With Bill C-71 being a political hot button with firearm owners Andrew Scheer has promised that the Conservative Party will repeal Bill C-71 and replace it with legislation that targets criminals.
This article builds on "When it comes to grandfathering hold your Government accountable" which was published yesterday. We'll link it at the end of this article should you want to read it.
Now before you get out your pitchforks for the meme that likely caught your attention, and some of the content that will be in this article, this isn't a direct attack or attempt to smear the Conservative Party. We've worked with Larry Miller and Blaine Calkins to sponsor Parliamentary Petition E-1073. We've sat with Conservative MP's and discussed firearm issues. This is an attempt to assist you to hold your Government accountable.
You see in promising to repeal Bill C-71 Scheer is being very vague. Will he repeal the bill but allow classifications that were made by the RCMP Firearms Lab under the power granted to them by C-71 to stand? Should the AR-15 and pistols become prohibited by Order In Council (OIC), will the Conservative Government reverse it and move them to restricted class, or in the case of the AR-15 non-restricted such as with the petition that MP Bob Zimmer presented (May 2016)? Will charges for non-compliance be stayed, and pardons granted, if owners peacefully resist prohibition and confiscation?
In order to understand politics, you have to learn to recognize double speak. In saying that they will repeal C-71 they can repeal the legislation, but allow all of the damage caused to stand. They can allow prohibited firearms by OIC to remain prohibited, because in that case they're not actually prohibited by C-71. They can allow firearms re-classified by the RCMP Firearms Lab to remain in their new, likely more restrictive, classification. They can allow the records obtained by retailers to remain in a Government database and your purchase forever known, but still end the retailers need to keep future records. All of this while actually keeping their election promise of repealing C-71.
Again, this isn't to say that we don't need rid of C-71, and a Government that will do so. This is to tell you that if a friendly Government is formed that says they will repeal and replace C-71, it's up to you who voted them in, to make sure that ALL of the damage caused by C-71 is repealed. Not just the garbage legislation.
It's up to you, to tell your MP now prior to any election, that not only do you want C-71 repealed, but you want ALL of the damage caused by it and any Orders in Council surrounding it repealed as well. You want all retail records of sale to be destroyed. You want all private transfer authorization records to be destroyed. You want all firearms re-classified by the RCMP Firearms Lab to move back to their status prior C-71. You not only want C-71 gone, you also want any ripple it has caused smoothed over as well.
There is very real precedence in what we're saying here. In the Conservative 2002 leadership campaign Stephen Harper promised the Party would "…repeal Bill C-68 and replace it with a firearms control system that is cost effective and respects the rights of Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly.”. While the Conservatives did scrap the long gun registry, C-68 was not repealed. Too much time had passed between 2002 and 2012 when the Conservatives formed majority Government and firearm owners didn't hold the Government accountable to their 2002 promise. If C-68 was repealed then today you could own a FAL, an AK, or many other prohibited firearms by name without a prohibited designation on your firearms license so long as they were purpose built semi automatic. Owners of the firearms that were prohibited along side C-68 would be able to use, sell at fair market value, and will to their family their property.
If you don't hold your Government accountable, if you don't take the time to speak with your MP prior to an election and get them to publicly commit to a full outline of their platform, then you only have yourself to blame if C-71 gets repealed but the damage it does is left behind. If the Conservatives don't form majority when they do form Government, it will be up to you to hold them accountable to their promise to fully repeal C-71 when they form majority. Don't allow a promise made fade away due to time passed.
Trust, but verify. Have a long memory, because a Politicians memory only lasts four years. Hold them accountable.