Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako van Popta issues statement on assault-style rifle ban

van Popta is in favor of responsible ownership but opposes ‘government’s ineffective firearms policy’

Tako van Popta, MP for Langley-Aldergrove, took issue with the federal government’s ban on 1,500 types of assault-style rifles last week – taking to social media to voice his concerns.

van Popta issued the following statement on Wednesday, May 6 to expand on his opposition to the ban.

“The recent Order-In-Council announced by the Liberal government last week regarding firearms regulations does nothing to address the real problems underlying gun violence in Canada.

A few months ago, at the suggestion of some constituents, I took the Canadian Firearms Safety Course. I wanted to gain firsthand understanding of the process and responsibilities surrounding gun ownership.

I can now confidently say legal gun owners in Canada are safety-minded, law-abiding citizens, who are vetted on their psychological, criminal, and personal history before receiving their Possession and Acquisition License or their Restricted PAL.

READ MORE: Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako van Popta takes issue with ‘assault-style’ firearm ban

They are then subjected to rigorous ongoing scans and background checks and to searches of their property by the RCMP. If they are found in contravention of the current storage laws, they can have their licenses revoked immediately.

Most firearm crimes are committed by individuals who do not respect the licensing process or existing laws. These crimes are committed by criminals, with illegal guns that are smuggled into our country.

More laws do not stop criminals from committing crimes with already illegal weapons. Enforcement of existing laws and tougher penalties do.

The Liberal government is choosing to spend millions of dollars to force law-abiding gun owners to turn over their property, when that money could be much better spent on border enforcement and stopping the illegal firearms trade currently occurring at our border.

The CBSA is currently underfunded in this area and Canadians would be much better served by targeted funding towards cracking down on illegal and smuggled weapons.

All Canadians want an end to gun crime but unfortunately this Liberal government is targeting law-abiding firearms owners, while criminals will continue to ignore the law.

I am in favor of measures that protect Canadians from criminals procuring guns. I am in favor of thorough background checks, rigorous enforcement, and safe handling of firearms. I am in favor of responsible ownership, education, and public awareness.

However, innocent law-abiding Canadians in my riding should not have their freedoms restricted because of this government’s ineffective firearms policy. We need to keep Canadians safe. This will only happen when we focus on combatting illegal firearms and the criminals who use them.”

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.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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