Letter Re: Defensive Firearms Options in Canada
This is in response to Roger C.’s letter “Prospects for Canada in a Societal Collapse.” My guess is southern Alberta would be one of the best places in Canada to be in in a TEOTWAWKI scenario.
Albertans generally buck the norm when it comes to Canadian values. Even among the conservative Canadian west, we are far more socially and fiscally conservative. This makes Albertans generally more self reliant, charitable, and less dependent upon government handouts than most other Canadians. We have a stigma for “cowboy culture” here for a reason.
Other more socialist areas of the country not used to living off government life-support would undoubtedly degenerate into cannibalistic Golden Hordes, but I think most places in western Canada, Alberta especially, would fare much better.
Provincial enforcement of Canada’s very strict federal firearms legislation is more lax in Alberta than in any other province where registration and licensing laws are often hyper-enforced, and law abiding citizens are brutalized by jack-boot, politically motivated police forces. A testament to this is the fact that in the whole of Canada, there are six “walk in” shooting range businesses that I know of, where unlicensed citizens can shoot guns under supervision of a range safety officer. Four of these are in Alberta. The number of “private” gun clubs is also very high and Alberta boasts a very healthy, rural, law abiding firearms community. The Calgary Police Chief (Calgary being the largest city in Alberta, and one of the largest in Western Canada) also a vocal opponent to the Canadian government’s firearms registration system, although not “pro-gun” he is certainly not as much of a civilian disarmament advocate as some of the police chiefs across Canada.
The Canadian firearms market is strange. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Chinese-manufactured Norinco firearms that would may be banned in the US are not in Canada. This is a huge benefit for Canadian gun owners, as again, stringent gun laws and ridiculous import taxes make all firearms 25 – 50% more expensive than in the US. Relatively well made and inexpensive Norinco firearms have flooded the Canadian market, and IMO, the newer model Norincos including SKS, M14, AR-15, 1911 and SIG-Sauer clones are excellent hunting, sport shooting or collecting guns (as are the only lawful reasons for owning firearms in Canada). Also a distinct difference from US law is that shoulder stocks and carbine kits can be added to handguns without the same restrictions imposed by the ATF, so RONI, HERA, CAA, and FAB [brand buttstock] kits can easily convert a handgun into a decent shoulder fired carbine. But forget about suppressors or silencers.
Of course, in Canada, there are no magazine restrictions on any rimfire caliber firearms anywhere in Canada so 25 round, 50 round (or larger if you can find them) for Ruger 10/22, Remington 570, Smith and Wesson 15-22 or AR-15 with .22 CMMG (or similar) conversion kits are a must. As for the magazine restrictions on center fire, semi-auto firearms – the law says a magazine must either be limited to hold 5 rounds (if designed for a rifle), or 10 (if designed for a handgun). There is no law saying magazines designed for guns classified as handguns cannot be used in a compatible rifle or carbine, as in the case of the Beretta CX4 Storm, Rock River Arms LAR-15 or Ruger Charger [JWR Adds: The rimfire exception might also make the KelTec PMR30 pistols chambered in .22 Magnum rimfire attractive to Canadians. A review of these pistols by SurvivalBlog Editor at Large Michael Z. Williamson will be posted in SurvivalBlog next Friday.]
Modifying magazines to hold more cartridges than legally allowed makes it a prohibited device, and a criminal offense. But commercially available magazines for most firearms are usually factory manufactured, standard capacity magazines lanced with a simple roll pin that could be removed using a drill, punch, and pair of needle nose pliers. However, it is illegal to do so in Canada.
I hope that helps a bit with any Canadian survivalists doing a bit of research into the Canadian market. To date, the biggest online community for Canadian gun nuts is CanadianGunNutz.com. There is a survivalist section on that message board as well in case anyone is interested. Regards, – CTH