Court Ruling Sets Back Property Rights For Canadians
Ontario Court of Appeal Orders Bruce and Donna Montague to Forfeit Entire Firearms Collection
Toronto, Ont. (June 3, 2014) In a stunning setback for property rights, the Ontario Court of Appeal for Ontario today ordered Bruce and Donna Montague to forfeit ownership of their entire firearms inventory, an asset valued at $100,000.
“This decision basically allows government to use punitive forfeiture laws to help itself to the life savings of Canadians who have violated the law, even when the crime committed caused no harm to anyone,” says Marni Soupcoff, executive director of Canadian Constitution Foundation, which represents the Montagues.
A talented gunsmith, Bruce Montague purposely let his firearms business licence and firearms acquisition certificate expire as an act of protest. He then challenged the constitutionality of the gun laws until he was finally charged and sentenced to 18 months in jail and 90 days community imprisonment.
“Unfortunately, imprisoning Bruce wasn’t enough for the government,” says Soupcoff, “The federal government has been given the go-ahead to take all his valuable firearms and sell them for cash.
"Seizing Bruce's life savings is an unfair and disproportionate punishment for Bruce’s victimless crime. Forfeiture laws are supposed to be about preventing criminals from profiting from their wrongdoing. Bruce has not profited a cent from his offense. But if it has its way, the government will."
Bruce and Donna have not made a final decision about whether to appeal this criminal forfeiture order to the Supreme Court of Canada, but if they do, the CCF will support them.
Read more about Bruce and Donna's fight here.