Although it has been a number of years since MPs have had a down-and-out battle over firearms, a new round in the fight over who should and who shouldn’t have guns in Canada is now underway.
The Trudeau government is vowing to ban military-style assault rifles as part of election promises made last year. Legislation putting the ban in effect is expected to come before Parliament this session.
Whether opponents of the move to ban the rapid-fire weapons will be successful in stopping the Liberals’ plans remains anyone’s guess.
What is certain is that, come what may, the two sides in the firearms debate are unlikely to find any middle ground when the dust finally settles, if it ever does.
For his part, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the government is ready to move forward with its plans.
“The prohibition of the assault-style rifles I think is an important step that perhaps could be accomplished in the near term,” said Blair.
“The arrangements on any potential buyback (of assault rifles) will take a little bit more time because I think it’s really important that we get good value for the expenditure of taxpayers’ dollars and, at the same time, I’m very mindful that we’re dealing with law-abiding Canadians.”
Opponents of the proposed ban are already actively trying to stop it. One such effort is a petition being spearheaded by Conservative MP Glen Motz, his party’s shadow minister of public safety.
“The Liberals’ policies are targeting law-abiding firearms owners instead of criminals and gangs which are the real issues,” said Motz. “It’s much harder and more difficult to go after gang members and the illegally trafficked firearms, but that is the difficult work that Conservatives have always been prepared to do.
“Canadians want action on crime, action on gangs, and action on illegal firearms, and they want it now.”
The latest in the long line of battles over gun control in Canada is now underway. Anyone care to guess how it will turn out?Dan Singleton is an editor with the Mountain View Albertan.