Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:07 PM
It's a difficult situation. Any policy or regulation made for >ALL< cases will inevitably be grossly unfair in at least a few. You need a mechanism for stepping outside the one-size-fits-all rules now and then. The problem is that judges have demonstrated in the past a striking laxness in punishing gun offenses. I remember one particular case where known criminals, gang members, were stopped by police near Cornwall, and a loaded UZI was found in the car. The police charged them, and the judge gave them a fine and let them go. It was because of cases like that the government put mandatory minimums into place. The real question here, if the facts are believed, is why the Crown didn't plead this down. It seems an unfair charge on the face of it. Why did the Crown want to slam him into prison for three years? What is missing from this story?
The right way to go is to have judges punish those who are in possession of illegal restricted weapons, not register rifles. But judges, by and large, have seemed amazingly sympathetic to such people in the past.
I've already given my opinion in the past, that there ought to be a minimum 1/5/10 year sentence on 1st/2nd/3rd offense for buying or unauthorized possession of a restricted weapon. And those sentences should be doubled up where the offender has a criminal record for violence. That will inevitably lead to a few cases of grossly disproportionate sentences, but it will save lives and lower the number of restricted weapons out there among the criminal population. So in cases like that, you just have to say "Do it."
“Public opinion, I am sorry to say, will bear a great deal of nonsense. There is scarcely any absurdity so gross, whether in religion, politics, science or manners, which it will not bear.” Ralph Waldo Emerson