Minto Bans Gun Owners From Apartments, Joining Hostile Companies

Share: — The Minto Group bans gun owners from its apartments, adding one of Canada’s largest property managers to the growing list of companies hostile to hunters and sport shooters.

A prospective tenant in a Minto rental unit in Ottawa withdrew his application after reading the anti-gun clause in the lease, Andrew Lawton, a broadcaster and columnist in London, Ontario, reported Dec. 13 on his website.

No Guns Allowed

“For the protection of all Residents, firecrackers, knives designed to be used as weapons, firearms, pellet or paintball guns, lethal weapons, or any objects considered dangerous to the health and/or well-being of fellow Residents are not allowed on our property,” said the lease quoted by Lawton.

It isn’t clear if the ban on guns and knives prevents armed police from entering Minto property to help residents. Canadian police carry both.

Boycotts Are Impossible

Many shooters called for boycotts on Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. and Mountain Equipment Co-Op this year after they pulled products related to guns and shooting.

But the number of major companies with policies that exclude the firearm industry or shooters makes it almost impossible to avoid all of them.

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It would mean boycotting Apple, Google and Facebook and avoiding anyone that uses Apple Pay, PayPal, Square or Stripe to process payments, including Amazon, Facebook, Starbucks and (We use Amazon, PayPal and Stripe.) Good luck finding a mobile phone that doesn’t use software made by Apple or Google’s Android.

The spreading corporate discrimination compounds the Canadian government’s planned prohibitions and restrictions aimed at millions of firearm users, from duck hunters and shooting hobbyists to military collectors and Olympic bullseye competitors.

Grey Area

Canadian law says many types of guns must be stored at the owner’s home, so prohibiting the gear means prohibiting the owners.

Lawton quoted Kevin Wiener, a Toronto-based lawyer, as saying Minto’s anti-gun clause falls into a grey area and may not be enforceable.

Attractive Targets

The policy suggests Minto shuns police-screened residents in favour of potentially higher-risk tenants. It also makes Minto properties more attractive targets for rapists, robbers and murderers since the tenants are unarmed.

“With resident safety our top priority, this policy is specific to the presence and storage of weapons or firearms at all Minto Apartments properties,” said George Van Noten, the senior vice president of policy operations for Minto Properties, according to Lawton. “In no way does it restrict licensed gun owners from tenancy.”

Growing List of Companies

  • Shopify Inc., an Ottawa-based platform for online stores, said in August it will kick gunshops off its system.
  • Mountain Equipment Co-Op, a Vancouver-based sporting-goods retailer, stopped selling CamelBak, Bushnell, Bollé and other brands owned by Vista Outdoor Inc. this year because Vista also makes guns and ammunition, including the top brand used by police.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart, a drugstore chain, pulled Recoil gun magazine from its shelves in February.
  • Business Development Bank of Canada, a government corporation that finances entrepreneurs, told last year it has refused to fund startups that sell guns or ammunition since 2016.

Lowest Risk

Canada’s 2.2 million men and women with a firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence have passed police background checks and are the country’s safest demographic by many measures.

Other things being equal, a statistical analysis by Gary Mauser showed a person without a gun licence is a much higher threat to public safety than a person with a permit.

The Canadian government itself is planning new prohibitions and restrictions on safe and responsible gun owners through a new law known as Bill C-71. It’s also looking to seize roughly 1 million pistols and revolvers that licensed sport shooters have registered with the police.

In the U.S., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. have also begun refusing business with certain firearm-related customers.

In February, days after a school massacre in Parkland, Florida, Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times suggested banks, credit-card companies and others in the financial industry could “set new rules for the sales of guns in America.”

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