Bill C-71 Is a Red Herring: Submission to the Canadian Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security
6 Pages Posted: 11 May 2018 Last revised: 1 Aug 2018
Date Written: April 12, 2018
Bill C-71 is founded on faulty assumptions. Assumptions that ignore the real problem of violent gang crime to focus exclusively – and unnecessarily – on law-abiding firearms owners – hunters, sport shooters, and firearms retailers – individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety. The problem is violent crime, not firearms ownership.
There are many egregious problems with Bill C-71. In essence, this bill is a red herring, intended to distract the Canadian public from the government’s failure to deal with gang violence.
By selecting the year 2013 as the base of comparison, the government abuses statistics to argue shootings are increasing.
Canada has a gang problem, not a gun problem. Criminal violence is driven by a small number of repeat offenders, not by the many Canadians who legally own firearms.
While Canada’s legal guns are more likely to be found outside of metropolitan areas, the vast bulk of gang related homicides involving firearms were committed in metropolitan areas in 2016.
There is no convincing empirical support for the assumption in Bill C-71 that tightening up restrictions on law-abiding firearms owners (PAL holders) will somehow restrict the flow of guns to violent criminals, and therefore, contribute to reducing gang violence.
The claim that criminals get their guns from “domestic sources” is false and misleading. This claim cannot justify additional restrictions on firearms ownership and use by PAL holders.
Bill C-71 is unnecessary and does not contribute to public safety. Canadian gun laws are already enormously complex and constitute a maze for unwary firearms owners. Since 1998, gun crime is predominantly administrative violations not violent crimes.
Keywords: Canada, firearms, gun control, gangs, criminal violence
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