A petition to legalize sound moderators in Canada has been launched on the Government of Canada’s e-petition site
A petition to legalize the ownership and use of sound moderators, otherwise known as suppressors or – more colloquially as “silencers” – has been officially launched on the Government of Canada’s e-petitions website.
Petition e-575 calls on the government to permit the ownership and use of sound moderators by licensed Canadian gun owners at both the federal and provincial levels for all lawful hunting and sport shooting activities.
Sound moderators reduce the sound, or report, of a firearm as it is fired. According to current legislation in the Criminal Code of Canada, any “device or contrivance designed or intended to muffle or stop the sound or report of a firearm” is classified as a prohibited device and is illegal for any person in Canada without a permit (of which there are none issued to civilians) to possess, punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.
A common misconception – rooted in Hollywood depictions, no less – is that the devices completely “silence” the sound of a firearm. However, the reality is the devices often reduce the sound just enough so the person firing the gun does not need to wear often bulky and uncomfortable ear protection while hunting or engaging in sport shooting activities.
Suppressors are not only beneficial to the person shooting, though. It also reduces the amount of noise pollution at gun ranges and popular hunting spots, and even protects the hearing and comfort of both wildlife and pets such as hunting dogs.
According to the petition, sponsored by Conservative MP Brad Trost representing Saskatoon – University, sound moderators are the “only universally recognised health and safety device that has a criminal prohibition in Canada” and that the country is among the minority of G7 nations that does not recognize the health and safety benefits of the devices.
The petition is open for signatures until Jun 17, 2017. The full text of the petition can be read below, or at the e-petitions site here. We strongly urge you to sign the petition.
Petition to the Government of CanadaWhereas:
- Highly damaging noise levels repeatedly reach the ears of firearm users despite the use of traditional hearing protection;
- Section 7 of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms recognises an individual’s right to personal health and safety;
- Sound moderators are the only universally recognised health and safety device that has a criminal prohibition in Canada;
- As affirmed in Bedford v. Canada at the Supreme Court of Canada, one cannot be prevented from taking reasonable steps to improve personal safety in a hazardous situation;
- The majority of G7 nations and many others have recognised the health and safety benefits involved, and allow the legal use of sound moderators by hunters and sport shooters;
- Sound moderators reduce noise pollution and noise complaints in communities with shooting ranges, in rural and farm communities, and in areas used for recreational activities where hunting and target shooting is legal;
- Sound moderators facilitate significantly increased humane husbandry of game animals, livestock, and pets as hunting companions; and
- Hearing damage is a significant quality of life and public health issue costing taxpayers millions annually.
We, the undersigned, Citizens and Residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Take a stand and empower Canadians to be responsible for their own health and safety by removing the prohibition of sound moderators from the Criminal Code of Canada;2. Allow the legal acquisition, possession, and use of sound moderators on firearms by all licensed firearms users in Canada; and3. Call upon the provinces and territories to amend provincial and territorial prohibitions and allow the use of sound moderators while engaged in all legal hunting and sport shooting activities.