Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer is welcoming a possible plan to increase the level of screening that goes into acquiring a firearms license in Canada.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale suggested Ottawa could be looking at tougher gun laws following a summit on increased gang activity and gun violence.
Ottawa has committed more than $327-million over five years, and $100-million a year thereafter, to address criminal gun and gang activities. It is also preparing legislation to strengthen controls on the movement, licensing and tracing of firearms.
Proposed legislation could include a requirement for enhanced background checks for anyone seeking to buy a handgun or other restricted gun and allow authorities to reassess the eligibility of existing gun owners.
“As a strong supporter of the outdoor community and the lifestyle that it promotes I support the idea of more vigorous background checks that could include a mental health history and more comprehensive look at the criminal past of the purchaser,” said Zimmer in a statement released last week. “We need to continue to protect the rights of law-abiding firearms owners while also working to ensure that firearms do not end up in the wrong hands. I will watch closely as this legislation takes shape and I look forward to participating in the consultation process.”
In 2016 Zimmer sponsored a petition to the House of Commons asking the public safety minister to return the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to non-restricted status. There has been lots of discussion around the AR-15 as it is often used in mass shootings.