I’ve been hearing different versions of what may or may not be coming from the Liberals on their new gun legislation but a headline in the Hill Times caught my eye.
“Upcoming gun bill ‘scaring the hell out of the Liberal caucus,’ and Trudeau’s response to Harvey’s concerns puts a chill on backbenchers, say Liberals,” read the Monday morning headline.
That headline is quite the mouthful but when you unpack it there are two main stories that emerge. First off, rural Liberal MPs are worried about the looming legislation and secondly, Trudeau is rather thin skinned when it comes to criticism on the issue.
Canada’s gun violence problem is primarily one of gangs using primarily handguns to settle scores over drugs and other profitable ventures. That’s not me, that is Statistics Canada.
We don’t have people running around with a rifle they bought at Canadian Tire or Cabela’s and shooting up the neighbourhood. That doesn’t matter to the Liberals, they promised gun control and dammit they will deliver.
While the Conservatives did away with the long gun registry, handguns have been subject to a registry since the 1930s and that has not changed. What likely has the rural Liberal MPs worried that the PM and his staff will follow through on a promise that I called a back door registry from the beginning.
The 2015 platform was full of gun promises that either already exist or wouldn’t do anything for public safety including, “require firearms vendors to keep records of all firearms inventory and sales to assist police in investigating firearms trafficking and other gun crimes.”
That is a gun registry via the back door. Rural Liberals know this will cost them seats. So Liberal MP T.J Harvey from New Brunswick the chair of the Liberal caucus stood in a national caucus meeting to raise concerns. This is what caucus meetings are for.
Those that were in the room tell the Hill Times that Trudeau was rather harsh in his response.
“Justin was much too vitriolic and attacked him,” one Liberal MP, referring to Mr. Harvey, told The Hill Times, who spoke on condition of anonymity since the closed-door caucus meetings are confidential. “We’re also supposed to have the right to voice our opinion.”
Bottom line from Trudeau, do as I say and don’t complain.
Meanwhile, Andrew Scheer is promising sanity will return if he is elected.
Scheer is standing by his gun legislation promises that he made during the leadership race including giving elected officials the final say in classifying whether a firearm is non-restricted, restricted or prohibited. Firearms owners have long complained that the RCMP makes nonsensical decisions based off of appearances.
Given some of the stories I’ve covered from the Armi Jager AP80 .22 rifle being banned because it looked scary to the Mounties banning a certain shipment of rifles because there were maple leaf emblems engraved onto them different than what had been approved, Scheer is onto something.
The Conservatives took the final say on classification away from the RCMP, allowing for an appeal to elected officials. As it should be in a democracy.
The Liberals, always enthralled with experts that agree with them, don’t like elected official having a say.
I will note that The Globe article critiquing Scheer’s position cited Bob Paulson, the RCMP Commissioner who was in charge when his officers entered homes, using force, to seize guns from locked homes without warrants and without following their own rules.