Last month I did a report on Bill C-21: “An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms)”.
This report touched on the Liberal Government's latest firearms bill that, among other measures, also places new restrictions on certain types of “assault style” semi-automatic rifles but has been criticized for not removing these same rifles from the public.
As former NDP official opposition leader Thomas Mulcair recently stated,
“Trudeau got pummeled, with longtime gun-control allies saying they felt “betrayed” and saying his government lied to them.”
The reason for this criticism relates to the fact that previously PM Trudeau stated:
"These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time," Trudeau said. "There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada."
As critics have pointed out, if PM Trudeau believes this to be true, why is his bill allowing these rifles to remain in Canada?
While there is often debate on targeting legal gun owners as opposed to criminals, one fact that data backs up is that the majority of gun crime in Canada is committed by guns that have been illegally smuggled into Canada.
The statistics show roughly 80% of Canadian gun crimes are committed with firearms illegally smuggled into Canada from the United States.
This raises another question – why not target illegal gun smuggling?
My Conservative colleague, MP Bob Saroya from Markham-Unionville (Ontario), recently tabled his private members bill C-238 to do precisely that.
Bill C-238 proposed to significantly increase the minimum sentences for illegally smuggling guns into Canada, as well as being found in possession of an illegally smuggled gun.
The minimum sentence would increase from one year to three years, or 5 years if it were a second conviction for illegally smuggling guns into Canada.
On January 27, 2021, Bill C-238 was defeated by just 21 votes.
116 Conservative MP's, along with 31 members of the BLOC, 2 Liberals and 1 Independent all supported this bill.
Opposed were 142 Liberals, 23 NDP, 3 Independent and the 3 Green MPs.
That brings me to this week’s question –
Would you have supported Bill C-238 to increase the minimum sentences for smuggling or possessing guns illegally smuggled into Canada?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.