January 14, 2021
Court Expert’s Affidavit on the OIC Firearms Prohibition challenges the RCMP “prohibition planner”
Information & Education | Regulations
Silvercore’s Travis Bader’s expert report and affidavit are being discussed in a recent iPolitics article. The contents of that article have been copied below and the original article can be found here.
For those who aren’t up to speed on the May 1 2020 Canadian Firearms Prohibition via OIC, we have written about it here. A couple of excellent resources which are being kept up to date are:
The largest case in six Federal Court challenges of a prohibition of assault-style rifles in Canada has filed an affidavit from a B.C. gun expert to counter earlier expert evidence from the former head of an RCMP branch that drew up the list of weapons that were banned.
The content of the affirmed affidavit from Travis Bader, a resident of Delta, B.C., who owns a firearm-related business and training centre in the city, includes pointed denials of claims made by the former RCMP official.
Murray Smith, manager of the RCMP’s Specialized Firearm Support Services when the unit drafted the list of more than 1,500 models of semi-automatic rifles, drew a negative response from gun owners and the 27 individuals, gun clubs, and businesses with an evidence affidavit he provided to court through Justice Department lawyers.
Smith retired from his position and was engaged instead as a consultant to the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program soon after the prohibition took effect last May 1. Smith’s affidavit says he’s now providing advice as a forensic scientist, and is drafting firearm protocols, among other services.
Much of the disgruntled reaction to Smith’s affidavit, and the prohibition itself, is due to the concept of “variants,” a term the RCMP used to capture the long list of banned semi-automatics for being “variants,” or modified versions, of “nine families” of rifles, including military grade guns, that the RCMP listed in the prohibition document.
“At paragraph 25 of his affidavit, Murray Smith … states that the term ‘variant’ has been used ‘in the regulations’ since 1992,’ ” Bader says in his affidavit.
“It is not clear which regulations Mr. Smith is referring to,” the affidavit says. “The term ‘variant’ is indeed used in the regulations to the Firearms Act, but it is not defined in those regulations or in the Firearms Act itself.”
The affidavit was entered into the court record in advance of a key court hearing in January.
The Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights (CCFR) and a group of nine civilian firearm owners are scheduled then to argue motions seeking a ruling from the court to suspend the prohibition through an injunction until the legality of the prohibition is confirmed — or struck down as being unconstitutional or contrary to certain sections of the Firearms Act.
The six firearms owners accompanying the CCFR in the request for an injunction are from four provinces: Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. They appear to be avid firearm users, according to file documents.
Combined, the six people, all male, own a total of 43 firearms, almost all of them semi-automatic rifles, with a handful also owning shotguns.
One owns a total of six AR-15 rifles, while another owns 15 rifles.