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Dan-in-Ottawa

Target gun smuggling

Last month I did a report on Bill C-21: An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms).

This report touched on the Liberal government's latest firearms bill that, among other measures, also places new restrictions on certain types of “assault style” semi-automatic rifles but has been criticized for not removing these same rifles from the public.

As former NDP official opposition leader Thomas Mulcair recently stated:

“(Prime Minster Justin) Trudeau got pummelled, with long-time gun-control allies saying they felt betrayed and saying his government lied to them.”

The reason for this criticism relates to the fact that previously Trudeau stated:

"These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada."

As critics have pointed out, if PM Trudeau believes this to be true, why is his bill allowing these rifles to remain in Canada?

While there is often debate on targeting legal gun owners as opposed to criminals, one fact that data backs up is that the majority of gun crime in Canada is committed by guns that have been illegally smuggled into Canada.

The statistics show roughly 80% of Canadian gun crimes are committed with firearms illegally smuggled into Canada from the United States.

This raises another question – why not target illegal gun smuggling?

My Conservative colleague, MP Bob Saroya from Markham-Unionville (Ontario), recently tabled his private members bill, C-238, to do precisely that.

Bill C-238 proposed to significantly increase the minimum sentences for illegally smuggling guns into Canada, as well as being found in possession of an illegally smuggled gun.

The minimum sentence would increase from one year to three years, or 5 years if it were a second conviction for illegally smuggling guns into Canada.

On Jan. 27, 2021, Bill C-238 was defeated by just 21 votes.

116 Conservative MPs, along with 31 members of the Bloc, two Liberals and one Independent all supported this bill.

Opposed were 142 Liberals, 23 NDP, three Independent and the three Green MPs.

That brings me to this week’s question:

  • Would you have supported Bill C-238 to increase the minimum sentences for smuggling or possessing guns illegally smuggled into Canada?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

MP Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.



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