and/or have a barrel
that are 105 mm or shorter will be destroyed if they were not
registered to a person on February 14, 1995 (the day the bill
was first tabled in Parliament). That means that pistols belonging
to businesses and museums will be destroyed without compensation.
- any pistols made after 1945 that are .25 or .32 calibre or
have barrels that are 105 mm or shorter will be destroyed
when the current owner dies.
- portions of this bill and current legislation violate Section 8
of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- licensing and registration schemes require accused citizens
to prove their innocence (violates Charter, Sec. 11(d)) or face
up to 10 years in prison, loss of all firearms, and a criminal
- if you make a "statement", orally or in writing, that turns out
to be false or misleading, you can go to prison.
- the failure of the current registration system for restricted
firearms (mostly pistols) was obviously ignored.
- licensing and registration schemes are needlessly complex,
wasteful of money and resources, and will simply lead to an
increase in smuggling without reducing crime and homicide.
- simple possession of property is a crime, when only a deliberate
act causing harm or danger should be criminal.
- various sections allow wide-ranging discretion in the granting of
permits required for shooting competitions and other activities.
- various sections break the connection between the standards police
must maintain and standards required of citizens. We can think
of no practical benefit for exempting police officers from, for
example, reporting the loss of a firearm.
- dual registration has been ended, so spouses can no longer share
and jointly own their firearms.
- relatives and friends will not be able to purchase ammunition for
a person; this will be especially onerous on rural persons
who must travel great distances for supplies.
- antiques like muzzle-loaders are now considered to be firearms
and will be similarly regulated.
- it's worse to possess objects that resemble firearms than actual
Opposing C-68 (not "all ``gun control''") are:
- Ontario Provincial Police Association
- Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers
- the police chiefs of Saskatchewan
- Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association
- Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities
and, of course, many hunting, sporting, and other groups representing
Canada's firearm owners and users.
You can find a complete copy of C-68 at:
Bill C-68 was tabled in the Commons on 14 Feb 1995, received third
reading and was passed by the Commons on 13 Jun 1995, was passed by the
Senate on 22 Nov 1995, and received Royal Assent on 6 Dec 1995.
Much of Bill C-68 (now "Chapter 39 of the Annual Statutes of Canada, 1995"
or "S.C. 1995, c. 39") came into force on 01 December 1998, after being
postponed five times.