TheGunBlog.ca — Tony Bernardo, the executive director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, urged senators studying Bill C-21 to change the governing Liberal Party’s “fraudulent” legislative attack against licensed gun users.
Bernardo was speaking today to the Senate committee studying the planned law.
Following is his opening statement.
Bernardo’s Opening Statement
Good afternoon to everyone, I am Tony Bernardo, Executive Director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.
The CSSA is one of the largest firearms-owners associations in Canada, with a membership of 37,000 individuals. We have existed in various forms for 66 years, and over 75% of our members own and shoot handguns.
Government Ignores Solutions
These experts regarding firearms have told you the problem and have given you the science to reduce gun crime.
Why is this government not listening to them?
Why is this government directing its efforts against the law abiding as opposed to directing them against the criminal misuse of these objects?
From all the evidence you have listened to, it seems clear that this government is engaged in a witch hunt against millions of lawful Canadian citizens.
Yet expert after expert have told you the same things, from Marcell Wilson to former O.P.P. Chief Chris Lewis, C-21 will not stop or lessen gun crime and is totally focused on the law abiding.
Every measure we have, has shown the current government pogrom against lawful firearms owners has failed to curtail violence with firearms and in fact, the problem increases each year. Clearly, this 30-year approach simply doesn’t work.
Cowardly Handgun Confiscation
Please address the devaluation and confiscation of handguns, because this bill does not simply freeze transfers of handguns, it mandates their fiscal destruction and finally confiscation without compensation.
Worse, it doesn’t have the courage to confiscate them from me, it takes the cowardly route of confiscating many millions of dollars of private property from grieving spouses left behind when their loved one perishes.
It literally robs large sums from the purses of widows and widowers at their worst moment of vulnerability and leaves this obscenely immoral issue to another government to deal with.
England didn’t deal with it that way, Australia didn’t either. Even New Zealand had the fidelity to pay compensation to its citizens. Yet this government chooses to ignore the experience of our Commonwealth partners and British common law.
Even this government recognized how wrong this was when they enacted the May 2020 OiC confiscation of modern sporting and hunting firearms. They pledged fair market compensation for the theft of these firearms.
The May 2020 OiC guns you want to take away from me. The C-21 handguns you will take from a grieving widow.
Broken Prohibition System
And as of last year, media outlets have reported that 661 repeat offenders, all arrested for committing other serious crimes, were also charged with 1,514 counts of breaching Firearm Prohibition Orders, yet our Public Safety Minister refuses to lift a finger to fix Canada’s broken Firearm Prohibition Order System to address this serious public safety issue.
CSSA even went so far as to present a system to remedy the firearms-prohibition-order problem, but no response was received from the current government.
Criminals Don’t Obey the Law
Thank you for hearing our concerns. I will leave you with this thought from former O.P.P. Commissioner Chris Lewis:
“The people who are using guns now aren’t the lawful owners, that have registered guns and have the background checks, have been trained, and safely store them.
“That’s not who is committing the violent crimes. It’s people who are using smuggled guns from the United States, that’s the vast majority of guns used in crime, handguns.
“There are all kinds of laws in effect now that they’re disobeying, so adding more laws for the lawful owners isn’t going to impact the criminals who don’t care about the laws, they commit them all including murder. Banning lawfully owned handguns just is not going to solve the problem.”
Please pay the deepest attention to this matter, the confiscation of legally owned property from lawful Canadians that have committed no offence is a slap in the face to the liberties our country has enjoyed.
You have the power to change this fraudulent bill. Respectfully, please do so.
Thank you for your service to Canada.