House of Commons votes on Bill C-391

NDP ‘compromise’ on gun bill mimics failings of Liberal plan

Proposed private members bill will create inequality and may spawn court challenges

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The recent announcement by NDP Leader Jack Layton of plans for a ‘compromise’ bill designed to alleviate opposition to the long gun registry is nothing more than a rehash of a previous ineffective proposal made by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. Neither provides a solution to the longstanding grievances against a badly flawed system that has cost taxpayers of Canada in excess of $1 billion dollars, continues to eat up millions more each year, and according to the Auditor General, has not been demonstrated to save lives or enhance public safety.

“Clearly, Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Layton lack the courage of their convictions. They are pandering to the rural and outdoor communities by proposing alternatives that do nothing to address the problems with the current system,” said O.F.A.H. Manager of Government Affairs and Policy, Greg Farrant. “The fact that they are scrambling for options in the run up to a vote on Bill C-391 is evidence that they realize the bill has strong support. Unfortunately, the changes they propose do not respond to the basic problems associated with the registry, and may in fact, spawn constitutional challenges. Even if the Criminal Code was amended to provide for a ‘non-criminal, ticketable’ offence, there is no guarantee that provinces would enforce the law uniformly. Since three provinces and one territory have already come out in support of scrapping the long gun registry through Bill C-391, amending the code could result in a patchwork of enforcement, inequality, and court challenges under the constitution.”

Bill C-391 was introduced by Candice Hoeppner, M.P. Portage-Lisgar, Manitoba, and received Second Reading in November 2009. It is expected to be debated at Third Reading this fall. In the meantime, a motion by Liberal M.P. Mark Holland that would squash the bill will be debated in Parliament on September 21 and voted on the following day.

Despite recent efforts by opponents of the bill, support for Bill C-391 remains strong, with several members of the NDP expected to continue the support they showed for the bill last fall. Unlike the Liberal leader, Mr. Layton is respecting parliamentary process and allowing his members a free vote. The eight Liberal members who voted for the bill at Second Reading will not be afforded the same opportunity for Third Reading, as Mr. Ignatieff is forcing his members to vote the party line, something that is largely unheard of on a private members bill.

“The tens of thousands of legal, licensed, law abiding firearms owners in Canada are appalled at the misinformation and rhetoric being used by the opposition leaders under the guise of fact. Instead of recognizing that criminals don’t register firearms, and that the use of illegal handguns is responsible for the carnage on the streets of our communities, they continue to aim at the wrong target and make farmers, hunters and recreational target shooters the subject of an onerous system that has failed to control gun crime,” Farrant added.

With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 670 member clubs in Ontario, the O.F.A.H. is the voice of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.

About Peter Wood 1192 Articles
As an avid lifelong angler and hunter, Peter’s outdoor knowledge and experiences keep expanding through his hundreds of hours of hunting and fishing podcast interviews with like minded experts. He has received numerous national writing awards. With thousands of outdoor pictures on Ripple Outdoors and many full-length articles with outdoor magazine and video clips you might say that he not only enjoys his outdoor lifestyle, but he’s quite the fanatic! In 2015 he earned fifth overall on the King of the Wood Contest hosted by Canada In The Rough team, pretty good for a baby boomer deer hunter. His buck was also one of the top bucks taken that season. Through Peter’s deer hunting seminars or by attending outdoor trade shows, like the Toronto Sportsmen Show and The SWOC Big Buck Show, he has connected with thousands of like minded people that love hunting and fishing. As a volunteer or member of local and national outdoor groups like QDMA, SWOC, Outdoor Writers of Canada, Archery Trade Show Association he continues to learn and hone his craft. Read his many articles, listen to his podcasts and rifle through thousands of photos on Ripple Outdoors. Discover Peter’s latest posts about outdoor gear, destinations, how to articles and interviews and you’ll be a better angler and hunter for the experience.

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