BILL C-71: AN ACT TO AMEND CERTAIN ACTS AND REGULATIONS IN RELATION TO FIREARMS
The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security has finished studying Bill C-71. The OFAH went to Parliament Hill on May 30, 2018 to provide testimony to the committee (see below). The Committee’s report on Bill C-71 was presented in the House of Commons on June 12, 2018 and briefly debated (time allocation for debate was restricted). The report recommended only a few amendments, none which addressed the important issues raised by the OFAH during our testimony on the bill. The lack of recognition for legitimate concerns from the firearms community is disappointing, but we are not finished trying to get some significant changes to the proposed legislation.
With the House of Commons rising for the summer on June 20, Bill C-71 did not make it to 3rd reading prior to summer recess, meaning that process won’t occur until after the fall session begins. The Bill not only requires 3rd reading, but still needs to make its way through the Senate – a process very similar to what it just went through in the House of Commons. It will be debated, go to committee and be considered for amendments. The process may be similar, but it doesn’t have the same degree of partisanship (Senators aren’t thinking about re-election, and some are independent). Also, other recent bills (e.g. Bill C-45, the “Cannabis Act”) have been scrutinized, hotly debated and subject to numerous proposed amendments in the Senate – some of which were actually accepted by the government in the House of Commons.
The OFAH will continue our advocacy on Parliament Hill to try to get some traction on meaningful changes to Bill C-71.
- OFAH Podcast on Bill C-71
- Our Brief Submission to the Standing Committee
- Testimony to Standing Committee
- Survey Results
OFAH staff discuss the next steps with federal firearms legislation, Bill C-71.
- CLICK HERE to read OFAH brief submission to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security
- CLICK HERE for text of OFAH TESTIMONY to Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security
CLICK HERE to download survey results
The government’s stated intention of Bill C-71 is to prioritize public safety and respond to increasing trends in gun crime and violence, yet it would seem that the majority of the proposals are focused on lawful firearms users. The government is painting a picture of alarming trends in firearms-related crime and violence to justify the proposed measures and to show action on election platform promises of 2015. Unfortunately, targeting lawful firearms users will not help them achieve their intended goals.
The stats being used to support the need for Bill C-71 reference 2013 (lowest criminal homicides in 50 years) as a baseline to suggest we have a growing problem with firearms in Canada. However, the facts show a long-term decline in firearm-related crime.
Bill C-71 Backgrounder
Published March 26, 2018
Read our critical analysis of the “main” aspects of the Bill
What Can You Do?
You can respectfully contact the Minister of Public Safety and Your Local MP
The Hon. Ralph Goodale, P.C., M.P.
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
KEY POINTS TO BILL C-71:
- This bill directly affects ALL firearms users, in one way or another. The answers to our outstanding questions (coming soon) will determine the extent.
- As stated by the federal government Bill C-71 is intended to:
- Prioritize public safety by keeping firearms out of the wrong hands;
- Strengthen measures for firearms safety and give police tools to ensure public safety and help solve firearms-related crimes; and,
- Respect law-abiding firearms owners
- Bill C-71 appears to do little to improve public safety as is Instead it appears to put further, unnecessary restrictions and burdens on Canada’s most vetted population
- The OFAH fully recognizes that Bill C-71 will be defined by the finer details and policy mechanisms required to implement the five key themes highlighted in Bill C-71:
- Enhanced background checks
- Licence Verification
- Record-keeping by vendors
- Classification or Re-Classification — RCMP
- The contents of Bill C-71 proposes the remaining aspects of the 2015 Liberal Party’s platform related to firearms. The OFAH provided initial comments to the government in anticipation of these proposed changes, and worked with them in an attempt to ensure they fully understand how changes in policy will affect lawful firearms owners in Canada
- The government has stated it will NOT bring back another long gun registry, but…
- What’s the deal with the Quebec Long Gun Registry files? Bill C-71 says all files will be given to the Quebec Minister upon request. Canadians have been previously told these records no longer exist. Apparently they do. The government needs to address this issue
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