Tory MP Mel Arnold blasts federal Liberals over handgun legislation

Liberals 'off target' - MP

Mel Arnold thinks the federal government is off target when it comes to gun control.

The North Okanagan-Shuswap Conservative MP said the federal Liberals would do better to spend their time going after criminals than targeting legal firearm owners.

Earlier this week, the Trudeau Liberals tabled gun legislation would allow municipalities to ban handguns through bylaws restricting their possession, storage and transportation. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the measures will be backed up with serious penalties to enforce these bylaws, including jail time for people who violate municipal rules.

“In the midst of a pandemic, Justin Trudeau is focused on his own re-election and advancing the Liberals’ ideological agenda instead of helping Canadians get vaccines. This is unacceptable,” Arnold said.

“The reality is, the vast majority of gun crimes are committed with illegally obtained firearms and taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens does nothing to stop dangerous criminals and gangs who obtain their guns illegally.”

Arnold pointed out the Liberals also recently defeated Bill C-238, a Conservative bill that would have imposed tougher sentences for criminals smuggling or who are found in possession of illegal firearms.

“Instead of targeting law-abiding Canadians and firearm retailers, the government should be investing in police anti-gang and gun units and the CBSA to provide law enforcement with the resources they need to stop illegal smuggling operations and get dangerous criminals and gangs off our streets.”

Arnold said Conservatives will always support “common-sense firearms policies” that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals.

“Conservatives are calling on the Trudeau Liberals to ensure that Canada’s firearms legislation is based on evidence, not on ideology, because this is what is required if we are to increase public safety by fighting violence involving firearms,” said Arnold. “Instead of targeting law-abiding firearms owners, the government should invest in programs to support victims of domestic violence.”

The new Liberal gun bill would increase criminal penalties for gun smuggling and trafficking, and enhance the capacity of police and border officers to keep illegal firearms out of the country.

It also creates new offences for altering the cartridge magazine of a firearm and introduce tighter restrictions on importing ammunition.

Last year, the Liberals introduced legislation that would ban 1,500 “assault style” weapons and this week they announced a buy-back program for those weapons.

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