Decision Date: July 23, 1999
Panel: Toby Vigod
Keywords: trapping licence; restriction
This was an appeal by Thomas Schreiber of the June 17, 1999 decision of the Regional Manager to issue Mr. Schreiber a trapping licence for the 1999-2000 trapping season with a condition restricting the calibre of firearm he is allowed to carry. The only issue addressed on appeal was whether this restriction is reasonable.
Mr. Schreiber argued that the restriction is unreasonable and that there is no evidence to suggest that he should not be able to carry a firearm of his choice when he is trapping. He submitted that despite a history of animosity between himself and the Conservation Officer service, there is no evidence that he has misused a firearm or that he would be a threat to the public. He submitted that the restriction is inappropriate given the fact that, in the course of trapping, he is around carcasses and blood that can attract grizzlies and cougars and that he needs a higher calibre rifle for protection.
The Wildlife Manager argued that there is evidence of Mr. Schrieber’s misconduct in the use of firearms and that he has demonstrated a propensity for violence and threats.
The Board heard testimony from Conservation Officers about several encounters with Mr. Schreiber. One report said “he is using and will continue to use his trappers licence to legitimize his running around the country in possession of firearms and wildlife, making it hard for us to ensure he is complying with the laws under which his hunting licence is presently cancelled.” The Wildlife Manager also expressed concern with Mr. Schrieber’s aggressive behaviour towards Ministry staff.
The Board found that the Manager had the authority to decide whether to issue a trapping licence to Mr. Schreiber. The Board found that there was evidence that the area where Mr. Schreiber traps does contain grizzly bears and that a .22 calibre rifle would not be an effective tool for protection. The Board also found that Mr. Schreiber has demonstrated safety in his use of firearms. The Board concluded that although Mr. Schrieber may have a quick temper, and may have made some unfortunate remarks, there is no evidence that he would use his gun in an inappropriate manner. The Board therefore concludes that the condition restricting the calibre of Mr. Schrieber’s rifle was not reasonable in the circumstances and should be removed. The appeal was allowed.