Virden man joins challenge of new federal gun ban

By: Harry Callaghan
Posted: June 5, 2020 07:54

John Hipwell, founder of Wolverine Supplies, says ban targets lawful gun owners

Image: Wolverine Supplies - Dec 2018 -

A Virden man has launched a challenge against the Canadian government's new gun control law.

John Hipwell, the founder of Wolverine Supplies, is suing Canada's Attorney General, the RCMP and the Registrar of Firearms in Federal Court in Toronto.

He says a big sticking point is the ban did not go though Parliament; he says it was signed in secret. "Basically this order-in-council is very far reaching, it's got severe ramifications, and I believe it was an abuse of parliamentary procedure to even use an order-in-council for this purpose," says Hipwell.

He says that alone has garnered a lot of support. "Masssive support from all across the country," says Hipwell. "There's support from individuals that don't even own firearms because they don't like the lack of parliamentay procedure - the way this was carried out. Something with far reaching effects as this should have been done as a parliamentary bill, and then it would have first and second reading - it would have been up for debate, it could have been amended and tuned as it was developed - but, when you do an order-in-council it's as written, done deal, game over."

Hipwell says the ban targets legal gun owners and does nothing to stop smuggling, to strengthen police forces, or to address mental health issues. The order-in-council reads in part "Whether at home or abroad, the deadliest mass shootings are commonly perpetrated with assault-style firearms. Given these events, the growing concern for public safety, the increasing public demand for measures to address gun violence and mass shootings and, in particular, the concern resulting from the inherent deadliness of assault-style firearms that are not suitable for civilian use, these firearms must be prohibited in Canada."

Hipwell says "there isn't even a definition of assault-style weapons. They've gone after the AR-15 which is the most popular competition rifle in Canada, and they've gone after the AR-15 and variants - but there's no legal definition of word variant - so that's open to abuse." Hipwell also believes an exemption for Indigenous people can be characterized as "discrimination."

A GoFundMe campaign is underway to help pay for the challenge, which Hipwell says likely won't hit Federal Court for at least another year.

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