Bill C-71 Goes Back to House of Commons June 7, SECU Chair Says — Bill C-71, the Canadian government’s draft law to make it tougher for federally licensed gun owners to buy, own and use firearms, will return to the House of Commons on June 7, said the head of a parliamentary committee reviewing the text.

Bill C-71 Next Steps

  • May 22: Experts and stakeholders begin presentations to SECU
  • June 5: SECU runs clause-by-clause review
  • June 7: Bill returns to House of Commons
  • June 22: House of Commons begins summer recess
  • Date Unknown: Third reading, then to Senate

“We will report the bill back to the House on June 7,” John McKay, the chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, told today in a telephone interview. The committee’s internal name is SECU.

Bill C-71, nicknamed the Firearm Owners Harassment Act by the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, is the first proposed law in a generation seeking to expand gun bans, restrictions and tracking of millions of lawful hunters, farmers, gun collectors and sport shooters.

The Ministry of Public Safety is advertising it as an anti-gang bill that is “fair to responsible, law-abiding firearms owners and businesses.”

“This was touted as a public-safety bill,” Glen Motz, a Conservative member of parliament and of SECU, said today by telephone. “It does nothing for public safety.”

Contact SECU

“Liberal and NDP members of SECU need to hear from law-abiding Canadian gun owners about how it will affect them,” Motz said. “You can send a one- or two-paragraph letter to five, six, or seven people in one e-mail and say, ‘Here are my concerns with this legislation.’” (Click here for contact info.)

The SECU committee will begin hearing from more than 20 expert witness and stakeholders on May 22, and then run a clause-by-clause review of the draft starting on June 5, McKay said. Several people have submitted reports for the committee to consider.

“People need to bear in mind that this is a relatively modest bill,” McKay said. “It is designed to address some pretty obvious loopholes,” such as having to show your firearm licence to buy a firearm, he said. (More info here.)

Although the draft will be back in parliament on June 7, it’s unlikely to get to third reading before the summer recess on June 22 because other bills will probably take priority, said McKay. Some parliamentary staff expect the Liberal-led government to pass third reading before the recess.

“Personally, I would be surprised,” said McKay, a member of parliament for the Liberal Party.

The House reconvenes Sept. 17.

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Additional Comments by Glen Motz

“We have a new gun law being proposed. We have very limited time to bring witnesses on.”

“The Liberals have restricted witnesses, restricted debate.”

“We’re dealing with something that will have an impact on the lives of many Canadians.”

“They control the agenda and the timeline.”

In the review of Bill C-59, “not one amendment was supported.”

“We don’t anticipate anything different on this bill.”

“They have their marching orders.”

“I’m not optimistic.”

“We’re going to fight as we always do. We’re not going to concede anything.”

“We have a Liberal-dominated Senate. They are Liberal sympathizers, many of them.”

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