Senators introduce needed amendments to the Trudeau Government’s Bill C-71
April 8, 2019 (Ottawa, ON) - Senators today introduced and supported several key amendments to the Trudeau Government’s Bill C-71, a Bill which targets lawful and licensed firearms owners. The Government has asserted that this Bill has a primary public safety focus. Yet, much of this legislation largely imposes new bureaucratic burdens on already licensed and heavily regulated firearms owners and businesses. This approach will not make Canadians safer.
Conservatives believe that gun control must be effective and shooting tragedies prevented. This means that gun control legislation cannot ignore either the criminal use of firearms and cross border firearms smuggling. Bill C-71, as drafted ignores both and instead simply targets licensed gun owners.
To address some of the Bill’s shortcomings, the amendments introduced by Senators today include:
- Better focused background checks, permitting all criminal convictions over a lifetime to be considered, but limiting the most intense screening to the five years prior to a firearms license application is made or a renewal sought;
- Repealing provisions that seek to impose purely bureaucratic transportation restrictions on the lawful owners of restricted or prohibited firearms;
- Requiring the Minister of Public Safety to Report to Parliament on the impacts that classification decisions have had on individuals and businesses taken in the previous calendar year; and,
- Repealing provisions which would otherwise remove political oversight of classification decisions taken by the Canadian Firearms Program.
While this legislation remains weak and needlessly penalizes some lawful firearms owners, Conservative Senators believe that these amendments provide some measure of improvement.
Conservatives believe in focusing gun control efforts on combatting the criminal use of firearms, targeting cross-border firearms smuggling and on measures that will genuinely enhance public safety without gratuitously targeting lawful firearms owners.