View Full Version : An open letter to the Conservatives...

02-28-2014, 02:43 PM
Prime Minister Harper, Minister Blaney and the Conservative government, you have a painless way to right this wrong.

It can be resolved today.

The quickest way out is for the RCMP – directed by the government or otherwise -- to correct themselves because they have made an error in understanding of the word “variant”. Variant is not defined anywhere in the legislation and therefore the plain meaning of the word is to be taken. Inherent in the meaning of Variant is something was derived, a difference produced, a state changed – in other words, the original of the variant precedes.

To illustrate my point with hyperbole – the Ford Model T cannot be a variant of the Ford Mustang because the Model T came first. A closer parallel would be that a de Havilland Dash-7 aircraft (designed and in service first) cannot be a variant of a de Havilland (now Bombardier) Dash-8 (derived from the Dash-7 and in-service later) even though they were produced and sold in overlapping periods. Even if it was decided to reintroduce the Dash-7 to the market today it could never be described as a variant of the Dash-8.

It is therefore absurd to state, as the RCMP has, that the SG 540 (first designed, manufactured, and marketed in the 70’s) is a variant of the SG 550 (designed, manufactured, and sold a decade later).

Furthermore, as the SG 540 was designed, manufactured, and sold in the 1970’s it is plain that if Parliament had intended for the SG 540 to be prohibited when it passed the Regulations in 1998, it simply would have included it in Section 83 of the Regulations. It is not a valid argument to state that this firearm was not included because no SG 540’s were in Canada at the time the Regulations were written as Parliament did include many other firearms not in Canada in 1998 in this comprehensive list.

Plain meaning rule: Sussex Peerage Case (1844; 1 Cl & Fin 85). "The only rule for construction of Acts of Parliament is that they should be construed according to the intent of the Parliament which passed the Act. If the words of the Statute are in themselves precise and unambiguous, then no more can be necessary than to expound those words in that natural and ordinary sense. The words themselves alone do, in such a case, best declare the intention of the law giver."

The RCMP has no authority to overrule the intention of parliament and I suspect that the Public Safety Minister was simply misled or poorly advised.

I am neither a Swiss Arms owner nor a lawyer: I am, however, very, very disappointed at this turn of events. It is wrong on so many fronts and strikes me that the firearms review process is out of control.

For reference:

• From the Government of Canada website


Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted
SOR/98-462 …


2. The firearms listed in Part 1 of the schedule are prohibited firearms for the purposes of paragraph (d) of the definition “prohibited firearm” in subsection 84(1) of the Criminal Code.


83. The firearms of the designs commonly known as the SG-550 rifle and SG-551 carbine, and any variants or modified versions of them.

• From the SAN Swiss Arms website (History page 2)


1976 – 1980
Eine neue Zeit bricht an: Sortimentserweiterung um die Modelle P 225, P 226, P 228, P 229, P 232, P 239. Gleichzeitig beginnt in Mülhausen die Lizenzfertigung der neuen Gasdrucklader-Sturmgewehrfamilie SIG SG 540 und 543 im Kaliber .223 und SIG SG 542 im Kaliber 7.62 mm NATO.

1986 – 1999
Die Welle des Erfolgs hält an: 450.000 SIG Sturmgewehre 90 (Stgw 90) werden an die Schweizer Armee ausgeliefert. Zusätzlich gehen ca. 35.000 Stück „SIG Stgw 90 PE“, die zivile Einzelschussversion des SIG Sturmgewehres 90, in Produktion. Entwicklung der Pistole SIG Pro. 4.000 Stück des neuen 40 mm Granat aufsatzes„GwA 97“ werden von der Schweizer Armee beschafft.

• From the Wikipedia SG550 article (I know, I know, it's Wikipedia… but I am presuming that someone neutral and with far more knowledge of the chronology than me appears to have written this article and it aligns with the statement on SAN Swiss Arms own website)


The SG 550 is an assault rifle manufactured by Swiss Arms AG (formerly Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft) of Neuhausen, Switzerland (SG is an abbreviation for Sturmgewehr, or "assault rifle"). The rifle is based on the earlier 5.56mm SG 540 and is also known as the Fass 90 (Fusil d'assaut 90 / Fucile d'assalto 90) in French / Italian or Stgw 90 in German (Sturmgewehr 90).

02-28-2014, 02:48 PM
Great first post:).

I like how you're centering on the "variant" issue as well, one of the many specific fallacies in our Firearms Act.

02-28-2014, 03:56 PM
Welcome, and thanks for posting that here too. I think this idea of yours should be sent to Faith Goldie at Sun Media.

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02-28-2014, 08:15 PM