Police State: When the Police choose which laws they will obey

When the Police choose which laws they will obey, what do you have?

This question has come up this week in the wake of the refusal of at least 5 provincial Chief Firearms Officers across Canada to obey the law of the land as expressed by the passage of Bill C-19.

As most already know, Bill C-19 struck down the requirements for people to register their non-restricted firearms.  Ontario’s Chief Firearms Officer is leading the pack in declaring Bill C-19 null and void and that they (the CFOs) will interpret Section 58 of the Firearms Act to mean whatever they want.

Section 58.1 of the Firearms Act reads as follows:

58. (1) A chief firearms officer who issues a licence, an authorization to carry or an authorization to transport may attach any reasonable condition to it that the chief firearms officer considers desirable in the particular circumstances and in the interests of the safety of the holder or any other person.

The Ontario CFO is interpreting this section of the Firearms Act to mean he can impose any condition he wants to a Business Firearms License.  After all, as CFO, he is the one who gets to decide what “reasonable” means. The fact that this “reasonable” condition is in direct conflict with Bill C-19 is entirely beside the point.  At least as far as the Ontario CFO is concerned, anyway.

Dr. Mike Ackermann recently wrote:

“What do you call a state where the police refuse to obey the laws of the land, and instead attempt to make up the law themselves? Here’s a hint, we swear every November 11th, ‘Lest we forget, Never again!’”

Dr. Ackermann is, of course, 100% correct.

Canada sent soldiers to fight and die in wars in foreign lands so this bovine excrement would never reach our shores. Unfortunately those brave young men and women apparently died in vain for the Police State mentality has indeed taken root right here at home.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews made it very clear that the law no longer requires the registration of non-restricted firearms, and that forcing gun owners to provide this information
is illegal.

It has been suggested in various media reports that Chief Firearms Officers, acting pursuant to their purported authority under the Firearms Act, are attempting to collect point of sale data that they are no longer authorized to collect pursuant to Bill C-19. 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.

The response of Ontario’s Chief Firearms Officer? The Ontario CFO blatantly ignored that directive, essentially telling the Minster of Public Safety to pound sand.

Our response would be business as usual,” said Ontario Provincial Police Acting Insp. Steve Rideout, a spokesman for Ontario’s CFO. “We’ll wait and see what position the RCMP takes on Mr. Toews’ direction and then we’ll consider our options.


In a nation that places an emphasis on law and order, this is completely unacceptable. Police do not get to make up laws to suit their own agenda. Parliament makes laws and the police are to uphold them.  Clearly Ontario Provincial Police Acting Insp. Steve Rideout believes he knows better than Parliament what laws should be.

Welcome to the new Police State, courtesy of the OPP and acting Inspector Steve Rideout.

RCMP Commissioner Robert Paulson then reiterated to all CFOs what Public Safety Minister Vic Toews already told them.

Accordingly, as the Commissioner of Firearms, pursuant to the direction issued by the Minister of Public Safety on May 8, 2012, I instruct all Chief Firearms Officers to ensure that the licensing conditions you impose on business records pursuant to the Firearms Act do not facilitate the creation of long-gun registries in your jurisdictions.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and acting Inspector Steve Rideout are now “considering their options.”

From where I stand the first option OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis should consider is firing acting Inspector Steve Rideout and appointing someone to the position of CFO that can actually take direction from Parliament.

6 thoughts on “Police State: When the Police choose which laws they will obey

  1. Excellent article Christopher,

    However, the long gun registry is the tip of the iceberg.

    As we have seen in the past years a range of laws have been deemed “optional” and those laws range from murder to manslaughter laws to the laws that apply to telling the truth in court and not tampering with witnesses.

    As we have seen with such spectacular regularity in the case of the RCMP or recently with the Calgary Police, there is a common thread of we will do as we please, when we please, to whom we please regardless of existing law.

    In the case of the RCMP this has resulted of some horrific breaches of criminal law which led, in part, to the appointment of a civilian overseer. Even recently, with the appointment of Paulson, the equivalent of a child not having to stand in the corner anymore, the RCMP hierarchy responsible for the lawlessness are still in place and it seems to be business as usual.

    The underlying message is quite clear: The police in Canada are a law unto themselves and the citizen needs to be on his or her guard.

    Regards, Don Laird
    Edson, Alberta, Canada

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