Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Canadian Senate Committee Rejects Handgun Ban Amendment; Issues Bill C-71 Report

Friday, April 12, 2019

Canadian Senate Committee Rejects Handgun Ban Amendment; Issues Bill C-71 Report

Early this week, Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (SECD) met to review and vote on Bill C-71, the Liberal Government’s gun control measure, section by section. This review follows several days of testimony that concluded on April 3, 2019.

The senators made critical changes to several sections of the bill, many of which were proposed by Senator Don Plett, the committee’s most vocal opponent of the bill. The SECD’s report was issued on April 10, and summarizes these amendments. 

These include a deletion of the proposed “lifetime” background check for new applicants and licensees in section 2; a restoration of the Criminal Code provision authorizing the government to classify firearms as non-restricted and restricted (which C-71 deletes); and the addition of a new Section 11.1, requiring the Commissioner of Firearms to report, annually, to the government the decisions and recommendations made (along with the underlying reasons) regarding “whether a firearm is a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm, or a non-restricted firearm,” plus “the actual or anticipated costs to firearms owners and businesses of those decisions and recommendations.” 

The most telling development, though, was the committee’s rejection of an amendment to add a handgun ban. Senator Marilou McPhedran moved an amendment to the bill’s section 16 as a means “to deal more effectively with the proliferation of handguns in Canada.” Her amendment would classify all handguns as “prohibited firearms” under s. 84(1) of the Criminal Code, exempting only any handgun “that is prescribed for use in international sporting competitions governed by the rules of the International Shooting Union.” 

Under Canada’s firearm laws, handguns are already tightly regulated. Reclassifying all handguns (except for guns used in competitions at the highest levels) as “prohibited” firearms would mean significant, additional restrictions for existing handgun owners and increased exposure to criminal penalties for noncompliance.  

The committee had previously heard testimony, notably from gun retailers and the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association on February 25, regarding the increasing popularity of sports shooting and the related growth in handgun sales. These lawfully owned and lawfully used handguns are the firearms that Senator McPhedran means when she refers to a “proliferation of handguns” that must be repressed through new legislation.   

In pushing the ban, Senator McPhedran advised the committee of her fear that the government agenda regarding a separate bill on handguns is not moving quickly enough and will run out of time before Canadians go to the polls in October. 

The committee members were unpersuaded. The McPhedran amendment tanked, with only one other committee member voting in its favor.      

Senator Plett, speaking against the amendment, expressed both procedural and substantive concerns. Senator McPhedran was, in effect, preempting the existing government agenda on handguns and “overriding the entire public consultation process” that had taken place on that issue. While she was “quite correct” that the handgun legislation “won’t happen [with] this parliament,” it was clear, also, that should the Liberal government be reelected, it would proceed with plans for new laws to further restrict handguns. Substantively, the amendment’s sole exemption was for a tiny class of high-level competitive shooters, an “arbitrary” exemption that didn’t extend to the preparatory shooting sport culture necessary to create Olympic-level athletes (“Who is going to become an Olympic shooter if they don’t shoot at an earlier point in their life?”).  

Other senators agreed, pointing out that the amendment failed to address what would happen with handguns that were currently legally possessed once a ban took effect, and the amendment was “premature” in light of the ongoing government consultation process regarding changes to the handgun law. Ultimately, the committee report recommended deletion of the bill’s section 16 entirely.  

Bill C-71 has already passed in the House of Commons and received two of the required three readings in the Senate. While the bill and the committee’s report now go back to the Senate, new and different amendments to bill C-71 may still be made. Senator McPhedran has indicated she will propose her handgun ban amendment again when the Bill C-71 comes before the Senate for third reading.

A day after the issuance of the committee report, the government’s consultation and engagement report, Reducing Violent Crime: A Dialogue on Handguns and Assault-Style Firearms, was released by Public Safety Canada. This follows an “engagement process” launched in October 2018 by Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, to “assist the government in determining next steps as to any possible changes to firearms legislation and/or the Criminal Code.” One of the key findings of this report was the lack of clear-cut support for a handgun ban, with strong opposition against a ban or further limiting access to handguns being expressed by “all the shooting sports clubs/associations and retailers, most of the academic/researchers and wildlife/conservations associations, as well as a territorial government, an association representing rural municipalities and a group representing LGBTQ+ firearms owners” who made representations during this process. 

Canada’s law-abiding gun owners have made their views clear. They have now been fighting the misguided and ineffective Bill C-71 for over a year. This October, “the real battle,” as noted by Senator Plett, will be at the ballot box. 

TRENDING NOW
Gun Control May be Wasting Away, But Not Because of COVID

News  

Monday, October 19, 2020

Gun Control May be Wasting Away, But Not Because of COVID

A recent article on a gun control news site laments that the COVID-19 pandemic has thwarted ballot initiatives to expand gun bans and restrictions. Initiatives in Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio and Oregon have stalled, allegedly due to the ...

Anti-gun Politicians Seek to Tax Your Second Amendment Rights Into Oblivion

News  

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Anti-gun Politicians Seek to Tax Your Second Amendment Rights Into Oblivion

In 1819, Chief Justice John Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court famously wrote:  “the power to tax involves the power to destroy ….”

Anti-Gun Organization Prepared to Launch National Group of Gun Owners Who Apparently Don’t Like Guns

News  

Monday, October 19, 2020

Anti-Gun Organization Prepared to Launch National Group of Gun Owners Who Apparently Don’t Like Guns

Yes, that title doesn’t make much sense, but neither does a group that promotes banning firearms starting a national organization called Gun Owners for Safety. Nonetheless, The Hill recently reported that the anti-gun group Giffords is doing just ...

Law Professors Make Case for Second Amendment Rights in Uncertain Times

News  

Monday, October 19, 2020

Law Professors Make Case for Second Amendment Rights in Uncertain Times

Americans have made clear that they value their Second Amendment rights, especially during uncertain times. Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and then widespread civil unrest, Americans have bought firearms in record numbers. Through September, the FBI ...

Montana: Californian-funded Fake Hunting Group Lies About Steve Bullock’s Anti-gun Record

News  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Montana: Californian-funded Fake Hunting Group Lies About Steve Bullock’s Anti-gun Record

Montana gun owners have been subjected to an abundance of lies this election season. Leading the misinformation campaign is fake hunting group Montana Hunters & Anglers Leadership Fund. Bankrolled by a wealthy San Francisco Bay ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Joe Biden Told Voters the Second Amendment DOES NOT Protect an Individual Right

News  

Monday, September 21, 2020

Joe Biden Told Voters the Second Amendment DOES NOT Protect an Individual Right

During a September 2019 “townhall” hosted by New Hampshire ABC affiliate WMUR, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made clear that he does not believe the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms and ...

Please Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol

News  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Please Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol

As we reported last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) recently informed firearm manufacturer Q, LLC that, in ATF’s view, Q’s “Honey Badger” pistol with stabilizing brace is actually a short-barreled rifle and ...

Judge Barrett Picks Second Amendment Case as Her “Most Significant” Ruling

News  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Judge Barrett Picks Second Amendment Case as Her “Most Significant” Ruling

The confirmation hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, are due to begin on October 12th before the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Your Action Needed: Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol!

News  

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Your Action Needed: Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol!

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) recently informed firearm manufacturer Q, LLC that, in ATF’s view, Q’s “Honey Badger” pistol with stabilizing brace is actually a short-barreled rifle and therefore subject to the National ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.