Dennis R. Young, 1947-2021: Canada’s champion of firearms rights has died

Dennis R. Young, a longtime leader in the fight for Canadian firearms owners’ rights, has died after a battle with cancer.

In his earlier years, Young served a five-year stint as an RCMP officer, and was involved with many other careers, including mining, small business owner, consultant and civil servant, as well as work for organizations like the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Young’s battle for Canadian gun owners started in the early 1990s, when he became seriously involved with Reform Party organizers. Drawing from his wide life experience, Young addressed and advised the Reform Party in its early years, and eventually helped as a grassroots-level organizer. Although he worked on many issues, Young developed a focus on the rights of Canadian firearms owners, and was involved with events like the Fed Up rallies in 1994 and 1998, which saw 22,000 and 30,000 protestors assembled on Parliament Hill to decry federal firearms legislation.

Young ended up working as parliamentary assistant to Yorkton—Melville MP Garry Breitkreuz, retiring in 2007. In his years in Ottawa, Young spent much time digging up details on the federal firearms program. His research is credited with ending the long gun registry, as he helped share details on its true cost and exposed other problems with the program. After his retirement, Young began working full-time on researching Canadian firearms law and shooters’ rights. Along with the long gun registry, he uncovered government misdeeds in the High River flooding fiasco; however, his ultimate target was the Firearms Act. Young believed the Firearms Act unfairly criminalized law-abiding firearms owners, while failing to address illegal gun usage.

To that end, Young filed hundreds of Access to Information requests, along with other forms of research, in an effort to share facts about Canadian firearms usage and laws. In 2015, he opened his own website to make it easier to share the information he uncovered.

After beating cancer once, Young was diagnosed again, and died on January 15 after his second battle with the disease. Since then, he’s been recognized by many of Canada’s shooting and sportsmen organizations for his invaluable contribution towards firearms owners’ rights.

Calibre wishes to offer its condolences to Young’s family and friends at this time.