Gun Policies of Conservative Party Leadership Candidates 2020
View the proposals of Leslyn Lewis, Peter MacKay, Erin O’Toole and Derek Sloan.
16 July 2020
6 min read
TheGunBlog.ca — Following are the proposed firearm policies of the four candidates running to lead the Conservative Party of Canada.
The plans and the formatting reflect was on the candidate websites today. They are presented alphabetically by last name.
Why It Matters
- Party members are in the midst of voting for the leader. Ballots must be received by the party by 5 p.m. Ottawa time on Aug. 21. Official Voting Info.
- A candidate’s policies for firearm users are only one of many considerations in selecting the party leader and, possibly, the future prime minister of Canada.
- The Conservative Party is the only party in the House of Commons that isn’t working to weaken citizens, cripple the firearm industry and eliminate modern shooting sports.
I will repeal the Liberals new undemocratic firearms ban and will carry out a fulsome review of all other current firearms laws.
I will refocus our resources on stopping weapons smuggling and keeping guns out of the hands of gangs and other criminals.
A safer Canada is one where we use Common sense to make our laws. That’s the kind of firearms approach you can expect from me.
As Canadian communities face an increase in violent crimes, the Trudeau Liberals are reverting to their failed playbook of demonizing law-abiding firearms owners.
Canadians from large urban centers to remote and rural communities are fed up with Trudeau’s inaction and want to see meaningful steps taken to keep their families safe. Justin Trudeau will penalize law-abiding and responsible firearms owners as a cover for his own inaction. I will not.
I want to address Justin Trudeau’s recent announcement, which will have significant ramifications for Canada's law-abiding firearms community.
To be clear – I will undo the changes made by Order in Council and repeal Bill C-71.
Recently, Trudeau implemented provisions of Bill C-71, passed by the previous Liberal government with the support of the NDP. This bill included a firearm ban that includes many common firearms owned and safely used by Canadian hunters, sports shooters and collectors.
While the bill penalizes Canadians who already go to great lengths to follow the law, the new measures do nothing to address problems caused by those who possess guns illegally or who smuggle them across the border.
As you know, Canada has a licensing system that includes an intensive screening process, rigorous training, and daily background checks. Canadian firearms owners are diligent about following the rules because safety is hardwired into the culture of lawful firearms ownership in this country.
I have always stood with our lawful Canadian firearms community who along with all Canadians, share a commitment to public safety. As a senior minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, I proudly supported the repeal of the ineffective and expensive long-gun registry in 2011.
I will stand once again, this time as Prime Minister, to bring forward legislation to repeal Bill C-71 and replace it with a law that targets violent crime that is prevalent in rural communities and urban centres, illegal guns, organized crime and smugglers. This is what will make Canadians safer.
Canadians are searching for solutions, not Liberal talking points that make headlines.
So, here are just a few of the steps a MacKay Conservative government will take to tackle serious violent crime and make our streets safer for everybody:
- Immediately introduce measures to crack down on illegal firearms.
- Provide for mandatory minimum penalties for possession and end the revolving door for repeat offenders.
- Take the $600 million the Trudeau government proposes to spend on a wasteful gun buyback program and invest that money with frontline policing and Canada Border Services to go after the illegal guns that pose a real threat to Canadians.
- Take decisive action to combat organized crime, which operates in cities, and more recently rural communities across Canada.
- Toughen measures to deter and catch smuggling by seizing vehicles at the border where illegal guns are found.
I will always stand with the lawful firearms community in Canada and all Canadians to fight the real criminals who put our communities at risk.
Canada is a nation with proud rural and outdoor traditions. Learning to hunt or target shoot with a family member is a way of life for millions of Canadians and must be respected. Firearm owners, be they hunters, farmers or sport shooters are among the most law-abiding citizens in Canada.
An O’Toole-Led Opposition Will:
- Oppose efforts to reverse the former Conservative government’s policy advances on firearms, including the Trudeau government’s new proposals to confiscate legal firearms.
- Oppose regulations that do not advance public safety and instead penalize law abiding firearms owners. This includes the arbitrary reclassification of firearms and magazines.
An O’Toole government will update Canada’s firearms legislation to ensure that it is evidence-based and focuses on keeping Canadians safe, not demonizing those Canadians the Liberals do not like.
The Proposed Legislative Changes Will:
- Conduct a review of the Firearms Act with participation of law enforcement, firearms owners, manufacturers, and members of the public, and then update legislation by introducing a simplified classification system and codifying it in law, so that it is clear what types of firearms fit into each category and classification decisions can therefore be made quickly, and with the public and firearms owners having confidence that they are not arbitrary. The legislation will also – for the first time – contain definitions of currently ambiguous issues like the term “variant”.
- Harmonize rules for discharging firearms on your own property so that restricted firearms are treated the same as non-restricted, where the local municipality allows the discharge of firearms.
- Mandate a return to the 180-day period for the re-designed classification system to release firearm import decisions and put final authority for classification decisions back in the hands of cabinet.
- Focus the resources of the federal government on criminals engaged in the trafficking and use of illegal firearms instead of imposing more layers of bureaucracy on law-abiding Canadians.
- Amend firearms laws to ensure that no administrative expiry could lead to criminal charges or the seizure of a licence holder’s firearm(s). Until an expired licence is renewed, it would remain illegal for licence holders to acquire new firearms or ammunition.
- Support specialized illegal firearms enforcement led by the CBSA and RCMP working closely with American authorities in the United States, to target smuggling operations before illegal firearms reach the border.
- Develop a suicide prevention strategy that encourages people – including legal firearms owners – to seek help when they need it. The current system actually discourages firearms owners from seeking help, due to the fear that the police will show up at their door, and the Trudeau government is making this worse, putting lives at risk.
Derek supports the removal of non-victim, non-violent firearm offences from the Criminal Code. Derek will entrench property rights in Canadian law and conduct a complete review of the Firearms Act and related regulations to ensure the right of firearms owners to their private property. He believes that ownership and use of firearms for protection is a civil right, notwithstanding court interpretations that say otherwise.
Derek supports the repeal of firearms legislation that has not provided any evidence of benefit to public safety, including former bills C-71 (2019), C-42 (2015), C-68 (1995), C-17 (1991), and C-51 (1977).
Derek will also cancel Trudeau’s gun grab. He believes that that money would be better spent on support for police and anti-gang units, action against rural crime, and policing our borders to stop the smuggling of the illegal weapons that are used in most gun crimes in Canada.
- Remove non-violent firearm offences from the Criminal Code.
- Enshrine in law the right to use firearms judiciously and appropriately for self-protection, whether at home or at some other place.
- Enshrine in law the specific right of non-retreat when in one’s home, and to clarify that an intruder in one’s home is presumed to be dangerous.
- Reinstate firearms training and target shooting with Cadets, encourage involvement of Cadets in high schools and other public venues, and encourage the inclusion of some high school credits for involvement in Cadets.
- Eliminate the automatic check of legal firearms owners when stopped for a traffic offence and replace it with an instant warrant/parole/probation check.
- Increase legal magazine capacity. This law deters no one of ill-intent, and it is easily contravened by them.
- Ensure any participation in UN treaties protects civilian firearms ownership and withdraw from the UN Arms Trade Treaty.
- Remove the “restricted” classification of firearms. There can be different levels of licensing but, once authorized to use a particular firearm, you should be free to use it as you would any other firearm, including where you can shoot it, how you can transport it, etc.
- As follows from the above, restore hunting and self-protection as legitimate legal uses of handguns, as was the case for many years in Canada.
- Ensure that firearms licensing criteria be solely objective.
- Reform the appeals process for refusal to issue a firearms license.
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