With great sadness and a profound sense of loss, we announce that David A. Tomlinson, President of the National Firearms Association, passed away the evening of September 18th, 2007, after a short illness.
It goes without saying that Dave had a deep impact on firearms politics and legislation, beginning in the mid 1970's with the FARO group, through the first incarnation of National Firearms Association in 1978, and from 1984 to present as President and Legal Advisor to the National Firearms Association of Canada.
Dave was one of the few Canadians to foresee the ever-increasing agenda of civil disarmament, identify it, and warn the Canadian firearms community of its implications. In the early days of this struggle, Dave was routinely marginalized and dismissed for his views. Gradually though, and especially after the Liberal gun bill of 1995 - Bill C68 - Dave's views became accepted as fact, and became mainstream thought in the firearms community.
His investment in study and analysis of government firearms control laws and the political system revolutionized the way the Canadian firearms community approached the courts and legislatures in Ottawa, and all across Canada.
His unique analysis challenged all of us to "think outside of the box" with regard to the legal and political challenges that faced us. He showed that there was another way, a light at the end of the tunnel, an alternative to the specter of a political and cultural end to the firearms community and the Canadian traditions of hunting and targets sports, the effective means of self defense, and the ownership of firearms in Canada.
Dave's massive legal library and guidance against unwarranted Firearms Act charges was routinely placed at the disposal of the firearms community, as was Dave himself. His selfless assistance to those who have run afoul of our punitive, misdirected and broken firearms laws was done not only to benefit individuals, but the firearms community as a whole in the pursuit of justice for firearms owners.
That massive legal library remains as Dave's legacy, and will continue to be put at the disposal of the firearms community.
When the horrors of "Universal Registration" and the Chretien/Allan Rock Liberal agenda on gun control were visited on us during the dark days of 1994/1995, the fear and alarm that manifested itself in the firearms community was quite understandable. This was a day few thought would ever come, and all knew the implications if the firearms community simply accepted it as inevitable or irresistible.
Dave Tomlinson had foreseen those implications long before most gun owners did.
He rightly predicted that if the Liberals or any government actually went through with the idea of "universal registration" the resulting costs and bureaucracy would be so immense that a national scandal on the scale seldom seen in Canada would result. He predicted that any such scheme could not be delivered on time, on target or on budget. He was ultimately to be proved right.
After the C68 Firearms Act was passed by Parliament in 1995, Dave threw himself into picking it apart and analyzing every aspect of its convoluted and poorly drafted regulations. From this day, it was Dave Tomlinson and the National Firearms Association's firm mandate to fight back from the inside and the outside, in the courts, in the legislatures, and in the court of public opinion. He showed the firearms community the ways it could be effectively resisted, undermined and finally stopped.
It now appears that Dave may have achieved exactly that. The Liberal Firearms Act is widely recognized as a failure, it has been thoroughly marginalized politically with only its authors and the gun control lobby still championing it, and it is due for replacement by the present Conservative government when it is politically possible to do so.
Dave developed an alternative to the failed gun control agenda's of the past. Based on the "Sportsman's Principles" of the FARO group of the 1970's, Dave developed the National Firearms Association's "Practical Firearms Control System” - a system that takes the power of the bureaucracy over legitimate, law abiding firearms owners, and instead invests that power for training and vetting new firearms owners in the firearms community of Canada itself, where it belongs.
Many of you reading this will have known Dave a lot longer than I have. I first came to know Dave Tomlinson in 1995 as a result of Bill C68. His reputation preceded him. I recognized him as visionary in his assessment of the situation facing the firearms community of Canada, and his road map for defeating this most heinous piece of legislation gave me hope for the future. I think it did the same for you.
Today, we celebrate the life of Dave Tomlinson, and we all stand assured that as we go forward in replacing the Firearms Act and reclaiming our rights, it is Dave’s wisdom, guidance and vision which have brought us to this point, and which will take us the rest of the way.
National Firearms Association of Canada
We will not see another like him.
Vice President, Communications
National Firearms Association
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