Saskatchewan stands with Alberta and Ontario against Liberal gun laws

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on January 21, 2020

The Saskatchewan government has come out against the federal Liberal government’s new firearms regulations, including the list of banned weapons continuously referred to by the Minister of Public Safety, Bill Blair, that also allows municipalities to outright ban handguns.

Saskatchewan’s Justice Minister, Don Morgan, stated that the provincial government was “not taking anything off the table,” when it comes to opposing the federal government’s strict gun control policies.

Saskatchewan will be joining both Alberta and Ontario in opposing the wide-reaching gun bans and extra barriers to ownership. All three provinces will be fighting an uphill battle as the Canadian federal government holds sole jurisdiction over firearms ownership across all Canadian provinces and territories. 

Justice Minister Morgan put forward that “We’re going to try and adopt a positive approach with them. We’ll put forward the ideas, and we’ll want to meet with them at federal-provincial-territorial meetings, which are coming up this month. I intend to raise those issues there,” as an indirect political pressure against the passage of new gun control.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe himself said he was against any firearms being banned in his province, but all objections from Moe or the premiers of Alberta and Ontario have seemed to have little effect on the policy pursued by Bill Blair. 

A major area of criticism has been the Liberal government’s disproportionate funding of gun confiscations from law-abiding citizens in comparison to combating the source of violent crime committed with guns, which is gang-violence done with illegal firearms. 

Only $11.9 million was given to Saskatchewan to help fight gang violence, but Bill Blair has proposed $400 to $600 million in taxpayers’ money to repurchase gun owners’ weapons involuntarily. An apparent gap in the government’s strategy as the crime committed by illegal-firearms drives the vast majority of all crimes committed with guns.

Although in Canada, the political battle over the ownership of firearms has not quite started ramping up yet. Just like the pro-second amendment protest that happened in Virginia when Governor Ralph Northam attempted to pass strict gun legislation, in Canada, it may take larger public shows of support of gun ownership to convince the Liberal federal government that substantial gun control could lead to electoral disaster. 

Today in the aftermath of the Virginia firearms-ban protest, the Sheriff of Grayson County, Virginia, has come out and declared that he is unwilling to enforce any anti-gun regulations as they are unconstitutional. 

The National Firearms Association President, and Canadian army veteran, Sheldon Clare, stated that even in Canada without a second amendment, firearms ownership is still a right through common law, which the Canadian Constitution is based on.

National Firearms Association President, Sheldon Clare.

National Firearms Association President, Sheldon Clare.

Clare said that “In terms of firearm rights, the old English Bill of Rights is residual, and provides some argument, however, a problem for Canadians in a case called Hasselwander and one called the Alberta Challenge, firearms ownership is referred to by our Supreme Court as a heavily regulated privilege,” going on to explain that in Canada “We have security of the person in the Charter, and a reference to pre-existing rights, but our legal arguments have become muddied through abuse of process.”

There is a real question of whether or not a gun ban would have to be first argued in the Supreme Court on whether or not the Liberals’ gun control is just legal regulation or violates the right to individual security.

The Liberals will either be forced off regulating firearms through shows up support for gun ownership and various anti-gun control petitions or risk completely alienating a large chunk of voters, especially those living in the west. If the legislation goes through, it may be a reality that western Canada will belong to the Conservative party and or be seduced by separatism.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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