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January 3rd, 2013

Irresponsible for Conservatives to sell guns prohibited here to Colombia

OTTAWA – New Democrats are decrying Conservative changes to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL) allowing Canadian gun merchants to sell fully automatic weapons with high-capacity magazines which are prohibited in Canada, to Colombia.

“It is irresponsible for the Conservative government to allow the export of automatic weapons to a country which has suffered long years of conflict and widespread human rights violations,” said NDP Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre). “Once again the Conservatives are undermining global progress on international arms control.”

The change to the AFCCL recommended by Foreign Affairs Minister Baird took effect on December 13. Membership on the AFFCL list is not contingent on meeting obligations such as respecting human rights that arise from state responsibilities under international law.

“Despite tragic examples that illustrate the need for gun control, the Conservatives unfortunately don’t seem to get it,” said NDP Justice critic Françoise Boivin (Gatineau). “They’re 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.”