Government Says Gun Owners Shouldn’t Face ‘Unfair Treatment’

It sounds like the Canadian government is offering gun owners a glimmer of hope.

“The government believes in balanced, effective gun control that prioritizes public safety while ensuring law-abiding firearms owners do not face unfair treatment,” a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said today in an e-mailed response to questions by TheGunBlog.ca. (See below for full transcript.)

At least two elected officials from the ruling Liberal party have said previously in parliament that the law shouldn’t subject gun owners to unfair treatment. Kevin Lamoureux, a parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, used almost identical language to today’s statement on May 1, 2015, and May 16, 2016. Michel Picard, a parliamentary secretary to Goodale, used similar words right after Lamoureux on May 16, 2016.

Goodale’s office also said today that it’s working hard to fulfill its campaign commitments from October 2015. TheGunBlog.ca considers that many of these would increase the unfair treatment of gun owners beyond what we already face as a result of the Firearms Act, passed under the Liberals.

Following a letter by Goodale to employees yesterday reiterating pledges “to increase gun safety and reduce gun violence,” TheGunBlog.ca contacted Public Safety for more information. The following is a complete transcript of today’s response, with a link from the original e-mail.

(Click here to compare today’s statement to a short comment by the government in July.)

To: TheGunBlog.ca
From: Public Safety Canada, Media Relations
Date: 08 December 2016
Subject: Re: Request for info on Minister Goodale’s comments related to gun safety, violence

Dear [TheGunBlog.ca],

Thank you for your inquiry. I’m pleased to provide you with a statement on behalf of Minister Goodale’s office:

The government made clear promises to Canadians in our election platform to achieve the shared goal of reducing gun violence in Canada. We are hard at work on these commitments.

The government believes in balanced, effective gun control that prioritizes public safety while ensuring law-abiding firearms owners do not face unfair treatment.

We are working with our counterparts to develop a strategy on how the federal government can best support communities and law enforcement in their ongoing efforts to make it harder for criminals to acquire and use firearms and to reduce gang violence.

We are also committed to continuing to make major investments in social infrastructure to address social roots of violence.

The government will not interfere in the police’s decision-making about weapons classifications, as they are the experts in these technical decisions.

Federal officials have met with the government of Quebec to assist with their efforts to create a firearm registry. We will not recreate a federal long gun registry.

The Government of Canada will reconstitute the membership of the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee (CFAC) to include law enforcement officers, public health advocates, representatives from women’s groups, and members of the legal community. The objective is to achieve a balanced, inclusive and truly representative committee. We hope to announce progress on this work in the near future.

Work on these and other commitments is on-going.

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