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Old 11-26-2023, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyles View Post
There are plenty of things I don't like about our gun laws, but I'm actually very in favor of licensing firearms owners. Guns aren't the problem, the people who have them can be. I know that it would never fly in the States, but the fact that in Canada you need to have a license to buy or possess a firearm or ammunition is, I think, the main reason we don't have nearly the same problem with mass shootings as you do. If you're unable to pass a 6 hour safety course and unwilling to fill out a background check form, I don't want you to have a gun.
Licensing is a tricky topic, but if you want my personal take: I don't have any objection to it in principle. If we were going to have a universal licensing system here in the States, though, I'd want it to be based not on the goal of adding an obstacle for the law-abiding to arm themselves, but rather, on the goal of enabling a more effective militia. And States should take it upon themselves to ensure that they are the guardians of an effective militia, instead of trying to guarantee "public safety" (or whatever). Maryland, the state where I live now, is a good example - our handgun licensing requirements (which were just found unconstitutional at the circuit court level) seem more like a waste of time and a money-making scheme to extort gun owners and make them pay a "guilt tax" on wanting to exercise their 2A rights. I'm not opposed to licensing in principle; I'm opposed to what it often becomes in the U.S. states that have such requirements.

As for background checks: The NICS here in the States is largely uncontroversial; I'm certainly not about to go out and protest to end NICS myself. It has been a fact of life for American gun owners for 30 years now, and only the most radical of gun rights activists want to end it. What is still controversial: Where NICS should be required for all sales, FFL and private (i.e., universal background checks). It is through private transfers that most guns move from legal U.S. gun owners to criminals in our inner cities (and yours up in Canada). I have to admit that I'm of the mindset that, with a few exceptions, I wouldn't terribly oppose it becoming universal. We had universal background checks in VA before I left, and I didn't have a huge problem with it. I do, however, hate that I had to pay FFL fees to get it done - one thing that MD has that I like is that we can do pistol transfers at some Maryland State Police barracks (which is free). If there were to be universal background checks in the U.S., I would want the government to offer similar services.

Originally Posted by Nyles View Post
We used to have registration of long guns, which I think was a waste of time and money. It never really bothered me on a personal level, it took 5 minutes on the RCMP website to register a rifle, but I'm glad we got rid of it as a cost-saving measure. We still register handguns, which I'm still pretty indifferent to - it's not that much of a hassle on me personally and the rate of handgun ownership here is low enough that I doubt it costs much.
I generally don't support registration, in part because I would expect that a licensing system and background checks should obviate the need for it. I accept the logic that gun owners have a responsibility to not lose their firearms and that registration holds them accountable, but if they're already required by law to report lost/stolen firearms, then I fail to see what registration achieves other than giving government a database of what guns are in circulation and who owns them.

And now that Canada has cracked down on owners of what you call Restricted firearms - tactical rifles and handguns - with the former now mostly banned and the latter going down the same path - I think that gun owners in America have good reason to be fearful of the consequences of registration. Canada unfortunately also illustrates that it only takes one zealous idealogue in the highest office to evaporate gun rights overnight. (Side note: I do sincerely hope Trudeau is gone by this time next year.)

Originally Posted by Nyles View Post
We don't have handgun carry in Canada, which frankly doesn't bother me. I've carried a gun enough that it doesn't hold much excitement for me anymore. I've spent all of my life living and working downtown in one of our most violent cities and never felt the need for a gun on my person, and sold plenty of guns to people I've very glad AREN'T able to carry one on my bus to work.
Disagree on this one, and it demonstrates the difference in attitudes between gun owners here in the States vs. in Canada. Although I don't carry concealed myself (debating whether I'll apply for my CCW now, though), and generally prefer to live in areas where I don't have to worry for my safety, not everybody gets the same luxury. If we accept that people have a right to defend their life and property, that right extends outside of their homes. Or at least, it should. Alas, I know that in Canada, the notion of using a firearm for self-defense, let alone as a de facto member of the "militia", is frowned upon, and that nobody in the mainstream of the Canadian gun control debate would argue for such.

That being said, I've never been one to advocate for "shall issue" or constitutional carry, let alone open carry. I don't have a problem with the notion of the State rendering the militia effective by providing and ensuring training for those who seek to bear arms outside of their homes. I acknowledge that carrying weapons in the public sphere brings a whole other level of responsibility compared to using them to defend one's home. I get annoyed at people who open carry for the same reason that I get annoyed at people who put NRA or GOA bumper stickers on their vehicles: It makes them into walking targets. I go to great lengths to be discrete about my gun ownership; even though my weapons are in a safe, I don’t want my neighbors or potential criminals to know I have them.

Originally Posted by Nyles View Post
I don't like that we can't own .25s, .32s or short barreled handguns, I think that's foolish and arbitrary. I don't like that I can only shoot handguns on a range (or some tactical rifles if I actually owned any), I think it's way safer to be shooting 9mm in the bush than .30-06. Our laws relating to tactical rifles in general are also arbitrary and convoluted to the point of being unenforceable.
Agree on all of these. The fact that Canadian law prohibits short-barreled handguns is a reminder that your country regards "sporting" purposes as the only justifiable use for handguns.

And I've always found Canada's laws on tactical rifles (or MSRs) to be equally strange - ironically, similar to my own state's, where we can own some types of tactical rifles, but not others (e.g., we're banned from buying FN FALs and FNCs, but not newer FN rifles like the FS2000 or SCAR).

Originally Posted by Nyles View Post
We can ship guns across the country without involving a dealer, I never understood the point behind that one.
We probably wouldn't have the need for firearms transfers across states lines to be handled by FFLs if we had your licensing requirements, but IMHO, I don't have a huge problem with the fact that this is how it's done in the U.S. I would also not mind being able to ship guns across the country without paying an FFL, but again, that would only be if we had licensing laws for firearms and ammunition here in the States.
Cry "Havoc," and let slip the hogs of war.

Last edited by MT2008; 05-13-2024 at 09:04 PM.
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