As we approach a national election this fall, the Liberal dominated Senate has passed a controversial Liberal proposed Bill on gun control. It now awaits Royal Assent before becoming law. (Paul Chiasson- CP)

Controversial Canadian firearms control bill passes

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It’s called Bill C-71 and it introduces some new measures alleged to better control firearms in Canada.

The bill has now passed the Senate with the majority of independent senators supporting their Liberal colleagues. The bill is awaiting Royal assent before becoming law.  The proposed legislation has been highly controversial in that gun control advocates, while happy that a gun control bill has passed, have also said it does not go far enough.

Quoted by the CBC, Heidi Rathjen who heads a gun control lobby group says, “Even though the final package is far from what we had hoped, C-71 contains a number of important measures that are sure to increase public safety”.

Firearms hobbyists and advocacy groups say it only poses new unnecessary restrictions on the already law-abiding owner, and does nothing at all towards its apparent goals of increased public safety, and limiting criminal and gang use of firearms.

The bill imposes several new measures including police background check which can extend back through a person’s life. Under current laws all prospective owners must take mandatory courses with an extensive background check going back five years, and their records are then checked daily by police through the national police records system.

Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale proposed the legislation in 2018 ( Sean Kilpatrick- CP)

While handguns and other restricted firearms have long been required to be registered, the new proposal will also require gun retailers and sellers to keep full records of sales of long guns. Firearms rights advocates say this is just a “backdoor” long gun registry, in reference to the previous Liberal long gun registry. The “LGR” was estimated to have cost taxpayers as much as $2 billion before being scrapped by the former Conservative government which said it was a wasteful measure that did nothing to increase public safety or save lives.

Bill C-71 also requires a new bureaucratic measure of gun owners requesting an “authorisation to transport” (ATT) to take a restricted gun such as a handgun or carbine, anywhere other than a registered shooting range. Opponents wonder how this could impede any criminal use since criminals never obey the laws anyway.

Conservative Member of Parliament, Pierre Paul-Hus who is the Shadow Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued a statement following the final vote on the bill,  “Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have failed to address gun crime. Instead, their legislation senselessly targeting law-abiding gun owners has passed its final legislative hurdle. Imposing a backdoor gun registry does nothing to keep Canadians safe. Not only does it fail to address gang violence or target gang criminals, but the word ‘gang’ does not even appear in the bill”.

Firearms hobbyists now fear the Liberal government will seek further restrictions or even a ban on handguns and on semi-automatic rifles, especially the Armalite-15 carbine and similar models they say are typically mislabelled as “assault rifles” or “military style assault rifles”.

Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair has fueled such speculation by neither confirming or denying the rumour which started with independent Member of Parliament Tony Clement. He said that the government was considering the ban through a cabinet decision known as an “order-in-council” bypassing parliamentary discussion and legislation.

In a tweet following the Senate vote, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale who proposed the Bill in March of 2018 wrote, “Better background checks, sensible license (sic) verifications, best practices in commercial record keeping, safe transportation + impartial classifications – common-sense firearm safety, enacted today in Bill #C71”.

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10 comments on “Controversial Canadian firearms control bill passes
  1. Avatar Geoff Perry says:

    Ralph Goodale is lying when he say’s “sensible license verification” when certain sectors of the population do not have to provide a photography for their license! How can you allow a Restricted Firearms license without a photo and claim it is sensible. Since no other identification is required to purchase ammo and a firearm the identity of the purchaser to the license can’t be verified! It can lead to shopping out the license for unlicensed people to use to purchase firearms they are not legally entitled to purchase.

  2. Avatar J Drapeau says:

    Creating fear to justify a virtue signalling gesture against law abiding gun owners, and nothing to deal with criminals, gangs, or the real problems.
    Justin Trudeau seeks a good image abroad but is a very divisive and expensive leader at home.
    Even the police know there are no “assault rifles” allowed in Canada, Just because they’re made of plastic and have a handle doesn’t make them assault rifles which have been banned since the 1970s in Canada

  3. Avatar Jackson says:

    Attacks on the law abiding licensed and vetted owners…… no real changes to illegal smuggled guns criminals are actually using…..

  4. Avatar Trevor S says:

    Despite strong evidence that C71 will do absolutely NOTHING to address gun violence in Canada, the Liberal whip snapped in Senate and approved legislation based on hyperbole, completely disproven talking points, and Liberal rhetoric.

    Attacking legal laws abiding firearms owners who are statistically three times more compliant with Canadian laws is not the answer. We need to address the issues of radicalization, mental health, and gang violence! C71 does absolutely NOTHING to address or punish criminals who acquire, possess, or manufacture illegal firearms. In Winnipeg today (May 28, 2019), police found a stash of 11 illegal homemade pistols.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/improvised-firearms-manufacturing-operation-1.5152796

  5. Avatar Maurice Alarie says:

    I agree with Bill C 71. Assault rifles and hand guns have no place in any society except in the hands of police offices. Hunting rifles, well if some people like to go out in the forest and kill animals and say this is part of our heritage, well,so be it…. M

    • Avatar Lance says:

      Assault rifles by the very definition as in Canadian law are fully automatic, which have been banned in Canada since the 1970’s.
      C-71 does nothing to combat violent crime because all those firearms are imported from elsewhere not purchased at the local gun store. All handguns in Canada are already registered to the owner and cannot be legally transported or transferred without reporting it first to the RCMP chief firearms office.

      It’s going to be pretty hard for Canada to compete in the in the winter Olympics target competition’s if no one can shoot.

      Let’s look at this other scenario. Canada has almost no military and can barely afford the ammunition for our soldiers. RCMP response times are atrocious and we’re supposed to rely on that for our safety and security

    • Avatar Geoff Perry says:

      I’m sure the First Nations people might disagree with your cavalier attitude towards them being able to put food on the table and obviously, you are from an urban setting and walking your dog is the farthest you get into the backcountry. It is quite apparent with respect to your common anti-gun rhetoric of “handguns have no place in any society.” If you are out in the bush and you come across a protective mama bear and she charges you. A handgun is a very effective defensive tool as it is easier and faster to draw than unsling, load, and aim a shotgun or rifle.

  6. Avatar John says:

    Can anyone name even one killing this year that it is known would have been prevented by these new restrictions? Even one?

  7. Avatar Al McNeil says:

    What a waste of time and energy. Another Liberal virtue signalling stunt. Hinder law abiding legal owners, and do nothing at all to deal with the real problem of gang violence and other criminal activities nor deal with the underlying societal issues leading to gangs, radicals, and dangerous nuters.. stay away from rental vans for example