“You don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer,” Prime Minister Trudeau said on May 1, 2020, when he banned 1,500 makes and models of firearms.
It was the perfect, theatrically-delivered soundbite, but contains a key flaw: it’s been illegal to hunt with an AR-15 in Canada since 1979.
This misinformed, blindly-partisan Liberal government has outdone itself. Even I was shocked as PM Trudeau, in the middle of a global pandemic and before a complete RCMP investigation of the Nova Scotia tragedy, used an Order-in-Council to make sweeping changes to Canada’s firearm regulatory regime, all while sidestepping parliamentary process to avoid oversight.
This is an abuse of the power afforded the executive branch of government. A minority government bypassed Parliament and criminalized tens of thousands of Canadians who have done nothing wrong.
If you are one of the thousands of licensed, law-abiding gun owners I represent in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, know I am committed to defending your interests, your rights, and your private property from confiscation by this Liberal government. And if you do not own firearms but have been watching this issue unfold and are wondering why anyone would be opposed to getting rid of these guns, I would like to share why this policy is misguided and will ultimately be ineffective.
Taking away legally-purchased firearms from responsible owners will not make our streets safer or address the violence brought into our cities by drug dealers, gangs, and gun-smugglers.
Conservatives have always supported legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals because we are committed to making sure Canadians are safe and secure in their homes and in their communities.
We are committed to measures that actually improve public safety instead of ignoring violent repeat offenders and turning a blind eye to cross-border smuggling, as the Liberal government’s latest announcement does. The measures we continue to call for include:
• 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 improved enforcement at our borders
• Increased access to mental health and addictions treatments
In closing, here are some pesky little facts PM Trudeau hopes you never learn.
The AR-15 is a five-shot semi-automatic target rifle that can only be legally discharged on a federally-approved shooting range, and it has been for the past 41 years.
These facts did not stop the Liberal government from attacking RCMP-vetted, federally-licensed firearm owners in order to score quick political points but do nothing to improve public safety.
If you are one of the tens of thousands of people affected by this attack on licenced firearm owners, please contact my office for the latest information and assistance on figuring out how this ban affects you (Brad.Vis@parl.gc.ca or 1-604-814-5710).
Brad Vis is the MP for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon.