Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Canadian Senate Committee Rejects Handgun Ban Amendment; Issues Bill C-71 Report

Friday, April 12, 2019

Canadian Senate Committee Rejects Handgun Ban Amendment; Issues Bill C-71 Report

Early this week, Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (SECD) met to review and vote on Bill C-71, the Liberal Government’s gun control measure, section by section. This review follows several days of testimony that concluded on April 3, 2019.

The senators made critical changes to several sections of the bill, many of which were proposed by Senator Don Plett, the committee’s most vocal opponent of the bill. The SECD’s report was issued on April 10, and summarizes these amendments. 

These include a deletion of the proposed “lifetime” background check for new applicants and licensees in section 2; a restoration of the Criminal Code provision authorizing the government to classify firearms as non-restricted and restricted (which C-71 deletes); and the addition of a new Section 11.1, requiring the Commissioner of Firearms to report, annually, to the government the decisions and recommendations made (along with the underlying reasons) regarding “whether a firearm is a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm, or a non-restricted firearm,” plus “the actual or anticipated costs to firearms owners and businesses of those decisions and recommendations.” 

The most telling development, though, was the committee’s rejection of an amendment to add a handgun ban. Senator Marilou McPhedran moved an amendment to the bill’s section 16 as a means “to deal more effectively with the proliferation of handguns in Canada.” Her amendment would classify all handguns as “prohibited firearms” under s. 84(1) of the Criminal Code, exempting only any handgun “that is prescribed for use in international sporting competitions governed by the rules of the International Shooting Union.” 

Under Canada’s firearm laws, handguns are already tightly regulated. Reclassifying all handguns (except for guns used in competitions at the highest levels) as “prohibited” firearms would mean significant, additional restrictions for existing handgun owners and increased exposure to criminal penalties for noncompliance.  

The committee had previously heard testimony, notably from gun retailers and the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association on February 25, regarding the increasing popularity of sports shooting and the related growth in handgun sales. These lawfully owned and lawfully used handguns are the firearms that Senator McPhedran means when she refers to a “proliferation of handguns” that must be repressed through new legislation.   

In pushing the ban, Senator McPhedran advised the committee of her fear that the government agenda regarding a separate bill on handguns is not moving quickly enough and will run out of time before Canadians go to the polls in October. 

The committee members were unpersuaded. The McPhedran amendment tanked, with only one other committee member voting in its favor.      

Senator Plett, speaking against the amendment, expressed both procedural and substantive concerns. Senator McPhedran was, in effect, preempting the existing government agenda on handguns and “overriding the entire public consultation process” that had taken place on that issue. While she was “quite correct” that the handgun legislation “won’t happen [with] this parliament,” it was clear, also, that should the Liberal government be reelected, it would proceed with plans for new laws to further restrict handguns. Substantively, the amendment’s sole exemption was for a tiny class of high-level competitive shooters, an “arbitrary” exemption that didn’t extend to the preparatory shooting sport culture necessary to create Olympic-level athletes (“Who is going to become an Olympic shooter if they don’t shoot at an earlier point in their life?”).  

Other senators agreed, pointing out that the amendment failed to address what would happen with handguns that were currently legally possessed once a ban took effect, and the amendment was “premature” in light of the ongoing government consultation process regarding changes to the handgun law. Ultimately, the committee report recommended deletion of the bill’s section 16 entirely.  

Bill C-71 has already passed in the House of Commons and received two of the required three readings in the Senate. While the bill and the committee’s report now go back to the Senate, new and different amendments to bill C-71 may still be made. Senator McPhedran has indicated she will propose her handgun ban amendment again when the Bill C-71 comes before the Senate for third reading.

A day after the issuance of the committee report, the government’s consultation and engagement report, Reducing Violent Crime: A Dialogue on Handguns and Assault-Style Firearms, was released by Public Safety Canada. This follows an “engagement process” launched in October 2018 by Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, to “assist the government in determining next steps as to any possible changes to firearms legislation and/or the Criminal Code.” One of the key findings of this report was the lack of clear-cut support for a handgun ban, with strong opposition against a ban or further limiting access to handguns being expressed by “all the shooting sports clubs/associations and retailers, most of the academic/researchers and wildlife/conservations associations, as well as a territorial government, an association representing rural municipalities and a group representing LGBTQ+ firearms owners” who made representations during this process. 

Canada’s law-abiding gun owners have made their views clear. They have now been fighting the misguided and ineffective Bill C-71 for over a year. This October, “the real battle,” as noted by Senator Plett, will be at the ballot box. 

TRENDING NOW
Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

On April 22nd, the Maine Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Legislative Document 1312, which would allow for firearms to be seized and Second Amendment rights to be suspended without due process. 

California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

Thursday, April 18, 2019

California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

Today, the California Department of Justice issued a “Notice of Modification” to their proposed regulations regarding the soon to be implemented ammunition background check procedures. As a result of these changes, a second 15-day public ...

Idaho: Governor Signs Important Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Idaho: Governor Signs Important Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Yesterday, Governor Brad Little signed important self-defense legislation, House Bill 206, into law.

NRA Statement on New York City's Desperate Attempt to Avoid Supreme Court Review

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

NRA Statement on New York City's Desperate Attempt to Avoid Supreme Court Review

NRA reacts to New York City's attempt to avoid having the NRA-supported Supreme Court case N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association, et al. v. City of N.Y., et al heard in DC. 

Another Day, Another Hearing with Anti-Gun Democrats Grandstanding on Firearms

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Another Day, Another Hearing with Anti-Gun Democrats Grandstanding on Firearms

On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing it called, “Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global Systemically Important Banks 10 years after the Financial Crisis.” If you are wondering what that could ...

Swiss to Vote on Implementation of EU Gun Controls

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Swiss to Vote on Implementation of EU Gun Controls

On May 19, Swiss citizens will go to the polls to vote in a referendum that will determine whether the peaceful mountain nation will acquiesce to the mandates of the European Firearms Directive. The Swiss have a proud ...

Texas: House to Consider Reform Measure Protecting the Right-to-Carry During Emergencies

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Texas: House to Consider Reform Measure Protecting the Right-to-Carry During Emergencies

Tomorrow, the Texas House is scheduled to vote on House Bill 1177, NRA-backed legislation sponsored by Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), which protects citizens from being charged with a crime for carrying a handgun without a License To ...

Get the Hect Outta Here: Police Chief Suspended After Students Complain About Pro-Gun "Likes"

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Get the Hect Outta Here: Police Chief Suspended After Students Complain About Pro-Gun "Likes"

Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges are two liberal arts institutions for women in the western part of Massachusetts. Both share a campus police department that until recently was overseen by Chief Daniel Hect, who took command ...

Oregon: Gun Control Package Sent To Another Committee

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Oregon: Gun Control Package Sent To Another Committee

Thanks to NRA members and Second Amendment supporters who contacted their state Senators in opposition, Senate Bill 978 has been sent to the Oregon Senate Committee on Rules instead of directly to the Senate floor ...

Canadian Senate Committee Rejects Handgun Ban Amendment; Issues Bill C-71 Report

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Canadian Senate Committee Rejects Handgun Ban Amendment; Issues Bill C-71 Report

Early this week, Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (SECD) met to review and vote on Bill C-71, the Liberal Government’s gun control measure, section by section. This review follows several days of testimony ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.