Stop Trying to Criminalize Law-abiding Firearms Owners
[:en]The Liberal Government has introduced new amendments to Bill C-21 that will ban millions of hunting rifles.
The new prohibition includes any “rifle or shotgun that is capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner and that is designed to accept a detachable cartridge magazine with a capacity greater than five cartridges.”
This is the largest assault on hunters in Canadian history.
This ban is sneaky and underhanded. By moving this significant change to the legislation—a change the government promised they would not make—at the committee amendments stage, the Liberals did not allow a democratic debate or experts to weigh in on the ban.
Had they done so, the evidence would have been overwhelming. Hunting rifles are not the problem. No one believes that going after hunters, and legitimate hunting rifles, will reduce violent crime across the country. This is just the latest in Justin Trudeau’s dishonest vendetta against Canadian gun owners.
Canada’s police chiefs have been clear when it comes to gun crime, 86% of the guns used are smuggled illegally from the United States.
Toronto Police Deputy Chief Myron Demkiw was clear when he testified before the Public Safety Committee last February”
“Our problem in Toronto are handguns from the United States. The issues around what you described [the Liberals proposed ban on “assault-style weapons”] is certainly not going to deal with the crime problem we’re facing in Toronto.”
Instead of going after the illegal guns used by criminals and street gangs, Justin Trudeau is once again targeting and attempting to criminalize law-abiding hunters and farmers.
Nobody knows better the responsibility and social covenant of owning a firearm than law-abiding Canadian firearms owners. Licensed firearms owners already follow incredibly strict guidelines when it comes to the purchase and storage of firearms and ammunition. Adding more rules—particularly this “gotcha” style of legislation—only serves to persecute, antagonize, and entrap those Canadians who are already doing everything they can to follow the rules.
As Regina Police Chief Evan Bray noted, banning guns isn’t a solution because a firearms ban is “only as good as those willing to follow it”.
In other words, those already following the rules will continue to follow the rules and those who already refuse to will not be deterred by further bans.
Sadly, this government cannot see past their own ideological hostility toward those who own firearms and thus fail to make the distinction. They continue to equate hunters, farmers, and sport shooters with criminals.
Inexplicably, at the same time the government is going after law-abiding citizens, they are also pursuing their soft-on-crime agenda.
As a result, the Liberals have made life easier for violent criminals by repealing mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes with Bill C-5, made it easier to get bail with Bill C-75, and their unwillingness to stop the flow of illegal guns across the US border.
Their approach has seen violent crime increase 32% since Justin Trudeau took office, with 124,000 more violent crime incidents in 2021 compared to 2015. Gang-related homicides have increased by 92%.
It’s an appalling record of failure.
Conservatives support common-sense firearms policies that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals and those who should not have them. But we also recognize that those who do the work to learn how to own and operate firearms safely and responsibly should not be harassed by government under the guise of “making our streets safer.”
Conservatives will oppose these amendments in committee and in the House.
We will stand up for the millions of Canadian hunters and farmers affected by Justin Trudeau’s ineffective bans and advocate for real, tough-on-crime policies to clean up our streets, secure out border, and keep Canadians safe.