The legal fight against the federal government’s Order in Council firearms ban has hit a major roadblock. The judge assigned to the case has denied the application for an injunction, and told the firearms groups and individuals to pay for the government’s legal costs.
Backing up—in December, we told you the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights (CCFR), along with other individuals, was launching a legal challenge against the Order in Council firearms ban introduced by the Trudeau government in May of 2020. With millions of firearms potentially headed to the smelter, as well as serious long-term implications, several parties launched legal challenges to the Order in Council. It could take months for those legal challenges to make it to court, and much longer for them to be resolved. For that reason, the CCFR and other people asked for a temporary injunction against the ban. This would pause the firearms confiscation process until the actual court challenge takes place. Their injunction hearing took place on January 18, 2021. We’ve been waiting for a decision from Associate Chief Justice Jocelyne Gagné since then.
The judge handed down her decision today, ruling against the application for an injunction. Gagne rejected the claims from the CCFR and other parties. You can see the whole decision here. In a nutshell, Gagne’s decisions seem based on the idea that nobody affected by the OIC bans are irreparably harmed—they’re still able to hunt and shoot targets with other non-restricted firearms. The arguments based on aboriginal rights, on the availability of training for military and law enforcement, the financial harm to hunters, shooters and businesses, or the validity of government experts were all discounted.
Now, the OIC ban rolls forward, with IBM Canada currently drawing up plans for the confiscation program as the government’s private-sector partner. At some point, the CCFR and other firearms rights groups will have their day in court, to fight the ban. That may turn into even more time in court. Don’t be surprised if this goes all the way to the Supreme Court, unless there’s a change in government that means the OIC gets scrapped.