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e-2626 (Democratic process)

E-petition
Initiated by Ian Bradbury from Ottawa, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

Whereas:
  • Responsible parliamentary leaders and decision makers should be required to undergo relevant and critical training and certification;
  • Firearms are part of the Canadian way of life, and they have been since confederation;
  • Knowing the laws and measures required is a critical part of legal, safe and responsible ownership;
  • Prior to making responsible decisions on firearms Canadians are required to undergo both training and certification processes;
  • The Firearms Act requires that Canadians wishing to acquire firearms must take the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC) and pass both written and practical handling tests for the classification of firearms they are seeking;
  • Because firearms use and ownership is a core part of the Canadian way of life, because firearms have become politicized within Canada, and because much of the Canadian public discourse is often misinformed based on American laws and influence and other external influences, it is reasonable for citizens to expect that Members of Parliament would obtain relevant, factual and uniquely Canadian information and understandings before informing or passing legislation.
We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to hold a scheduled debate surrounding the idea that all Members of Parliament (i) who are expected to inform on, or make decisions on, firearms legislation, and (ii) who do not already have a valid Canadian Restricted Possession and Acquisition License, undergo the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and subsequently apply for their Restricted Possession and Acquisition License, within 12 months of this debate, or before passing firearms-related legislation or measures, whichever comes first.

Response by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Joël Lightbound, M.P.

On May 1, 2020, the Government announced the immediate prohibition of over 1,500 models of assault-style firearms that are specifically designed for soldiers to shoot other soldiers. The prohibition limits access to the most dangerous firearms and removes them from the Canadian market. Last September, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police declared their support for a prohibition on all military-designed assault rifles. In their view, “these weapons have no place in our communities and should be reserved for use by Canada’s military and law enforcement.”

Additionally, the current Chief of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has declared that this prohibition “finds balance” as it “ensures the safety of our members” while not limiting “those that recreationally participate in hunting or those that actually live off the land.”

The affected firearms were chosen using the following set of principles: (1) semi-automatic action with sustain rapid-fire capability (tactical/military design with large magazine capacity), (2) modern design, and (3) are present in large volumes in the Canadian market. Also included in the prohibition are two categories of firearms that exceed safe civilian use. These are characterized by the following physical attributes: a 20 mm bore or greater (e.g., grenade launcher) and the capacity to discharge a projectile with a muzzle energy greater than 10,000 joules (e.g. a .50 calibre BMG).

The government used the term “assault-style firearms” in the Reducing Violent Crime: A Dialogue on Handguns Assault-Style Firearms – Engagement Summary Report. Previous to this, sellers had often referred to many of these firearms as “assault rifles.” For example, in the Calgary Herald in 1976, a seller offered an AR-15 semi-automatic “assault rifle.” The Montreal Gazette also ran an advertisement for an AR-15A2 semi-automatic “assault rifle” in 1985. During this period, there were a number of gun stores who sold “Assault Rifles”, which included both the AR-15 and Mini-Ruger 14. These are firearms that are now prohibited.

The Government has concluded that the firearms prohibited on May 1, 2020, are not reasonable for hunting or sporting purposes, which is the standard established by Parliament in the Criminal Code.

Minister Blair successfully completed training in firearms and firearms laws, regulation, investigation and prosecutions at the Ontario Police College, the Toronto Police College, the Canadian Police College, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy (Quantico, Virginia). Minister Blair was also trained and qualified as a criminal investigator and established the integrated Guns and Gangs unit in Toronto. As a police officer, Minister Blair completed annual firearm training, both in the classroom and range 39 times.

Open for signature
July 7, 2020, at 9:44 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
September 5, 2020, at 9:44 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Alex Ruff (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
September 25, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00011)
Government response tabled
November 16, 2020
Photo - Alex Ruff
Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound
Conservative Caucus
Ontario
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