Letter: Trudeau’s new legislation misses the mark

The editor:  

“Every single Canadian wants to see less gun violence and safer communities.” 

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While I would agree with the sentiment of that statement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, I disagree with the way he intends to get there. 

The overwhelming majority of guns used in Canadian crimes are smuggled in from the U.S. If the Liberals are serious about reducing gun crime, why team up with the New Democratic Party to defeat a private member’s bill that would have increased penalties for people who smuggle illegal guns into Canada? Along with making it more difficult for suspects accused of gunrunning to get bail, the same bill also would have increased minimum sentences for gun smuggling and for being in possession of a smuggled gun. 

Instead, the federal government is arbitrarily penalizing law-abiding firearms owners with legislation that, among other things, would allow municipalities to ban handguns through bylaws restricting their possession, storage, and transportation. The measures would be backed up with serious penalties including jail time for those who violate a misguided patchwork of municipal rules. 

So, in addition to punishing law-abiding firearms owners, new federal legislation aims to encourage criminals not to possess, store or transport handguns they already couldn’t legally possess. Does that seem effective to you? 

Saskatchewan has passed legislation to restrict municipalities from passing such bylaws on handgun ownership; we don’t need a patchwork system across our province. We have also appointed a new chief firearms officer from Saskatchewan instead of allowing the federal government to appoint one. 

The federal government should be targeting the real problem: crimes involving stolen, smuggled, and illegal guns. Instead, they are targeting Toronto voters, with law-abiding firearms owners the victims of bad legislation. 

So ask yourself this, if the purpose is truly to reduce gun violence and build safer communities, why did Trudeau and the NDP vote against longer sentences for criminals last month? 

 

Daryl Harrison 

Alida 

MLA for Cannington 

 

 

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