TheGunBlog.ca — Canada’s Federal Court held an all-day hearing today on the three injunction motions to stop the Liberal-RCMP mass gun confiscations underway.
Here’s a summary of what happened.
Recap of What’s at Stake
- On 01 May 2020, the federal government and federal police unleashed their regulatory attack against Canada’s 2.2 million licensed firearm users and 4,500 businesses, ordering them to surrender many popular rifles and shotguns.
- The crackdown by the governing Liberal Party and Royal Canadian Mounted Police instantly threatened hundreds of thousands of people with criminal charges and jail if we buy, sell, use or transport any of the suddenly blacklisted products.
- We also risk criminal charges and jail unless we allow police to confiscate our gear by 30 April 2022.
- Six cases are in Federal Court to stop the attack.
- Three of those cases applied for an injunction.
- Today’s hearing took place over Zoom video, with a thousand gun owners watching as observers.
- A representative for each of the applicants presented their position in about an hour, followed by an hour for each lawyer for the Liberal-RCMP respondents, followed by short conclusions by the applicant reps.
- Photographing or recording the proceedings (audio or video) was prohibited.
- TheGunBlog.ca watched as an observer.
- Close to 2,300 people registered to watch, with the maximum capacity of 1,000 people reached by mid-morning and maintained for the remainder of the day.
- We appreciate the Federal Court’s commitment to openness and transparency, and that they made it possible for media and the public to observe the proceedings.
Injunction Hearing Vs. Main Hearing
- The hearing was to hear arguments for an injunction to suspend the confiscation order.
- It wasn’t the main hearing to convince the court to stop the crackdown for being abusive, illegal and unconstitutional.
- Related: Federal Court Cases Split on Seeking Injunction to Stop Liberal Attacks
How to Win an ‘Interlocutory Injunction’
TheGunBlog.ca published the following context after the Federal Court’s first informal briefing with the parties on July 29:
- “Win or lose, an injunction can have an enormous impact on the future course of the litigation,” Steven Mason, a partner at McCarthy Tetrault law firm, said in an undated report. “A successful injunction will have the immediate effect of preventing the other party from doing what it set out to do (or forcing it to do something it does not want to do).”
- The Federal Court uses three key criteria to decide on an injunction, according to Mason:
- “Is there a serious issue to be tried?
- “Will the applicant suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is not granted?; and
- “Which party will suffer the greater harm from granting or refusing the remedy pending a decision on the merits? (often called ‘balance of convenience’)”
- Related (Steven Mason, McCarthy Tetrault): Interlocutory Injunctions: Practical Considerations
Key Points Discussed
Each speaker today argued for or against aspects of the crackdown and how it’s being executed, including:
- How the crackdown confiscates products that are popular for hunting and sport shooting, while claiming it doesn’t.
- How the crackdown destroys businesses.
- How the crackdown kills gun culture.
- How gun ownership by safe and responsible adults improves public safety.
- How the confiscation Order in Council is confusing for the millions of honest and lawful Canadians who are threatened with criminal charges and jail because of it.
- How applying criminal law based on the undefined, unpredictable and fluid concept of a firearm “variant” violates basic principles of justice and the rule of law.
- How the RCMP and other government agencies abuse the RCMP’s private Firearms Reference Table (FRT) to arrest people, shut down businesses and confiscate property, even though the FRT lacks any basis in law.
- Murray Smith’s “Independence”: Several speakers spoke for and against rejecting Murray Smith as an “independent” expert. Smith helped develop the crackdown for the RCMP before he retired in May 2020, and since then he has worked as a confiscation consultant for the RCMP to execute the crackdown. In the affidavit he wrote with the confiscators to support their confiscations, he said he is independent.
Federal Court Presiding Judge
- Associate Chief Justice Jocelyne Gagné
Who Applied for an Injunction
Three groups of gun owners and businesses:
- Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights et al.
- Michael Doherty et al.
- Christine Generoux et al. (Her statement in Microsoft Word)
Lawyers and Representatives
For Gun Owners and Businesses
- Laura Warner (Focus: Juridical, Technical arguments)
- Arkadi Bouchelev (Focus: Substantive arguments)
- Christine Generoux (Focus: Cultural, Philosophical arguments)
For the Confiscators (Department of Justice)
What Happens Next
- The judge will give her decision on whether to allow an injunction.
- She didn’t give any indication of when she will announce her decision. It could be hours, days, weeks, or months.
- At some point, we expect the judge to schedule the main hearing.
Federal Court Summary Table
|Court Number||Date Filed (2020)||Lead Party||Lead Rep/Lawyer|
|T-569-20||May 21||Cassandra Parker||Solomon Friedman|
|T-577-20||May 26||CCFR||Michael Loberg|
|T-581-20||May 27||John Hipwell||Edward Burlew|
|T-677-20||Jun 29||Michael Doherty||Arkadi Bouchelev|
|T-735-20||Jul 10||Christine Generoux||Christine Generoux|
|T-905-20||Aug 11||Jennifer Eichenberg||Eugene Meehan|