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Trudeau Ramps Up Campaign to Ban Guns From Licensed Owners

Guest Commentary by Nicolas Johnson of — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ramped up his campaign against federally licensed hunters and sport shooters today with a survey to promote gun bans and a brochure that said “any ban of handguns or assault weapons would primarily affect legal firearms owners.”

The opinion survey asks “Where should we focus efforts to limit handguns?” and “Where do you believe efforts to limit assault weapons should be focused?”

It’s a federal crime for anyone to buy, sell, own or transport any firearm without permission from the federal police.

Automatic rifles have been classified by law as “Prohibited” for decades and police confiscate them after their owners die.

‘Engagement Paper’

A 2,000 word “Engagement Paper” with headings such as “Gun Crime,” “Illicit Firearms” and “Firearms Smuggling” mentioned “crime” and “violence” at least 10 times each followed by anecdotes and statistics for both. It mentioned “hunting” and “sport shooting” twice each.

The pamphlet left out that shooting is one of Canada’s safest and most-popular sporting activities. It’s one of the original disciplines of the modern Olympics.

It failed to say that new bans could wipe out wealth invested in guns and gear from hundreds of thousands of families, shut down businesses and kill thousands of careers.

It omitted that the chief of the federal police in charge of gun licensing is among police leaders who don’t support new prohibitions for lawful individuals.

Bans for Votes

Gun bans are part of Trudeau’s crackdown on millions of men, women and youth who safely and responsibly use firearms for hunting, recreation and sport.

A public-relations firm that advises the government said in March that more restrictions on shooters present an “untapped opportunity” for Trudeau’s Liberal Party to win votes in the next election.

Wrong Target

“Any ban of handguns or assault weapons would primarily affect legal firearms owners, while the illicit market would be indirectly affected as there would be fewer available to potentially divert,” said one of today’s campaign documents, Reducing Violent Crime: A Dialogue on Handguns and Assault Weapons — Engagement Paper. (See links below.)

“The vast majority of owners of handguns and of other firearms in Canada lawfully abide by requirements, and most gun crimes are not committed with legally-owned firearms,” the brochure said.

Petition to Oppose

The deadline to complete the online survey is Nov. 10. The government will also hold “in-person stakeholder engagement sessions” across Canada by invitation only. Minister Bill Blair will publish a report on the survey in “early 2019.”

A federal election is scheduled for next October. Michelle Rempel, a member of the opposition Conservative Party and a licensed shooter, sponsored a petition to oppose new bans that went online today on the website of the House of Commons.

Restrict, Prohibit, Confiscate

New bans would be in addition to the prohibitions in Bill C-71. If passed, the law will lead to the confiscation of as many as 15,000 lawfully owned rifles, make it easier to ban more, and make it tougher for gun owners to get, keep and use firearms. The bill is with the Senate and may take effect this year.

New restrictions on firearm imports are scheduled to start Dec. 1. Canada’s main firearm-industry group has said the so-called Firearms Marking Regulations threaten “catastrophic damage” to thousands of small businesses. The country imports almost every gun sold domestically.

About 2.2 million men and women have a firearm licence, more than play hockey. Millions more unlicensed family and friends of all ages also enjoy shooting under supervision. Licences to June 30 rose for 21 consecutive quarters to a record.

Today’s gun-ban marketing campaign didn’t mention:

  • “Gun crime is less than one half of one percent of overall police-reported crime in Canada.” — Statistics Canada, 07 March 2018.
  • Licensed firearm owners are statistically safer than the general population.
  • The government of Ontario, home to almost a third of Canada’s licensed shooters, opposes new bans.
  • The government of Saskatchewan, the province with the most gun owners as a percentage of the population, opposes new bans.
  • The second most-signed e-petition in the history of the House of Commons opposed Bill C-71, which includes new bans.
  • Every major national and provincial association of hunters and sport shooters opposes new bans.
  • Jim Shockey, one of Canada’s best-known living hunters, opposes new bans.
  • The Conservative Party opposes new bans and has pledged to repeal Bill C-71 if elected to govern.
  • Active and retired police leaders oppose new bans.
  • More than 90,000 men and women, mainly police, are required to carry loaded guns for personal and public safety.
  • ( has reported all of the above.)

Action Steps

  • E-mail Trudeau, Blair and your member of parliament to oppose gun bans.
  • See here for contact info and a script: Dear Prime Minister: No Gun Ban.
  • Support political candidates who support you and help them win. As of today, one federal party has MPs sticking out their necks to stand up for gun owners and block Trudeau’s bans. If they lose the next election, we lose our guns.
  • Support so we can continue to deliver news and analysis you won’t find anywhere else. Subscribe to get updates directly in your inbox.

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