Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

November 29, 2007 15:14 ET

War vets and older hunters targets of inspection

O.F.A.H. cries foul over new draconian measures to secure firearms

Attention: Assignment Editor, News Editor, Sports Editor ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2007) - If the Ontario Chief Firearms Officer has his way, it would appear that law-abiding senior citizens living in Toronto may no longer be protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Chief Firearms Office (CFO) has announced that, effective immediately, it will undertake a "pilot initiative" targeting owners of firearms in the City of Toronto who are over the age of 75 and who possess ten or more firearms, to a mandatory search of the premises.

"Once again, law-abiding firearms owners are the focus of seriously misguided attempts to crack down on crime," said Greg Farrant, Government Relations Manager for the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.). "This move threatens the rights of senior citizens who are not a problem, and plays to the rhetoric of politicians in the City of Toronto. Instead of focusing on the real problem, the proliferation of illegal handguns on the streets of Toronto and their use against others, Toronto police have somehow convinced the CFO that seniors over the age of 75 who own several firearms are a threat to public safety. This will impact upon veterans, collectors and hunters, and the Federation opposes this tactic and encourages those affected to use every legal option available to them."

The pilot home inspection project may violate several sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including unwarranted and unreasonable search and seizure.

The O.F.A.H. has long advocated the need for safe storage and transportation of firearms, and continues to educate firearms owners on these issues and encourages others to do the same. Minimum requirements under the Firearms Act for safe storage require that firearms are unloaded, that a trigger lock or cable lock is used, or removal of the bolt or bolt-carrier. Firearms owners should consult Sections 5 & 6 under the Safe Storage sections of the Act.

"If the CFO wants to engage in a public education and information campaign regarding the safe storage of firearms and the proper disposition of firearms through estate planning and inheritance, the O.F.A.H. would be pleased to assist them. However, the intent of this action by the CFO insinuates that these seniors are incapable of handling and storing firearms properly. Instead of educating, informing and where necessary helping individuals to come into compliance, this action seeks to inspect and possibly confiscate firearms. The move is not only discriminatory, but heavy handed and unnecessary," said Farrant.

With over 82,000 members and 655 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the leading fishing, hunting and conservation organization in Ontario. For more information on the O.F.A.H. visit www.ofah.org.
/For further information: Greg Farrant
Manager, Government Relations
705 875-0274

Contact Information

  • Greg Farrant, Manager, Government Relations, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
    Primary Phone: 705-875-0274
    E-mail: lezlie_goodwin@ofah.org