Canada’s Conservatives have been working hard to fight the Liberals’ flawed firearms policies. I want to bring you up to date with the most recent developments.
Many of you will recall that last year the Liberals introduced an Order In Council (OIC) banning 1,500 firearms without debate, stating that legislation would soon follow.
However, it was not until last month that Liberal Public Safety Minister, Bill Blair introduced Bill C-21, making a series of changes to firearms laws in Canada.
These developments highlight a number of troubling trends about the way the Liberals approach both firearms and public safety.
Before addressing some of the specifics of Bill C-21 I want to talk about this hypocrisy. This was highlighted on Jan. 27 of this year, when the Liberal Party voted against Conservative Bill-238.
This particular bill would have increased penalties against those who use an illegally smuggled firearm for the purpose of committing a crime.
Then, on Feb. 18, two days after the new firearms bill was introduced, Liberal Justice Minister David Lametti introduced Bill C-22, an act that makes a number of changes to various laws in Canada but, most notably eliminates mandatory minimums for the commission of a crime using an illegally obtained firearm.
There are many troubling aspects to Bill C-21.
First, they have not and seem unable to even define what an “assault style” firearm is and are misleading Canadians when they conflate this with firearms used in the military that have been illegal in Canada for decades.
But it’s clear, Liberals don’t care about evidence-based policies, as is proven by the banning of certain gun “replicas” that will include pellet, air soft, and paintball guns.
Additionally, this C-21 allows a court to revoke someone’s ability to own firearms based on a simple complaint with no opportunity for the accused to defend themselves.
This also lays the groundwork for a “buyback” program for those banned guns but does not outline costs. And with few details, will allow municipalities to ban handguns, something that is clearly provincial jurisdiction.
Conservatives will stand up for law abiding firearms owners by taking politics out of firearms classification, repealing both the firearms OIC, Bill C-71 (a backdoor gun-registry passed by the Liberals in 2018) and Bill C-21.
We will target the real criminals by addressing the illegal smuggling of weapons used to commit crimes and restore mandatory prison times for offenders using illegal firearms in the commission of a crime.
It is frustrating that while upstanding citizens who follow the rules are targeted by the Liberals, the real lawbreakers are given a break.
This is especially troubling when we see record rates of rural crime in east central Alberta.
You can count on Conservatives to fight these measures and bring common sense to the public safety discussion in our nation.
By Damien Kurek, Battle River-Crowfoot MP