December 19th, 2012

While Obama moves forward on gun safety, Harper takes a step back

While US President Barack Obama is taking steps toward more effective gun control in the US, Stephen Harper is ignoring police and moving in the opposite direction.

“The Conservatives’ sense of effective gun control is as bad as their sense of timing,” said NDP Justice Critic Françoise Boivin (Gatineau). “Despite police warnings and international treaty obligations, the Conservatives are shelving tighter regulations for gun shows, considering reducing mental health checks for gun licenses, and refusing to enforce simple rules that would help track and curb gun trafficking.”

The RCMP have warned that decreasing the frequency of mental health checks for firearms licenses to ten years or longer would limit their ability to monitor mental health status changes; Canadian police have underscored the importance of tighter control of gun shows; and international treaties aimed at helping solve gun crime, require the gun markings the Conservatives are deferring.

Further, while the Prime Minister insists that our system is safer than in the US, Conservative cuts to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have meant fewer staff patrolling our borders.

“Firearms continue to be smuggled into Canada,” said NDP Public Safety critic Randall Garrison (Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca). “Cutting CBSA funding makes absolutely no sense. We know that smuggled guns are fuelling street violence in major cities.”