Liberal Firearms Ban Q&A

On May 1, the Trudeau Liberals announced a ban of more than 1,500 models and variants of “assault-style” firearms. My office has received considerable feedback from across our region expressing concern and frustration with this announcement.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated and it will inform my response to the Liberal government’s announcement. While I can’t respond to everyone personally, I’ve prepared the following answers to the most frequently asked questions in order to ensure constituents are aware of my position on this issue.

Q: What did Justin Trudeau announce on May 1?
A: The Prime Minister announced the ban of more than 1,500 model and variants of “assault-style” firearms. The ban means that newly prohibited firearms cannot be legally used, sold, or imported. The list of newly prohibited firearms can be found here.

Q: I heard the Liberal government used an Order-in-Council (OIC) to introduce the ban. What does this mean?
A: OICs are drafted by the Cabinet (the Prime Minister and Ministers of the Crown) and formally approved by the Governor General. They are justifiably used to create regulations under certain acts of Parliament. OICs are not discussed or debated by Parliament and do not require legislation to be passed by Parliament before being implemented. Any Member of Parliament who is not a member of the Cabinet is therefore excluded from the drafting process.

Q: What is your position on the Liberal government’s announcement?
A: I do not support the Liberal government’s ban and I am deeply concerned with the method they used to implement it. I have long been frustrated with Justin Trudeau’s ongoing efforts to vilify law-abiding firearms owners. His government continues to peddle the misguided idea that by increasing rules and regulations on responsible firearms owners, somehow gun violence will be stopped. The reality is that making law-abiding members of our communities follow even more rules fails to address the realities of gun violence. A government that truly wants to address gun crime has to be willing to do the much more difficult work of going after the criminal element behind the violence.

Q: What is the Conservative Party’s position on the Liberal government’s announcement?
A: All Conservatives recognize that Justin Trudeau is using the current pandemic and the horrific attack in Nova Scotia to push his long-held ideological agenda and make major changes to firearms policy. Conservatives have expressed serious concerns with the Liberal government’s lack of respect for the democratic role of Parliament. We believe that taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens does nothing to stop dangerous criminals who obtain their guns illegally. If the Prime Minister has the strength of his convictions, he should wait until the COVID-19 pandemic has passed and introduce legislation in Parliament so it can be properly debated. Conservatives have and will always support common-sense firearms policies that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals, such as:
– Support for police anti-gang and gun units
– Youth prevention programs
– Action on rural crime
– Tougher sentences for violent offenders
– Support for courts and prosecutors
– A CBSA Firearms Smuggling Task Force
– Increased access to mental health and addictions treatment

Q: Do you understand the strict rules and responsibilities firearms owners are already required to abide by?
A: Yes, I have gone through the rigorous process to obtain my Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) and Restricted Possession and Acquisition License (RPAL). Unfortunately the Prime Minister, on the other hand, has shown he doesn’t have a clue.

Q: Did I become a criminal overnight?
A: The Liberal government’s ban is effective immediately. In the meantime, an amnesty period is in effect until April 30, 2022. This two-year transition period protects owners of newly prohibited firearms from criminal liability. The Liberal government has said it plans to implement a buy-back program prior to the conclusion of the amnesty period. Firearms owners are required to comply with the ban within this period by choosing to be grandfathered in or by surrendering prohibited firearms. During the amnesty period, firearms owners can transport the firearm to be deactivated at an approved business or police officer, or to legally export the gun. You can also return the firearm home if it wasn’t at the owner’s residence when the ban was announced, however, you are not permitted to use the firearm.

Q: How much will the buy-back program cost taxpayers?
A: The buy-back program is expected to cost $600 million. This money could be better spent on real action to tackle the issue of illegal and smuggled firearms such as those called for by the Conservative Party.

Q: What are you doing to stop Justin Trudeau’s plan?
A: Quite simply, the Prime Minister’s decision to use an Order-in-Council means that there was no debate and no vote on the ban. This is beyond disrespectful to the many Canadians who were blindsided by this action. By choosing to circumvent Parliament, the Trudeau Liberals not only left duly elected Members of Parliament out of the process, but they also denied Canadians the opportunity to weigh in on the changes and participate in the crafting of the new measures directly. The Liberals are obligated to bring forward legislation to proceed with parts of their plan, such as the buy-back program. I will take advantage of these debates to raise your concerns and challenge the Liberals’ misguided assumptions. I am also calling on the Liberal government to take real action on gun violence by implementing measures that target criminals, not law-abiding firearms owners.

Q: Would you repeal these measures if you were the government?
A: This ban will not result in a safer Canada, but it does place a greater regulatory burden on those already following the rules. Therefore, I would advocate for the repeal of these measures if the Conservative Party formed government and I would work to implement policies that go after criminals.

Q: Why won’t you call a vote of non-confidence on Justin Trudeau?
A: As long as the Liberal government enjoys the support of New Democratic and Bloc Quebecois MPs, this effort would fail. The NDP and Bloc need to explain to Canadians why they’re propping up the Liberal government with their support.

Q: What else can I do to express my concerns?
A: Since the ban is being championed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, share your concerns with them by emailing pm@pm.gc.ca and Bill.Blair@parl.gc.ca. You can also sign on to e-petitions e-2574 and e-2576.

Together, let’s push back against this Liberal overreach.

Ted Falk
Member of Parliament for Provencher