By Joe Bartozzi
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau showed law-abiding gun owners in his nation that he’s willing to become a tyrant in a teapot to seize guns.
Prime Minister Trudeau invoked Canada’s Emergency Act when truckers descended on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario to protest the country’s strict COVID-19 vaccine requirements for border crossing and other restrictions. Called the “Freedom Convoy,” the protesters shut down the area outside of Canada’s Parliament and key trade route crossings into the United States.
Instead of meeting with protest organizers to hear their grievances, Prime Minister Trudeau hid in an “undisclosed location” and later verbally attacked his fellow countrymen as “Nazis.” His unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act, invoked without Parliament approval or court order, allowed him to exercise unchecked authority to trample on the rights of Canadians for 30 days. It was the first time the act was invoked since it was passed in 1988.
In essence, he made subjects of his citizens. Worse, he revealed there’s no tactic he won’t resort to when it comes to pressing his agenda. That is an ominous sign as Canadians face a looming gun confiscation.
Canadian gun owners are facing a looming April 30 deadline to turn over nine specific types of firearms, all AR-15s, AR-10s and any variants, any firearm with a muzzle energy greater than 10,000 Joules or any firearm with a bore greater than 20 mm. Firearms are being seized by the Canadian government under a forced “buyback” scheme, which in itself is an oxymoron, since the Canadian Government didn’t buy them in the first place.
As of Christmas, over 99.8 percent of Canadian gun owners rejected Prime Minister Trudeau’s unilateral edict to hand over their guns. His reaction to truckers who didn’t listen to his edicts doesn’t bode well for those out of compliance on May 1.
Prime Minister Trudeau’s crackdown wasn’t just police arresting protesters or hauling away trucks. He roped in banks to force the measure. When he invoked the Emergencies Act, that compelled banks, investment firms, credit unions, loan companies, securities dealers, fundraising platforms, insurance companies and fraternal benefit societies to search their databases for those protesting and “freeze their accounts and report it to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or Canada’s intelligence service, the regulations say. Any suspicious transactions must also be reported to the country’s anti-money-laundering agency, known as Fintrac,” according to a Fortune report. Topping it off, the Canadian government protected those financial entities from lawsuits.
Prime Minister Trudeau used the authority of the Canadian government to hold the money of private citizens protesting for what they perceived as government overreach into their bodily rights. It begs the question, what is in store when Canadians refuse to bend the knee to the tyrant trying to confiscate their guns?
Could It Happen Here?
Those observing from the United States might believe that no such move could occur in the United States. Surely there are strong civil liberty protections. That would be a foolish assumption. Members of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet cheered Prime Minister Trudeau’s unprecedented power grab.
“Two of Biden’s Cabinet officials, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, pressed their Canadian counterparts to use federal powers to bring an end to the blockade at the bridges before they successfully did so on Sunday,” The Hill reported during the crisis.
Democratic Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego publicly called for the government to seize and redistribute privately-owned trucks of American truckers that are participating in their own Freedom Convoy headed to Washington, D.C.
“Perfect time to impound and give the trucks to small trucking companies looking to expand their business,” Rep. Gallego tweeted in response to the following news.
It’s Already Happening
The truth is banks are already doing the dirty work of antigun politicians in America. Corporate banks adopted gun control policies to deny business to firearm-related companies unless they implement certain gun control measures, including trampling on Constitutional rights.
That’s why NSSF is working with Congress and state legislatures to introduce laws that will protect firearm businesses from “woke” political agendas that threaten their ability to compete in the marketplace. NSSF is working to pass the Fair Access to Banking Act, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) as S. 563 and by Congressman Andy Barr (R-Ky.) as H.R. 1729. In the state legislatures, Texas passed the Firearm Industry Nondiscrimination (FIND) Act last year, which allows Texas the freedom to choose with whom they conduct business, just as the banks are free to choose their customers. Banks need only to certify that they hold no discriminatory policies against firearm businesses, which, of course, are a Constitutionally-protected industry. Similar legislation is pending in several other states, including Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
Those with politically-driven agendas are showing there are no limits to what they will do when it comes to eliminating gun rights or the gun industry. The notion that government authorities would seize funds or personal property to advance their goals was the stuff of fiction. Today, it’s an unfortunate reality.
Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.