Cassandra Parker, a Prince George business owner, was among those impacted by the Order-in-Council that placed a sweeping ban on about 1,500 "military-style" weapons.
Parker was unable to sell about $75,000 worth of inventory from K.K.S. Tactical Supplies due to the order that infamously overrode parliamentary procedure amid the COVID-19 pandemic and simultaneously angered tens of thousands of law-abiding gun owners.
Yesterday, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation joined the list of organizations supporting their court challenge of Parker et al. v. Canada in what could likely be a turning point for those in possession of firearms now classified as prohibited.
Canada's National Firearms Association, who spearhead Parker's case in early-May, provided the Parker family with legal aid and expertise, citing their desire to "defend law-abiding gun owners victimized by their private property's tyrannical theft." They have also retained Ottawa-based lawyer Soloman Friedman, a noted expert on firearms law who argues the order undermines the criminal code.
Though the federal government has jurisdiction to ban firearms of certain classifications, Friedman argues this excludes guns commonly used for hunting and sporting purposes.
Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, stated their decision to intervene in the case was because of "a severe abuse of process," by circumventing Parliament, and the "costly buyback policy that does little to reduce crime." That makes this policy both an accountability dodge and a boondoggle waiting to happen, according to Wudrick.
"Many Canadians remember the ill-fated gun registry that was supposed to cost $2-million and ended up costing $2.7-billion, or more than 1300 times the projected cost. We believe there's potential for a similar waste of money with this buyback."
The buyback plan, which Canada's National Firearms Association President Sheldon Clare notes as 'tyrannical theft,' is "mandated confiscation of legally-purchased firearms," according to the Fraser Institute. The organization states the government seeks to compensate owners at a rate the government deems “suitable," irrespective if owners incur a loss on their private property.
The confiscation of approximately 250,000 firearms would cost the Canadian taxpayer between $1.6-billion to almost $5-billion in the first year. This estimate far exceeds earlier estimates of $600-million and excludes travel costs and any ministerial administrators, as well as the $600-million the government promised to pay owners who surrender their firearms.
Other costs not included in the estimate are a) new information processing equipment or systems, b) notifying law-abiding citizens that their property is to be confiscated, c) contracting for venders and destroying the guns collected, c) arresting and charging anyone who refuses to submit or d) the costs of the public relations campaigns.
With a projected 4,100 to 19,500 collection points spanning 10-million square kilometers, anywhere between 16,400 to 32,400 civil servants are required to operate these collection points. According to Statistics Canada data, if the cost per collection employee is estimated using the operating expenses for Canadian police divided by the number of police personnel (both officers and civilian employees), the cost per staff member is approximately $150,000.
Only owners who can document their legal ownership will be compensated, while non-compliance will be considered a criminal act. Unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon is punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.
At this time, the federal government is in the process of banning about 100,000 guns in Canada, with over 10,000 firearms added to the original order since May 1, despite immense pushback nationwide.