Friday, November 2, 2012

Concealed Carry here in Canada

On November 1st we saw Minister Toews announce the deletion of all the long gun registry records outside of those protected by the Quebec injunction. This was a major step for gun owners and we should not forget the significance of this accomplishment. Not only has the long gun registry been repealed, but all the data captured therein has been destroyed, and Minister Toews has gone to great lengths to ensure that the meaning of the law has been respected and that provincial Chief Firearms Officerss have not been able to establish back door registries.

Still, there is a lot of room for improvements to gun laws, and sections that should be repealed. I'll talk about a few specific points, over a few short posts, including concealed carry, handgun hunting, magazine capacity limits, and the prohibited firearms list.

Concealed carry is an idea that many people will scoff at as something that would never happen in Canada, and they certainly seem to have justification at first glance. I doubt many of my libertarian peers would think of concealed carry as an achievable goal, but nonetheless, I think it would be excellent policy.

In fact, you may be surprised to learn that Canada there is already a concealed carry permit system. The "Authorization To Carry" or ATC is a permit that allows an individual to carry a restricted weapon for the purpose of self defense. Under current CFO policy ATCs are usually only issued to private security guards for companies like Brinks and G4S, prospectors working in the far north, and a few individuals who's lives are under threat, and who often have the right connections.

Still, there is no reason that CFO's could not be given a "Shall Issue" directive, instructing them to issue ATCs to any qualified (properly licensed) firearms owner who applies. This would be a relatively simple change to make, and would allow for nation wide concealed carry.

Alternately, any provincial party could run an election plank of appointing a Chief Firearms Officer who would be Pro-Carry, and would be instructed to implement "Shall Issue" policy.

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