A Conservative government would rollback the Liberal government’s increased firearm restrictions, the party confirmed Monday.
The Conservative Party of Canada’s official platform says a government led by Erin O’Toole would focus on smuggling and guns used in crime rather than the Trudeau approach of broad changes that only affect law-abiding gun owners.
This includes a repeal of Bill C-71 and the Trudeau government’s May 2020 order-in-council, which prohibited more than 1,500 firearm models, including the popular AR-15. Bill C-71 introduced a range of restrictions on gun owners, including a requirement to seek specific authorization to take a lawfully owned firearm to a gunsmith or a gun show.
The Conservatives are also committing to a review of the Firearms Act “with participation by law enforcement, firearms owners, manufacturers, and members of the public.”
“We will then update legislation by introducing a simplified classification system and codifying it in law so that it is clear what types of firearms fit into each category and classification decisions can be made quickly, and with the public and firearms owners having confidence that they are not arbitrary,” the platform says.
The Conservative gun plan would require law enforcement to return firearms seized when a person has been charged with an offence if the charges are dismissed.
The O’Toole government would also require “sentencing consideration for courts” if someone is charged for an offence “directed at a property or person that was vulnerable because of their remoteness from emergency services.”
Those using firearms when they are under a prohibition order, or those using firearms in the commission of a crime, will be subject to stiffer penalties under the plan laid out in the platform.
“Our focus will be on keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals,” the document says. “This contrasts with the Liberals, who have refused to take action against gangs while harassing hunters and sport shooters. Canada’s Conservatives will improve the regulation of legal firearms to ensure that it is evidence-based and focuses on protecting public safety.”
Earlier this year, True North released Assaulted: Justin Trudeau’s War on Gun Owners, a four-part documentary series telling the stories of Canadians whose lives and livelihoods have been harmed as a result of the order-in-council.
As previously reported by True North, the federal government spent $2.2 million on a pre-election ad campaign warning Canadians of the rising threat of gun violence, and promoting the Liberals’ firearms reforms.