Letter to the Editor – Liberal Gun Bill
In 1995, the former Liberal Government brought in the misguided long-gun registry. For 16 long years, myself and other law-abiding gun owners from across the country fought to get rid of that useless registry. Finally, in 2012, our Government got rid of it.
However, the Liberals are at it again, continuing their attempt to criminalize law-abiding hunters, farmers, sport-shooters, and gun owners in Canada.
Liberal Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette recently introduced a bill that she herself states will: “overhaul the current firearms program by prohibiting all firearms in Canada except hunting firearms”. The bill creates new classes of firearms and would prohibit all firearms in Canada that do not fall within the ‘hunting firearms’ class. It is the discretion of the Government, through the Commissioner of Firearms, to determine what defines these firearms. Furthermore, the bill will, as Senator Hervieux-Payette states, “reinforce the role of the RCMP and Commissioner of Firearms”. I would remind everyone, including the Liberals, of the arbitrary re-classification of a Swiss Arms rifle last year that effectively made this once legal firearm, illegal overnight. The RCMP and Commissioner of Firearms do not need more powers to dictate what law-abiding gun-owners can and cannot do.
The bill would also have the government treat law-abiding gun owners like criminals. Sport-shooters who possess a firearm that is not deemed to be a ‘hunting firearm’ will be required to demonstrate a ‘need’ to own that gun, they will not be allowed to transport their firearms (this must be done by the police), and their guns may only be possessed at shooting clubs or storage facilities. They may only be kept at home if they are part of a non-usable collection. Furthermore, these gun-owners must consent to ‘periodic inspections’.
As if this didn’t go far enough, the Senator took the bill one step further by including measures to repeal most of the provisions contained in Bill C-42, the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act. It was this Conservative Government that brought in legislation to make common sense reforms to firearms licensing such as the merging of the POL and PAL as well as making authorizations to transport a condition of license. This bill would repeal all of these reforms. The only part of Bill C-42 that would remain is a measure that the Conservatives included to make it more difficult for those that have been convicted of domestic violence to acquire a firearm. The Government recognizes the importance of keeping firearms away from offenders while also ensuring that those who follow the law are not treated like criminals. Clearly, the Liberals do not understand this concept.
It is quite clear that there is only one party that truly will stand up for gun-owners who follow the law. This new Liberal bill and Justin Trudeau’s comments such as: “If we had a vote tomorrow I would vote once again to keep the long-gun registry” demonstrate the Liberal position. The NDP also want to treat hunters, farmers, and sport-shooters like criminals. This was made clear when Thomas Mulcair stated that he would like to: “bring in something that allows the police to track every gun in Canada”.
I would like to assure all law-abiding gun owners that myself and the Conservatives will continue to fight to ensure that you will not be held to the same standards as those who break the law. Simply owning a gun does not make you a criminal.