TheGunBlog.ca — Canada’s governing Liberal Party proposed Bill C-21 to construct a “false narrative” as a “cynical ploy” to win re-election, Christian Leuprecht, a professor of political science, told the Senate committee reviewing the draft law.
- He is a professor of political science at Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario.
- TheGunBlog.ca added the links below, and we translated some of Leuprecht’s comments from French.
Leuprecht’s Opening Statement to Senators
Thank you for today’s invitation.
I live and work in Kingston, which is situated on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee peoples. I direct a large empirical research program on global illicit flows. I’ve published on firearms policy. I’m a member of the Kingston Police Services Board, although I do not speak for the board.
But I do not have a firearms licence or certificate.
‘Creeping Total Ban on Handguns’
The proposed legislation amounts to a creeping total ban on handguns.
In effect, it replicates Section 12 (6.1) of the Firearms Act. Introduced by a previous Liberal government, this section prohibited previously “Restricted” firearms with a barrel length of 105 millimetres or less that shoot certain types of calibres or ammunition.
In April 2005, that amendment imposed a prohibition on firearms that had previously only been “Restricted.”
So we have a track record of its impact over the past 18 1/2 years. Firearms that fall under 12 (6) can no longer be sold; they cannot even be passed down as an inheritance.
This has had the following effect: It depressed the value of collector firearms, because there is no longer a market for these firearms; it has amounted to imposing a slow-moving outright ban on firearms under 12 (6).
The draft legislation before you applies the same logic to all handguns.
In reality, it imposes an eventual ban on all private lawful ownership of handguns. Current owners will be “grandfathered,” but under this legislation handguns could no longer be acquired by or sold to individuals or inherited by a licensed heir.
But what problem is this legislation meant to solve?
The data is unequivocal: Well over 90% of firearms seized in the commission of a crime or that are possessed unlawfully in Canada have been smuggled by organized crime from the United States.
That should come as no surprise since Canada adjoins the largest and most-permissive gun market in the world. Almost anyone can acquire an array of handguns at a U.S. gun show.
This Liberal government came to power claiming it would engage in evidence-based decision making. Instead, this bill amounts to decision-based evidence seeking. Show me the data that supports this bill.
There is none.
‘This Bill Constructs a False Narrative’
Instead of being honest with Canadians and devising constructive policies that will actually curb the northbound torrent of crime guns from the United States, this bill constructs a false narrative against 4 million lawful, licensed and background-checked firearms owners.
With the exception of sensible new powers in the case of intimate partner violence or CBSA, this bill will do just about nothing to curb the rampant gun crime in Canada.
However, it does ensure that only criminals will possess handguns.
This is hardly reassuring for a government that has made it largely impossible to hold criminals on bail, even after multiple breaches of conditions, free once again to re-victimize law-abiding citizens.
‘This Legislation Is a Cynical Ploy’
This legislation is a cynical ploy to polarize Canadian society by leveraging firearms as a wedge issue ahead of the next federal election.
But that is par for the course for this government, with its robust track record of putting boutique electoral priorities ahead of the national interest.
Warning to Senators
In over 20 years of studying public safety and national security across democratic countries, I have never seen a bill with this great a disconnect between its supposed means and ends.
Any parliamentarian who votes in favour of this bill is going on record as disdaining evidence, supporting derision, fanning polarization, encouraging disinformation and wasting scarce public resources on policy measures that missed their intended target.
This bill does next to nothing to make the Canadian public any safer. It will neither solve nor prevent a single crime.