John Barlow, MP Foothills
FOOTHILLS, AB – The Liberal government has announced major firearms policy changes in the middle of a global pandemic which do absolutely nothing to address the real problem – gun violence and illegal weapons smuggled into Canada. This is wrong.
Worse yet, they did so without debate, without scrutiny and without accountability from Canadians. This was an abuse of power and the Liberals have made it clear throughout this crisis they do not respect the democratic role of Parliament. That cannot continue.
Canada’s legal firearms owners are among the most scrutinized in Canadian society. Nonetheless, they are the target of a misguided Liberal plan determined to make criminals out of them with a ban on “military-style assault rifles.”
This decision punishes law-abiding hunters, farmers and sports shooters and is putting thousands of small businesses and tens of thousands of jobs in jeopardy. This policy will cost hundreds of millions, if not billions of taxpayer dollars with no positive impact on public safety.
Whenever Liberals talk about gun violence, they fail to address the real issue and end up targeting law-abiding firearms owners. The fact is the vast majority of firearms owners respect Canada’s laws in respect to firearms. It’s criminals who do not. Creating new laws will not stop criminals from breaking the existing ones.
Conservatives have, and will always, support common-sense firearms policies to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. We are the only party calling for action to tackle the real issue of illegal and smuggled guns. According to Peel Region police, 75% of illegal handguns seized are smuggled from the U.S., while Ottawa’s police chief has also acknowledged firearms smuggled from the U.S. are the source of the majority of local gun crime.
We want to ensure Canadians are safe and secure in their neighbourhoods, which is why during the last election Conservatives campaigned on a plan for A Safer Canada. It included the creation of CBSA firearms smuggling task force to work with law enforcement to crack down on smuggled guns. It also included making the possession of a smuggled firearm a criminal offence with a mandatory five-year sentence, as well as better information sharing to allow police forces to better-track illegal firearms.
Residents in Foothills, and Canadians across the country, know taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens does not stop dangerous criminals. Conservatives will always support honest firearms owners and focus on cracking down on real criminals.