Section 74: Court Sets First Hearing to Review ‘Nullifications’

(Update March 23: Adds context on jurisdiction, Chaffe quote, transcript.) — Canadian gun owners won a new procedural victory in court today in their fight to stop the federal police and federal government crackdowns against honest citizens.


An Ontario judge scheduled the first hearing under Section 74 of the federal Firearms Act to review the RCMP’s so-called “nullification” of firearm-registration certificates.

Justice James Chaffe of the Ontario Court of Justice said he will hear arguments and evidence on July 12 and 13. That’s before a series of similar cases in Alberta scheduled for September.

Each side will address two aspects of the case where they disagree: whether reviewing the “nullifications” falls under provincial-court jurisdiction, and on the “nullifications“ themselves.

Why It Matters

  • About 150 gun owners are in provincial courts across Canada using Section 74 to challenge the unprecedented “nullification” tactic.
  • The government and RCMP invented the maneuver for their regulatory attacks begun in May 2020 to criminalize federally licensed firearm owners and destroy our guns.
  • Today’s decision means the court applicants are still in the fight. It gets them to the next round in the battle to assert their rights, save their property and hold the RCMP accountable.
  • A win for any of them could translate to a win for the almost 70,000 people directly targeted by the “nullifications.”
  • The cases reveal how Canada’s multi-billion-dollar regime to tag and track gun users violates fundamental principles of justice, governance and the rule of law.

First Scheduled Hearing

“The significance of this case is that it’s the only case that is actually going to a hearing on the merits,” Arkadi Bouchelev, the lawyer for the seven gun owners who won today, told after the video hearing. “Everyone else was either dismissed, or the jurisdictional case is still being decided.”

“It is a procedural victory, but it is an important one, because you can’t have a hearing on the merits if you lose on the jurisdictional issue,” Bouchelev said.

RCMP Claim

The Ottawa-based Royal Canadian Mounted Police has said it didn’t decide to nullify the gun certificates, and that the “nullifications” are outside the scope of a Section 74 review.

Julia Turvey and Emily Atkinson were the lawyers for the government in today’s hearing.

Chaffe Quote

Update March 23: “Obviously, a finding that I do not have jurisdiction to hear the s. 74 application may well obviate the need for a further decision or hearing,” Chaffe said, according to the transcript.

Court File No.: 20-40008425, 20-40008426, 20-40008427, 20-40008428, 20-40008429, 20-40008430, 20-40008431

Federal Court Challenge

The seven gun owners Bouchelev defended today include six who are also challenging the government-police crackdowns in Federal Court. You can donate to their Federal Court case.

PDF Transcript of Chaffe Ruling on 17 March 2021

We thank the subscriber who shared the transcript with us.