Canada’s Senate Holds Hearings on “Rube Goldberg” Gun Control Law, Bill C-71

Canada’s Senate Holds Hearings on “Rube Goldberg” Gun Control Law, Bill C-71

Gun Rights

Last month, the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (SECD) concluded two days of hearings on Bill C-71 , the Liberal government’s gun control bill. (An additional hearing date has been set for March 18, 2019.) The committee has so far heard from approximately 40 witnesses , including gun rights advocates, gun control groups, the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, researchers and academics, sport shooting associations, industry groups, small business owners, Statistics Canada, community activists, and others. These hearings showcased the wide range of stakeholders in the current debate on the policy and effectiveness of Bill C-71. They also revealed that despite the differences between Canada and the United States, certain legislators in both countries share an unshakeable belief that the best way to respond to the criminal misuse of firearms is to ramp up restrictions on law-abiding gun owners. One of the common themes in both the testimony and the committee member questions was the lack of objective, empirical evidence to support the bill measures, and the bill’s failure to address the real issues of the illegal firearm trade and sources of illegal guns, and the rise in street gang crime. Dr. Caillin Langmann, the author of a 2012 study on firearm laws and homicide in Canada, testified he found no association between firearm homicides and laws imposing background checks, authorizations to transport, classification of firearms, or gun registries. Regarding suicide specifically, suicide by firearms in Canada “has been on a steady decline,” […]

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