By Lethbridge Herald on July 6, 2018.
Liberals’ new firearms legislation targets
the wrong people
Canadians have until July 26 to sign the House of Commons e-petition opposing the Liberal government’s new firearms legislation. As the sponsor of this petition, it has been my pleasure to provide an official way for Canadians to register their opposition to this reckless legislation.
Instead of going after career criminals, the government is targeting hunters and sports shooters who have already gone through extensive background checks and safety courses in order to possess their firearms and use them lawfully.
This e-petition was started by Ryan Slingerland, a 16-year-old youth from Coalhurst. He was incredibly upset about the negative impact this legislation would have on his family members who hunt and he was disgusted by the fact that Bill C-71 would do absolutely nothing to go after rural crime, which is skyrocketing in Alberta.
So far, more than 80,000 Canadians have signed this e-petition, making it the second-largest e-petition in Canadian history. Canadians from coast to coast are united in their concern that this legislation does nothing to make our communities safer, while treating hunters and sports shooters as evil and deserving of punishment.
Ironically, while the federal government is making it more difficult for law-abiding gun owners, the government has introduced another piece of legislation that makes life easier for violent criminals. The contrast couldn’t be more clear: one law attacks the good guys, and the other rewards the bad guys.
Bill C-71 is the Liberal’s new firearms legislation, which creates a backdoor long-gun registry, confiscates firearms that were legally purchased by Canadians, and allows the federal government to share firearms records with the province of Quebec.
Meanwhile, Bill C-75 makes significant changes to the Criminal Code, watering down penalties for violent crimes. It reduces penalties for crimes such as participating in a terrorist group, trafficking women and girls, committing violence against a clergy member, murdering a child within one year of birth, abducting a child, two types of arson, poisoning someone, forcing marriage, marriage fraud, advocating for genocide, participating in organized crime, and a series of white-collar crimes.
When you consider the number of vacant judge positions, the changes to how juries are selected, and now the watering-down of sentences for violent crimes, it’s easy to see why confidence in our judicial system is diminishing. Instead of appointing more judges, the government’s solution to backed-up courts is to let more criminals go free. Reducing penalties for serious crimes sends the wrong message to victims, law-abiding Canadians and to criminals.
Conservatives believe the safety of Canadians should be the number-one priority of any government. The rights of victims and communities must always come first.
How does it make sense to go after law-abiding hunters and sports shooters while making life easier for gangs and terrorists?
If you agree, please take a moment to sign the e-petition. You can sign it by going to my website: RachaelHarder.ca.
Rachael Harder is the Conservative MP for Lethbridge. Her column appears monthly.