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441-00882 (Public safety)

Petition to the House of Commons

We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:

Whereas, illegally obtained firearms account for the majority of gun crimes committed in Canada;

Whereas, banning law-abiding citizens' firearms does not address the fundamental problem of criminals obtaining guns illegally;

Whereas, Bill C-21 will prohibit the use of more than 1,500 legally acquired makes and models of firearms;

Whereas, Bill C-21 will effectively end the airsoft industry in Canada, causing many Canadians to lose their jobs and businesses, as well as access to this harmless sport;

Therefore we, the undersigned, call on the Government of Canada to take the following action to address the situation:

  • 1. Not proceed with Bill C-21.
  • 2. Take stronger action against criminals, smugglers, and gangs, rather than law abiding citizens.
  • 3. Allow the airsoft industry to continue producing and selling airsoft guns in Canada.

Response by the Minister of Public Safety

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): PAM DAMOFF, M.P.

In cities across Canada, firearms violence is on the rise. The Government has introduced a comprehensive suite of initiatives to combat firearms crime and enhance gun control in Canada.

On May 30, 2022, the Government introduced Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms). The proposed reforms are an important component of the Government’s broader approach to combat firearms violence. Among other things, the Bill proposes to increase maximum penalties for offences, including firearms trafficking and smuggling from 10 to 14 years imprisonment.

On May 1, 2020, over 1500 assault-style firearms were prohibited through an Order in Council on the basis that their characteristics made them unsuitable for civilian use and because of the public safety risks they pose. Nothing in Bill C-21 would alter the classification of these firearms. 

Bill C-21 proposes to prohibit the import, export, transfer, and sale of airguns that exactly resemble, or resemble with near precision, a regulated firearm, and that discharge a projectile at a velocity between approximately 366 and 500 feet per second. These amendments would close a legislative gap with respect to replica firearms, as many airguns are not captured under the definition of “replica firearm” even if they exactly resemble, or resemble with near precision, a regulated firearm. These changes are aimed at improving public safety and are supported by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

These amendments do not prohibit airguns. Manufacturers of affected airguns may alter their appearance to ensure that they no longer exactly (or with near precision) resemble a regulated firearm. Airgun users in Canada could continue to possess and use their existing replica airguns. Airguns that do not exactly resemble, or resemble with near precision, a regulated firearm would be unaffected by the changes proposed in Bill C-21.

Reducing firearms smuggling and trafficking into Canada is a key part of the Government’s fight to reduce access to illegal firearms and address associated gang violence. That is why the Government continues to make investments in the Canada Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to strengthen border controls and reduce the number of guns being smuggled into Canada. Moreover, the Government launched the $250 million Building Safer Communities fund in March 2022. This funding will support community led projects to combat violence among young people who are involved in gangs or at risk of joining them.

Response by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Parliamentary Secretary Gary Anandasangaree

In cities across Canada, firearms violence is on the rise. The Government has introduced a comprehensive suite of initiatives to combat firearms crime and enhance gun control in Canada.

On May 1, 2020, over 1500 assault-style firearms were prohibited through an Order in Council on the basis that their characteristics made them unsuitable for civilian use and because of the public safety risks they pose.

On May 30, 2022, the Government introduced Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms). The proposed reforms are an important component of the Government’s broader approach to combat firearms violence. Among other things, the Bill proposes to increase maximum penalties for offences, including firearms trafficking and smuggling from 10 to 14 years’ imprisonment. Nothing in Bill C-21 would alter the classification of the firearms previously prohibited through the Order in Council in May 2020. 

Bill C-21 further proposes to prohibit the import, export, transfer, and sale of airguns that exactly resemble, or resemble with near precision, a regulated firearm, and that discharge a projectile at a velocity between approximately 366 and 500 feet per second. These amendments would close a legislative gap with respect to replica firearms, as many airguns are not captured under the definition of “replica firearm” even if they exactly resemble, or resemble with near precision, a regulated firearm. These changes are aimed at improving public safety and are supported by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

These amendments do not prohibit airguns. Manufacturers of affected airguns may alter their appearance to ensure that they no longer exactly (or with near precision) resemble a regulated firearm. Airgun users in Canada could continue to possess and use their existing replica airguns. Airguns that do not exactly resemble, or resemble with near precision, a regulated firearm would be unaffected by the changes proposed in Bill C-21.

Reducing firearms smuggling and trafficking into Canada is a key part of the Government’s fight to reduce access to illegal firearms and address associated gang violence. That is why the Government continues to make investments in the Canada Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to strengthen border controls and reduce the number of guns being smuggled into Canada. Moreover, the Government launched the $250 million Building Safer Communities fund in March 2022. This funding will support community-led projects to combat violence among young people who are involved in gangs or at risk of joining them.

Presented to the House of Commons
Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan)
November 28, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00882)
Government response tabled
January 30, 2023
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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