Liberals’ gun control bill draws criticism

By CityNews Staff

The Liberal Party’s gun control bill is facing fresh opposition as Canadian hunters and other legal gun owners speak up.

Initially crafted as a hand-gun ban, Bill C-21 has seen new amendments made at the committee stage, which has some Canadians concerned that some long guns, including those commonly used for hunting, could be banned as well.

“Let me be very, very clear on this: we are moving forward on a ban on assault-style weapons. We did that two years ago, we are now enshrining it into law and ensuring that, going forward, all assault-style weapons that might be sold in Canada will not be sold in Canada. For that, we have to establish a definition because we know gun makers keep creating new variations to try and get around a list that we’ve put forward,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explained this week.

However, that’s a big task. There’s no widely accepted definition for what an assault-style firearm actually is.

Even attempting to outlaw military-style weapons is tricky.

The Lee-Enfield, a rifle introduced by the British army in 1895, is still widely used by Canadian hunters.

“It’s very difficult to make a distinction between firearms like the Lee-Enfield or the SKS that have a military lineage. Again, at the end of the day, they’re just a device that launch projectiles. So there’s a lot of minutia there and it gets quite complicated when you’re trying to define these categories,” explained Rod Giltaca, chief executive officer (CEO) and executive director, Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights.

The Liberals are also beginning to hear dissent from within — Yukon Member of Parliament (MP) Brendan Hanley says he needs clarification on these amendments and can’t support C-21 as is.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) has also begun to voice opposition to amendments in the house.

Meanwhile, Conservative public safety critic Raquel Dancho was thrown out of the House after accusing a Liberal MP of lying about how committee hearings on C-21 were going.

Dancho withdrew her comment but refused to apologize.

“For the past week, in partnership with the Bloc Quebecois, the Liberals have filibustered and not allowed Conservatives to weigh into the debate at public safety committee,” the Kildonan-St. Paul MP said.

“Today in the House to hear a Liberal accusing us of being the problem, insinuating that we are obstructionist is the most hypocritical thing I have heard in the three years that I have been elected as a member of parliament.”

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