Once again, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government have shamefully chosen to punish law-abiding firearms owners instead of doing the work needed to address the real issue of illegal firearms.
With hours left to go before Parliament rose for the summer, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced that effective July 7, the Liberals would be implementing new regulations previously introduced in 2019’s Bill C-71, including reinstating the need for firearms owners to apply for an Authorization to Transport (ATT) restricted or prohibited firearms to most locations.
As of last week, the RCMP’s Canadian Firearms Program began notifying firearms owners impacted by the ATT changes by email. According to their website, “All affected licence holders will be mailed a formal notification of the changes to the Authorizations to Transport, including their current updated licence conditions”.
These changes mean that firearms owners will now be required to apply for a separate authorization to transport restricted or prohibited firearms to any location that is not the purchaser’s home following the sale or to and from a shooting range. The automatic approval to transport legally-owned restricted or prohibited firearms to a police or peace officer, a gunsmith, a gun show, or to a port of entry or exit has also been revoked.
This reverses positive changes to firearms law that the previous Conservative government had made. We added these automatic provisions because we believe that if you are qualified to own a restricted or prohibited firearm, we knew you were qualified to transport that firearm as well.
The removal of these provisions will only create a massive amount of unnecessary red tape and the potential for huge delays that will only punish lawful firearms owners. This will not make Canada safer. No criminal has ever applied for an ATT before carrying out a crime.
The simple fact is that every dollar that is spent targeting law-abiding firearms owners is a dollar not going to fighting the core issue of firearms crime in Canada – illegally smuggled guns.
That is shameful.
I have, and always will, support common-sense firearms policies that keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals. That is why I will continue to call on this Liberal government to repeal C-71, put an end to their plans for a backdoor registry, and respect law-abiding firearms owners.