CSSA pledges court action against Ontario's Chief Firearms Office

Lawyer Ed Burlew to oppose civil servants who create their own laws

January 25, 2013

Help fight the CFO

The Canadian Shooting Sport Association (CSSA) is preparing to take the Ontario’s Chief Firearms Office (CFO) to court for imposing artificial transport regulations on responsible owners of restricted and prohibited firearms.

Under “Authorization to Transport” regulations imposed many years ago, the CFO has permitted transporting listed firearms between the owners’ home and any approved shooting range in Ontario in accordance with the federal Firearms Act. Responsible firearm owners have been doing it for over a decade virtually without incident.

The CFO’s new arbitrary Authorization to Transport regulations quash the previous rights conferred under the Criminal Code, and suddenly specifies that sport shooters are only permitted transport to shooting clubs where the permit holder is a “member in good standing.” New rules say sport shooters may only visit shooting ranges where they have a written invitation, and incredibly, they must surrender that invitation to a police officer upon demand.

“Ontario’s Chief Firearms Office has decided that the laws of Canada were not good enough for them, so once again, they are writing their own,” says CSSA spokesman Tony Bernardo. “There is no justification or reason for the CFO to demand a qualification that has no basis in law. They just make it up as they go. This is not a safety issue, it is a power issue. Law-making does not lie with civil servants, it is the job of Parliament.

“Ontario’s firearms owners have a rich history of being lawful and trustworthy,” he adds. “They come from all walks of life and many are professional pillars in their communities. The CFO does not have the mandate to make laws based on their own whim and fancy. This is just one more cheap attempt at frustrating sport shooters to the point they will give up their heritage activities.”

The CSSA, which has a long tradition of protecting sport shooters’ rights, has accepted the generous offer of Edward Burlew, LLB, to commence legal proceedings against the Chief Firearms Office. Mr. Burlew is Canada’s premier authority on Firearms Act interpretation and has been CSSA’s chief counsel for more than a decade. He recently won a high-profile victory for the rights of all Canadians in his successful defence of Ian Thompson, a Welland, Ontario man persecuted for defending himself by firing warning shots as local criminals fire-bombed his house with Molotov cocktails.

“Ed Burlew is the right choice for Team CSSA to defend against the CFO’s assault on the rights of firearms owners,” says Bernardo. “Mr. Burlew has the track record and the experience. The CFO has once again crossed the line creating laws as they go and we intend to hold them to account.”

Donations to this challenge may be made to:

"ATT Challenge" 116 Galaxy Blvd, Etobicoke, ON, M9W 4Y6 (Please make cheques payable to the "Canadian Shooting Sports Association" and put "ATT Challenge" in the comment or memo area.)
Or by phone 416-679-9959, Fax 416-679-9910, Toll Free: 1-888-873-4339
On the Web at: CSSA ATT Challenge

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The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities