It didn’t take long for Mark Strahl, MP for Chilliwack—Hope, to issue a statement critical of the new Liberals firearms regulations, announced Friday (May 1).
“Today, the Prime Minister announced a ban on certain types of firearms through an order-in-council,” he said in a press release. “It is clear that the Prime Minister is using the current pandemic and the emotion of the horrific attack in Nova Scotia to push the Liberals’ ideological agenda.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government will be banning 1,500 types of assault-style rifles, including the type used in the 1989 mass shooting in Montreal.
The ban includes guns that have been used in past Canadian shootings, such as the Ruger Mini-14 which was used in the Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal in 1989, the M14 semi-automatic which was used in the 2014 Moncton shooting, the Beretta CX4 Storm which was used in the Dawson College shooting and the CSA-VZ-58 which the gunman attempted to use in the Quebec Mosque shooting.
Strahl questions the timing of the announcement, and the process for the decision making.
“Justin Trudeau continues to show that he has no respect for the democratic role of Parliament and is unwilling to have this debated in the House of Commons where Canadians’ voices can be heard. For the Liberals to implement this without bringing in legislation for a debate and vote – and doing it while they have shut down Parliament to avoid questions – is cowardly and underhanded.”
He added that while the announcement is designed to make people “feel safer,” they won’t necessarily be safer.
“The reality is, the majority of gun crimes are committed with illegally obtained firearms,” he said. “Nothing the Trudeau Liberals announced today addresses this problem. As the RCMP has made clear, the Nova Scotia shooter did not have a firearms licence, so all of his guns were already illegal. Taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens does nothing to stop dangerous criminals who obtain their guns illegally.”
He added that the Prime Minister is disregarding the more than 175,000 Canadians who signed MP Glen Motz’s petition – “the largest response to any petition in Canadian history – calling on the federal government ’to put any new firearms laws, bans, buyback programs or changes to licencing before the House of Commons to be debated.’”
“Canada’s Conservatives have always supported legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals,” Strahl said.
They want a plan that includes support for police anti-gang and gun units; youth prevention programs; action on rural crime; tougher sentences for violent offenders; support for courts and prosecutors; CBSA Firearms Smuggling Task Force; and increased access to mental health and addictions treatments.
“Conservatives will vigorously oppose any attempts to punish law-abiding Canadians and we will continue to propose new laws that actually target criminals and gun crime,” he concluded.
The announcement included that there will be a two-year amnesty period for gun owners to give them time to comply with the ban.
– with files from The Canadian Press, Ashley Wadhwani