With the election campaign in full swing, parties have been releasing their platforms. The much anticipated release of the Conservative platform has left Canadian gun owners happy for the most part, but with some valid questions.
As promised since the race for leadership, O'Toole has made the following commitments:
Repeal C-71 in it's entirety - this is a solid move
Repeal the OIC gun ban that needlessly targeted legally acquired firearms we've owned for decades without issue, at an enormous cost to taxpayers - this is essential
A complete overhaul of the Firearms Act - also a solid decision. I can't think of another, more complicated and convoluted piece of legislation. A re-write and modernization is definitely in order.
Implementation of the Simplified Classification System - I'm not entirely sure if people realize how hugely positive this would be for our community - it's big, and welcomed.
Tackling Gang violence - while this isn't focused on our community as legal owners, it's exactly where the focus should be.
There's some measures targeting the illicit use of firearms in aggravated, violent offences and some much needed suicide resources for intervention. Investments in anti-gang law enforcement and border controls. All of this is in the right direction.
Some repetition on measures permitting mental health practitioners to intervene more heavily should they deem someone to be a risk to themselves or someone else. This already exists and doctors can already do this, so just a reinforcing?
And now for the part we don't support. A measure created in an attempt to mitigate "straw purchasing" (the legal purchasing of firearms with the intent and actions to divert to the illicit market), an almost non-existent phenomenon in Canada, but one that makes sexy, political headlines.
This measures reads; "Amending the Firearms Act so that an individual who, on three separate occasions during a calendar year, transfers a firearm for financial consideration must have a firearms business license"
It's junk and here's why.
Under this measure, a gun owner could sell 200 guns, twice a year since the measure refers to occasions and not number of firearms, but they can't sell one gun more than three times in a year, without a business license. This is ridiculous and burdensome and we have voiced our opposition to it both before the policy was released and after. It also would be literally impossible to enforce since with the repeal of C-71 there would be no transfer records of buy/sell/trade. How would anyone know what you've bought or sold? They wouldn't. And of course none of this would apply to firearms we gift. It's nonsense.
We must keep in mind this is simply a policy. Not legislation and not language intended for legislation. The party says the policy is meant to offer a tool to prosecutors for something that they know is difficult to prosecute and not intended to target legal owners with legitimate intentions. Of course, any real changes would go through a rigorous consultation process with experts to help mitigate unintentional harms.
In any event, overall an excellent policy with real strides made for gun owners. Tangible, actual benefits for our community with real measures to combat crime.
This writer wouldn't mind, or be surprised, if that one piece never materializes ... some election promises were made to be broken after all.
With the writing on the wall, one of two parties will form government on September 20. Other parties may send new representatives to Ottawa to the House of Commons, but only one of two parties will take the lead.
We know exactly what we get with the Liberals - our property confiscated, labelled extremists and criminals, reduced sentences for violent criminals and more red tape for legal gun owners.
The Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights aims to be a strong and reputable, public-facing voice for Canadian firearms owners. We are committed to maintaining our current rights and freedoms while continuing to push as a mobilizing and organizational force for positive legislative change.