OSHAWA, ON – Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair’s long-awaited engagement report –
Reducing Violent Crime: A Dialogue on Handguns and Assault-Style Firearms –
has been released and the outcome of that discourse is somewhat encouraging for Canada’s two-million-plus lawful firearm owners who feared a possible gun ban.
“Those 134,917 participants in the government's online questionnaire overwhelmingly believe that a ban on handguns and so-called “assault-style” firearms targets the wrong people. Law-abiding firearm owners are not the problem, violent criminals possessing illicit guns are,” said Tony Bernardo, Executive Director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association. “Our organization is not surprised by this conclusion and we said as much during the Minister’s in-person roundtable held in Toronto last fall."
CSSA representatives attended the Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal consultations.
At that roundtable, the CSSA also noted that there is no statistical evidence that the banning of civilian firearms would have an impact on the criminal misuse of guns. The only data that was available came from the Toronto Police Service, and it showed that politicians had been grossly misrepresenting the proportion of firearms that originated from our community.
“We agree that a multi-faceted approach (such as more community-based programs, enhanced law enforcement and border services, and harsher punishments and penalties for gun-related crime) is key if we are to reduce the illicit use of firearms. Imposing a gun ban ‘in isolation’ as the Minister noted, is useless,” said Mr. Bernardo.
“Our organization would welcome the opportunity to confer with Ministers Goodale and Blair and the Firearms Advisory Committee to help develop some real solutions to these serious firearm issues,” said Mr. Bernardo. The CSSA was a long-standing member of the federal government’s Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee, the purpose of which, among other things, is to provide the Public Safety Minister with advice on matters relating to Canada’s firearms policies, laws and regulations.
The Engagement Report will now be used to assist the federal government in developing any future changes it may wish to apply to firearm laws… “while not impeding the lawful use of firearms by Canadians,” as stated in the report.
"While it appears there will be no gun ban in our immediate future, the CSSA will continue its efforts to ensure the government of Canada understands and respects our Canadian firearm traditions and the rights of responsible Canadians to have lawful access to their firearms.
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For further information, please contact:
Tony Bernardo, Executive Director