A Presentation to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, Bill C-71: Speaking Notes
6 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2018
Date Written: May 29, 2018
Bill C-71 is fundamentally misguided. Public gun ownership does not threaten public safety.
High-quality, peer-reviewed research finds no evidence that public gun ownership is linked to criminal violence. Based on StatsCan data, PAL holders are much less apt to commit murder than are other Canadians. Rural Canadians have more guns per capita than urban Canadians, but firearm homicide rates are lower in rural areas than in bigger cities. Guns can be mis-used, but they can also be used for good. It is vitally important to teach proper firearms handling at a young age. It teaches character.
Bill C-71 falsely assumes gangsters get their guns from lawful domestic sources. This claim is based entirely on secret changes to the traditional definition of “crime gun.” There is no evidence that the source of crime guns has recently changed other than what is hidden in secret police reports. In reality -- only the definition has changed. The new definition of “crime gun” includes paper crimes -- firearms found at the homes of suicides and absent-minded PAL holders. But the police secretly changed the definition – to include “illegally acquired” – which now means that “found guns” are now “crime guns.” “Found guns” have not been used in a crime, but are just found by police during or after a contact, Any kind of contact, including suicides. This new definition equates paper crimes with criminal violence. A firearm unsafely stored – is a “crime gun.”
The Minister uses “domestic sources” as if it meant PAL holders. This is false. There is a large pool of firearms with questionable legality. In 2001, between one-third and one-half of then-law-abiding Canadian gun owners declined to apply for a PAL or POL.
Government has not provided solid justification why more regulations would improve public safety. Nor has the government published an evaluation of the present regulatory system showing that it is effective in preventing violence.
Other than police claims, based on a secret, bloated definition, there is no support for a change in the source of crime guns. According to StatsCan, lawful owners cannot be a major source of crime guns. According to StatsCan data, PAL holders are much less apt to commit murder than are other Canadians.Increased regulatory complexity does not mean greater public safety. Additional rules merely increases the work load for the Firearms Program staff. This can only harass legitimate owners and decrease public safety.
Why is the government scapegoating PAL holders?
Keywords: firearm, gun control, gun owner, crime gun, homicide, criminal violence
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation