Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty says the Liberal government legislation to ban handgun ownership in Canada won’t stop criminals from getting the guns, or using them.
He says 80 to 90 percent of the serious crimes that are committed with handguns are committed with illegal handguns that have been smuggled across our border.
“It’s not different than the fentanyl crisis, the opioid crisis, our border is porous. We’ve had experts from all walks of life and all areas that have said that just because a piece of legislation such as C-21 comes out there, it is not going to stop the guns from getting into the hands of gangs or those that want to do harm.”
Doherty says the Conservatives are calling for a common sense approach to firearms and firearms safety.
“Canada has one of the most rigorous firearms certification for your possession, acquisition license, or your restricted possession and acquisition license. We are vetted, if you have your firearms license, it is run through a data base. It’s not like the US where you can go into a store and pick up a handgun without any background checks.”
Doherty says all the Liberals are doing with the stroke of a pen is going up against the law-abiding and legal firearms owners in our country, as well as making it increasingly difficult for sporting goods businesses that are in that industry.
He says the Trudeau government is also using a terrible tragedy in the United States for selfish political gain.
“Our hearts absolutely break for those families that are living this. Canadians and Americans should feel safe and protected to be able to go into their communities, to go to their churches, their religious ceremonies, or their schools, and feel that they are protected and safe. We never want to see or hear about the events that took place in Uvalde, or other events that have taken place in recent weeks. But this is an overreaction, and our Liberal government taking full advantage of this and once again dividing Canadians on such an important issue.”
Doherty says this legislation also unfairly targets rural residents.
“This is another opportunity that these guys have taken to wedge rural and urban Canadians, further dividing us. I’ve said this before our government should be bringing Canadians and people together, and not further dividing it.”
Doherty says there are numerous non-criminal reasons for having a handgun.
“In our guide and outfitting industry, trappers use handguns for euthanizing small animals that they have that they’re trapped. Our farmers and ranchers, when they’re out on the range, they use them for their own protection looking after their own operation. Bill-21 outlaws, makes illegal air soft guns. Whether it’s a handgun or a rifle, airsoft, there are kids that use these in tournaments, sports shooting.”
Doherty says we should be putting our resources into our border and immigration services, as well as in the hands of our front line officers, to be able to stop the importation of illegal guns, to seize them, and to punish those who are actually committing the crimes.
He says the federal Liberals are doing the opposite of that.
“They just came out with another piece of legislation, C-5, which actually takes very serious offences that are committed with firearms and lessens the sentencing. There would be no prison time. The legislation will allow criminals to actually serve house arrest rather than jail time for a number of offences including sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery with a firearm, discharging a firearm with intent to harm and weapons trafficking.”
Doherty says they are weakening Canada’s laws with respect to those that actually commit offences with firearms.
–Files by George Henderson, My Cariboo Now