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441-00214 (Public safety)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to

THEREFORE, your petitioners call upon the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada, along with all their colleagues in Parliament, to propose and accept substantial amendments to Bill C-71 (An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms) on the aforementioned or other details of this bill.

Response by the Minister of Public Safety

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Pam Damoff

In cities across Canada, firearms violence is on the rise. Addressing the devastating effects of gun and gang violence is a priority shared by all Canadians.

 

Our government passed former Bill C-71 to keep firearms out of the hands of people who should not have them, and enable the tracing of firearms used in crimes. We moved quickly but carefully to implement C-71 in a way that was fair and transparent to firearm owners and businesses. We consulted on proposed regulations, and we made certain the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had the tools needed to implement the regulations effectively.

 

On July 7, 2021, our government brought into force expanded background checks for licence applications to cover the entire lifetime of an applicant’s history, and the Chief Firearms Officer must now consider whether the applicant has a history of harassment or restraining orders, or poses a danger to any other person. These changes are preventing people with a history of violence from owning a firearm.

 

Also on July 7, 2021, our government restored limits on the transportation of restricted and prohibited firearms within our communities. Individuals must now seek a Chief Firearms Officer’s discretionary authorization to transport these firearms to all places other than a shooting range or home after purchase.

 

We are committed to completing the implementation of former Bill C-71. Forthcoming regulations on licence verification will protect public safety by reducing the risk of non-restricted firearms being sold or given to anyone that does not possess a valid firearms licence. The Chief Coroner of Ontario specifically requested this change after improper transfers resulted in fatal consequences.

 

The regulations will also require businesses to keep sales and inventory records on non-restricted firearms for at least 20 years. Firearms businesses will hold the records. No information on a non-restricted firearm being transferred would be provided to the Registrar of Firearms; our government has pledged to not bring back the long-gun registry. Law enforcement will need to have a valid purpose in order to access the records, often a judicial production order (e.g., to trace a crime gun, to investigate domestic trafficking or straw purchasing).

 

Our Government will also re-introduce legislation to: prevent firearm-related deaths in cases of family violence and self-harm; increase criminal penalties to target those that smuggle and traffic firearms; make it an offence to alter a gun magazine; enable police information-sharing needed to investigate firearms offences; and prevent illegal ammunition from entering our country.

 

On June 21, 2021, the regulations were tabled in both Houses of Parliament for review, as required by section 118 of the Firearms Act, and, on June 26, 2021, the regulations were pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for 30 days of public comment. The House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security considered the Regulations in its meeting on December 16, 2021, and recommended no changes to them.  Our government intends to bring these regulations into force at the earliest opportunity.

 

Bill C-71 and its regulations are critical to public safety. But, more is needed. Our government is committed to stronger gun controls and it is investing in policing, border enforcement and community gang prevention strategies.

 

We banned over 1,500 models of assault-style rifles. We will remove them from our communities and implement a buy-back program.

 

Our government has invested $125M through the Initiative to Take Action against Gun and Gang Violence to enhance the RCMP and the Canadian Border Services Agency’s capacity to detect and disrupt gun smuggling. These investments are working. We’ve seen increased gun seizures and arrests thanks to the hard-working members of the RCMP and the CBSA.

 

We’re investing a further $312 million over five years, beginning this year, including $40 million for the RCMP to combat smuggling, $15 million for tracing, and over $21 million for CBSA equipment and intelligence sharing.

 

We are providing $250 million for municipalities and Indigenous communities to fight gang violence on our streets under the Building Safer Communities Fund.

 

And, our government is committed to investing a minimum of a $1 billion to support provinces that want to ban handguns, which are the weapon of choice for gang members.

 

Our Government will also re-introduce legislation to: prevent firearm-related deaths in cases of family violence and self-harm; increase criminal penalties to target those that smuggle and traffic firearms; make it an offence to alter a gun magazine; enable police information-sharing needed to investigate firearms offences; and prevent illegal ammunition from entering our country.

 

Our Government has clearly taken bold action to address firearms and gang violence. All levels of government have a role to play. I call on all communities to join the Government of Canada in doing their part to stamp out gun violence.

Presented to the House of Commons
Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan)
March 4, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00214)
Government response tabled
April 25, 2022
Photo - Garnett Genuis
Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan
Conservative Caucus
Alberta

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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