BY BOB ZIMMER
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP
On November 23, the National Police Federation (NPF) released a position statement in which they recommend a “fact-based approach to protecting public safety and prevention of gun violence.” It continues: “Government programs should target crime reduction capabilities that are centered in law enforcement investigative strategies rather than measures that do very little to address their goal to increase public safety.”
This comes just days after Canadians found out that the Prime Minister’s firearms ban had little to do with the horrific attack in Nova Scotia last Spring.
As you may recall, shortly after the shooting in Nova Scotia, the prime minister bypassed Parliament and introduced a firearms ban through an Order in Council, claiming to be taking action that would help prevent future tragedies like the one in Nova Scotia.
But the firearms used in that attack were illegal firearms.
This means a firearms ban wouldn’t have prevented this tragedy from occurring. So, not only are Justin Trudeau’s firearms policies undemocratic, they are also ineffective. To make matters worse, on November 20, the National Post broke the story that the prime minister knew that the firearms used in Nova Scotia were obtained illegally—before he announced the ban.
The prime minister is misleading Canadians while wasting police resources. Gun crime is rising but the Liberals would rather crack down on law-abiding firearm owners than adopt an evidence-based approach that would keep Canadians safe. This is the lazy, easy approach, rather than doing the work Canadians need.
Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation, said: “the NPF takes this issue very seriously because, as police officers, we routinely see first-hand how illegal weapons are directly linked to increased gun violence and, sadly, death.” According to the position statement, 2,242 illegal firearms used in crimes in Canada last year were traced back to the United States. This isn’t just a statistic: all but one of the illegal firearms used in the Nova Scotia attack were smuggled from the U.S.
The NPF is saying what we Conservatives have known all along: targeting legal firearms owners will not keep illegal firearms out the hands of criminals.
They write: “NPF calls for funding that enables law enforcement to properly address crime prevention rather than the ongoing monitoring of unrelated restrictions on licensed and regulated firearms owners.” They also call for “funding to the RCMP Border Integrity Program, to enable dedicated proactive RCMP investigative weapons enforcement activity and the dismantling of gang and organized crime firearms smuggling”.
In the last election, we Conservatives put forward a common sense plan that included prison time for anyone in possession of a smuggled firearm, the creation of a Police Infrastructure Grant Program, and the creation of a Canadian Border Security Agency Firearms Smuggling Task Force.
We know what the real issue is, and we know what to do about it. Conservatives stand for an evidence-based approach that will crack down on illegal firearms and keep our communities safe.
Instead of focusing on these key areas, the Trudeau government would rather use tragedies to make false promises that banning firearms will fix the problem. Meanwhile, illegal gun crime is on the rise and valuable resources are being wasted targeting law-abiding firearms owners.
Shamefully, until the Liberals focus on the real problem of illegal firearms, innocent lives will continue to be lost.