U.S. To Canada: Stop Harassing Gun Owners!
US to Canada: “Stop harassing gun owners or we’ll stop hunting there!”
— Help send a strong message to our northern neighbor
Oscar Lacombe is a 75-year-old Canadian veteran of the Korean War who was security chief for the legislature of Alberta for 20 years. He retired in 1993, and is now a distinguished and responsible private citizen.
On January 1, 2003, the date Canada’s notorious federal gun registry took effect, Lacombe took an unloaded .22 rifle to a press conference in Edmonton, Alberta, and told the news media he would not register it. On principle, he could not submit to such an unnecessary and unjust law.
To avoid creating public alarm, the rifle was sealed in plastic, the firing bolt was removed, and Lacombe had given two days’ notice of his intention to police.
The province of Alberta had promised since 1998 not to enforce the federal gun registry. It promised to leave enforcement to the federal government. Some other Canadian provinces made the same commitment.
If they had stuck to that commitment, it would have been possible for Lacombe and other protesters to have the federal Firearms Act struck down in court as unconstitutional.
But after months of private negotiations with the national government, Alberta broke its promise and charged Lacombe for failing to register under the Criminal Code of Canada (something only provinces can do). Lacombe now faces up to six months in prison, and a fine of up to $2,000.
Worst of all, Alberta’s double-cross has deprived Lacombe of his chance to challenge the hated federal gun registry in court. The brave act of this outstanding citizen has been wasted.
The Alberta government has received over 100,000 e-mails from individual Canadians asking for the Lacombe charge to be withdrawn. The authorities still have about two weeks to reconsider their case since they can withdraw the charges against Lacombe up until the moment of the verdict. Even after that, authorities can still apply to a higher court to have the conviction rescinded, or they can simply abandon the case if Lacombe were to appeal a guilty verdict.
ACTION: The power to decide this issue rests with Alberta Premier Ralph Klein. Please use [email protected] to e-mail him. A letter you may wish to copy and paste can be found below. You might also want to send the note to Mark Norris at [email protected] — the bureaucrat in charge of tourism.
—– Pre-written message —–
Dear Premier Klein:
It’s disgraceful that your government has employed a federal “agent” to prosecute Oscar Lacombe for not registering an old .22 single-shot rifle.
If this is how you treat a respected 75-year-old Korean War veteran who worked for your provincial Assembly for 13 years, how might you treat American hunters?
Will you register my gun and turn the information over to US authorities? No thanks. I don’t need that kind of hassle. You can’t even keep your word to your Canadian citizens like Oscar Lacombe. Why I should trust you to keep my name and gun owner status private?
If you won’t keep your word to your own people and you still insist on prosecuting Lacombe, I’m going to pass on Alberta when it comes to future hunting trips.
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