Our club has two representatives that sit on the Fundy Royal Firearms Committee, we have been actively involved in addressing the incorrect information that has been shared by many. This letter to the editor below is is in response to opinion pieces that are not based in fact or in relation to our Country..
TO THE EDITOR:
I am writing in response to Mr. Cunningham’s column in today’s T & T (April 20th, 2019) respecting Bill C-71. Since I do not have the luxury of unlimited words in my letter as does Mr. Cunningham it will not be possible to fully explain to New Brunswickers the complete Bill. Our previous governments have failed to educate the general non-hunting and non-shooting public on the current firearm regulations that Canadian gun owners must abide by and as a result they think we are free to do as we please. This unfortunately cannot be explained here either.
Although Mr. Cunningham criticizes Senator David Adams Richards position regarding Bill C-71 it seems that perhaps he misunderstands or hasn’t actually reviewed the Bill himself. Perhaps Mr. Cunningham doesn’t fully understand the regulatory requirements that hunters, recreational shooters and gun owners in Canada are under right now?
It appears however that he is totally in line with MP Goodale, Minister of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness. When MP Goodale introduced the Bill on March 20, 2018 he stated that he was reacting to the recent shootings in Las Vegas. Like MP Goodale, Mr. Cunningham cites firearm crimes in the United States as a reason to restrict law-abiding Canadian gun owners even further. He cites disasters in Colorado, Georgia and Alabama. Last time I checked these locations were all in the United States and not Canada. It is incredible that our Canadian government would create restrictive legislation based on incidents in other countries.
Mr. Cunningham also quotes Statistics Canada several times although when our group queried Statistics Canada for the most part they did not have the statistics so often quoted by MP’s and some editors.
MP Goodale stated that his Bill was a “Guns & Gangs” Bill but nowhere in this Bill will one find any reference to Guns & Gangs. He states that it is not an attempt to register firearms although the Bill refers to REGISTRAR and LICENCE many, many times. It is the law-abiding recreational shooter and hunter who is aimed at with this Bill. This is a “back-door” long gun registry something that the current government promised not to do.
Mr. Goodale is quoted as saying that 69% of Canadians in urban areas support an outright ban on firearms. Apparently this is based on a poll but attempts by our group to obtain this poll were totally unsuccessful and basically ignored.
The anti-gun lobby is strong here in Canada and they will not be happy until they have all of our duck guns, deer and moose rifles. The Canadian Senate has very little political power but enough to hold things up for awhile and to question Bills that are of a concern to many Canadians. In the end they cannot stop the Bill and in fact Mr. Goodale stated recently as follows; “the Gun Bill will not be hobbled by Senate amendments”. In other words he isn’t concerned with what the Senate does with the Bill since the real power lies in the House where his government has the majority.
It is important to note that we, law-abiding hunters and recreational shooters, are totally in favour of laws that will curtail firearm crime and shootings. We cringe when we hear of shootings and totally understand the concerns of Canadians. However, we do know that criminals who use firearms to commit crimes will laugh at this Bill. What effect would this Bill possibly have on them?
It is important to note that our group attempted to obtain a cost benefit analysis of this Bill from our MP’s as well as Minister Goodale. We got nothing at all. Please believe me there will be a significant cost to Canadian tax payers in order to implement this Bill.
Do not forget the cost of the previous long gun registry which topped $2 billion or more. (As posted by CBC News on February 13, 2004). We may never know the true cost.
The only hope we have is that the next new federal government will immediately revoke Bill C-71 in its entirety.
In closing I want the readers to note that when the government wishes to shock the general public they use the term “weapon” rather than “firearm”. Note that I have a number of firearms and no weapons and even the wildlife of this great province do not regard my firearms as weapons.
Chairman of the Fundy Royal Firearms Committee