Canada’s legal firearms owners are among the most scrutinized in Canadian society. Nonetheless, they are the target of a misguided Liberal plan determined to make criminals out of them with a proposed ban on “military-style assault rifles.” There is no legal definition for “military-style assault rifles” in Canada.
The use of this term is a deliberate, politically motivated attempt by the Liberals to misinform Canadians and seeks to target certain firearms without a rational basis. If they are referring to military grade firearms, those capable of firing multiple rounds with a single pull of the trigger (fully automatic) and with large capacity magazines, they are already prohibited in Canada and have been for decades. Firearms should be classified by what they can do, not by how they look.
Canadians are supportive of initiatives that actually improve public safety. They do not support legislation that targets law-abiding firearms owners rather than the problem – criminals who will continue to access firearms illegally. The people of Canada want facts and evidence to drive decision making, not emotion.
The facts do not support the Liberal plan. Toronto police recently stated that 82% of seized crime guns were smuggled from the U.S. – not from Canadian firearms owners. Winnipeg police, who are fighting significant gang and gun violence, indicate the Liberal ban won’t make any difference as almost 100%, of their crime guns are illegally possessed by people who have no legal right to possess them. The results of the government’s own firearm survey, representing every demographic and every province, showed the vast majority opposed a firearm ban, stressing the focus should be on illegal firearms and criminals.
Most troubling, is that the Liberals intend to legislate a gun ban through an Order in Council, bypassing the democratic process. The order would be set by cabinet, without the opportunity for Canadians to have full debate on the merits of the policy. Canadians believe that the proposed ban should be openly debated in Parliament, given the scope and cost.
To ease the confiscation outrage, the Liberals have proposed a buyback of legally purchased firearms, which will cost Canadian taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. The whole concept is illogical – criminals will not be turning in their illegal firearms. Taxpayer money would be better spent on initiatives that have an appreciable positive impact on public safety such as: Deter youth from gangs, addiction and mental health treatment, strengthening border security, focused police resources, and creating confidence in our justice system.
E-Petition 2341, initiated by Medicine Hat resident Bradley Manysiak and which I’ve sponsored, has become the largest e-petition in Canadian history. In just six weeks, the petition has garnered over 147,000 signatures from all across the country. It challenges the undemocratic attack on Canadian firearm owners and asks government to target gang and gun violence. Join this challenge by signing the petition before the Feb. 15 deadline.
The petition can be found at: http://www.e2341.ca
This article is also featured in the Medicine Hat News Opinion section: https://medicinehatnews.com/commentary/opinions/2020/02/07/mp-report-liberal-gun-ban-misses-target/