I read with interest Inky Mark’s letter on firearms policy in Canada. I am compelled to reject the premise of his arguments. No government since Confederation has done as much for the rights of law-abiding firearms owners as the Stephen Harper Conservative government.
As Canada’s minister of public safety, Steven Blaney has said time and again we believe that owning a firearm is a right that comes with responsibilities. And we have continuously acted on that belief.
Our Conservative government ended the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry once and for all. We have scrapped the needless Liberal gun show regulations. We have deferred the coming into force of the UN firearms marking regulations so that we can examine options, including their repeal. We have also refused to sign the UN Arms Trade Treaty, which contemplates global gun registration.
To add to all of those steps to stand up for law-abiding firearms owners, our Conservative government announced our intention to table the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act. This legislation will streamline licensing and eliminate needless red tape for law-abiding gun owners, while keeping Canadians safe. Among other things, this will merge the possession only and possession and acquisition licences, as well as creating a grace period so that individuals who inadvertently miss renewing their firearms licence are not made into criminals overnight.
We also brought measures in to allow owners of reclassified Swiss arms and CZ-858 rifles to fully enjoy their property, as well as measures to stop the RCMP from arbitrarily reclassifying firearms.
We know from the record that the Liberals and NDP have committed to bring back the long-gun registry and have no respect for gun owners. The NDP and Liberal leaders will whip their members of Parliament into line and want to bring in more draconian and ineffective regulations and red tape for gun owners. Does Mr. Mark support the Liberal and NDP plans for new and expanded gun registries along with firearm confiscations?
Only our Conservative government will always stand up for law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 22, 2014