An online petition by a Prince George resident to get the Liberal Government to repeal the assault-style gun ban, has garnered the support of Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty.
The petition was started by Steve Hamilton on May 5, 2020 and has received over 21,000 signatures to-date.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced May 1, the government was banning 1500 types of assault-style rifles, including the type used in the 1989 mass shooting in Montreal.
The ban includes guns that have been used in past Canadian shootings including the Ruger Mini-14, which was used in the Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal in 1989, the M14 semi-automatic which was used in the 2014 Moncton shooting, the Beretta CX4 Storm used in the Dawson College shooting and the CSA-VZ-58 which the gunman attempted to use in the Quebec Mosque shooting.
MP Todd Doherty sent a statement to the Omineca Express stating that there are countless law abiding and responsible firearm owners in his riding.
On the issue of gun violence and the use of assault-style rifles in prior shootings in Canada, Doherty said Conservatives “understand that licensed owners are not the problem.”
Instead of banning guns, Doherty said the Conservative party believes it would be more effective to direct federal resources towards combating illegal gun smuggling, gang activity.
He called Trudeau’s decision arbitrary, and said by re-classifying over 1500 firearms as restricted, the Prime Minister has “by definition” reclassified law abiding Canadians as criminals with stroke of a pen.”
The Prime Minister said Friday (May 1) that there will be a two-year amnesty period for gun owners to give them time to comply with the ban.
Meanwhile, Solomon Friedman, an Ottawa-based lawyer announced May 6 that he is filing an action in the Federal Court to invalidate the assault-style rifles ban.
Canada’s National Firearm Association said Thursday (May 7) that the NFA will be joining this case alongside Friedman as an intervenor and will actively support his efforts.
“Solomon Friedman is an excellent lawyer and acknowledged expert in firearms law. He literally wrote the book on the subject. He has argued firearms cases at all levels of court in this country, including the Supreme Court of Canada,” NFA stated in the May 7 news release.
Liberal MLA for Nechako Lakes John Rustad said that his biggest concern is seeing “this done without debate in parliament, sidestepping democracy.”
Rustad said he supports hunters and people’s rights to own guns, “but the federal government will determine the details,” he added.
With files from Ashley Wadhwani.