Note: Earlier, in Part 1 of this two-part Q&A series, Tracey Wilson of the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights shared some details on the CCFR’s application for an injunction against last May’s Order In Council firearms bans.
The CCFR’s application for injunction lists several other names on board with the application. One of those names is Ryan Steacy, a well-known Canadian shooter with years of recognition in Canada’s firearms competition and industry scene. He’s particularly unhappy with the OIC ban’s impact on competition shooting, and he will help the CCFR represent sport shooters. See his thoughts on the CCFR’s injunction below, edited for length – Ed.
Injunction Q&A, Part 2:
Calibre: First, for readers who don’t know, who exactly are you and what do you do? Ryan Steacy: I’m the Technical Director at International Barrels Inc. in Chilliwack BC. I’m also the 6 Time DCRA National Service Rifle Champion and 7th DCRA Service Rifle Hall of Fame member. I’ve been a sport shooter in several types of shooting for many years. I shot on the Canadian Forces National Team at places like Bisley for quite a few years.
Calibre: Why get involved with this motion for an injunction? Ryan Steacy: When the OIC ban came in one of the main talking points was that these types of rifles were not viable for any sporting purposes. I thought to myself “That’s a huge, bald faced lie to the public!” No surprise from this government really. It made me very angry. Here I am the six-time winner of the national matches, which have been running since the late 1800s with only two interruptions for WW1 and WW2. It’s a huge thing in the shooting world and has been used to help train soldiers for every conflict since the Boer War. It’s part of the reason why Canadians are feared on the battlefield and such good marksmen.
I was wondering how I could get involved and argue my points when Rod Giltaca (CEO of CCFR– Ed.) called me. He was looking for someone to represent the sport shooting side of things. Bingo, I was in. Took me less time than a hammer drop to say I was in.
Sport shooters are probably the most marginalized people who use firearms on a regular basis. The hunters and farmers seem to be able to plead their case pretty easily as Canadians have been hunting and protecting crops and livestock since Canada was born. Sport shooting isn’t quite that old, but it is a lot older here than people know. And the shooting sports are growing like mad with all demographics and are statistically some of the safest sports going anywhere. So hey, let’s see who’s full of shit and who’s not, in front of a judge! It sure isn’t me or the well-established sport shooting community.
Calibre: What are you and the others involved hoping to accomplish? Ryan Steacy: When you lie to the general public and make up some nonsense about how there’s no use for these types or rifles when there is clearly a stack of evidence against you … these things need to have sunlight shone on them. What all of us would like to see is the injustice of the OIC reversed, so that sport shooters and everyone else can carry on with what they were doing before and carry on owning the property they spend so much hard-earned money on. And to boot, we would really like things constitutionally changed so we don’t have to fight this battle every time another crappy government comes into power and is looking for an easy target to win votes with the uneducated.
Calibre: What happens if you are successful? Ryan Steacy: If we are successful on the injunction then we should be able to use our property again. This would be temporary. The OIC would still be in effect until the court case is decided. At that point it’s up to the courts. They could allow the OIC to go forward at which point we start losing things. Or, we could possibly get a ruling against the OIC at which time I would imagine it goes back to the way it was before the OIC.
It would also be excellent if some provisions were worked out that make it much harder for a government to just walk in and do this again, and make some changes of the ridiculous arbitrary rules that were clearly made up without any thought.
Calibre: In layman’s terms, and concisely, what are some sample arguments the CCFR (and you, and everyone else on board) are using to base your request for an injunction? Ryan Steacy: I only know the arguments for myself and a couple others but they sort of tie in together. Clearly sport shooting is a valid reason to own these types of rifles. The AR-15 and its offshoots are likely the biggest sporting rifles in the entire world. Some of the government’s own literature (army) specifically talks about sport shooting and the increase in survivability on the battlefield it brings to soldiers and commanders. The overwhelming majority of the sport shooting they are referring to is through civilian organizations.
Not only that, but change and innovation are driven by civilian shooters looking to win, not the military. Those innovations are most certainly passed to soldiers, some at competitions that they share the field with. To take this valuable tool away in the name of nothing is certain to have a detrimental (read, “deadly”) effect on Canadians serving in dangerous areas. This can be soldiers, police or even conservation officers some of whom were recently issued AR-10 derivatives. I cannot imagine tracking a wounded 1500-lb grizzly bear through dense underbrush with a bolt action. It makes sense to have the right tool for the job to make you safe.
And since military, police and COs are not issued much in the way of practice ammo (military is like 80 rounds a year to qualify) it also makes sense to allow them to have their own rifles to practice with on their own dime. Many want to. And guess where they go to get better? Civilian competitions and training. Imagine a police officer carrying an AR in public in a city and he/she only gets to shoot a couple hundred rounds a year to become “efficient” enough to save your life in a bad situation. Is that the best we can do? The answer is it definitely is not.
That’s just an example of one argument. There are arguments that the OIC infringes on aboriginal rights. Yep, those folks are gun owners getting screwed by this OIC as well, and we are lucky to have them stand with us. Very powerful.