PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS!

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As most of you already know, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called a general election for Canada for October 14, 2008.  What you may not know is that the Liberal Party is, once again, hopping on the “banned wagon” and threatening the rights of law-abiding Canadian gun owners.

This cannot be allowed!

Canadian firearm owners, regardless of other political convictions, must unite behind the Conservative Party of Canada to ensure the Liberals are unable to make good on their threats against our fundamental freedoms.  On October 14, it will not only be the future government that is chosen, but also the future of Canadian gun ownership.

The details of the Liberal plan have been laid out by the press:

The following information was gathered from the CGN forums :

Liberals announce ban on military assault weapons

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MONTREAL – A Liberal government would move quickly to take military assault weapons off Canadian streets while still respecting the voices of legitimate gun owners, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said today.

“A new Liberal government will make our cities, our communities, and our schools safer by getting military assault weapons off our streets,” said Mr. Dion at an event at Dawson College. “Military assault weapons have no connection to hunting or sport shooting, and serve absolutely no purpose in our society. No one outside of the military needs these weapons and we would all be safer without them in Canada.”

A Liberal government would ensure that the list of prohibited weapons is updated to include all military assault weapons. This approach was supported last Thursday by Coroner Jacques Ramsay in his report into the tragic shootings at Dawson College in 2006. A Liberal government will ensure that semi-automatic rifles with a legitimate connection to hunting or sport shooting are not included in the prohibition.

“The Conservatives’ ideological opposition to reasonable firearms restrictions is simply unacceptable,” said Mr. Dion. “It is wrong. It is not the Canada we want to build. And this election is about the type of Canada we want to live in.”

Mr. Dion also announced that a Liberal government would make changes to the government’s Firearms Advisory Committee to ensure that the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness receives balanced and informed advice when it comes to firearms use in Canada. Under the Conservatives the committee had been quietly stacked with firearms enthusiasts, providing little in the way of unbiased advice.

“While the voices of legitimate gun owners deserve to be heard on the committee, we will ensure that there are representatives of major police associations – like the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Police Association, health and safety experts and true advocates of gun control on the committee. This will ensure that the measures we implement with respect to firearms actually make Canadians safer,” he said.

“Stephen Harper cannot be tough on crime when he is soft on guns,” said Mr. Dion. “The time has come for the government to get these dangerous guns off our streets and a new Liberal government will do just that.”

www.liberal.ca/story_14419_e.aspx[dead link]

BACKGROUND

On the Assault Weapons Ban:

  • Rather than working with community safety advocates, the current Conservative government has effectively undermined gun control legislation in Canada.
  • For example, the list of prohibited firearms maintained by the federal government is now dangerously out of date. The list identifies a particular type of gun and declares it to be prohibited. However, the industry and gun dealers have become very good at circumventing this system. They make tiny adjustments to a prohibited weapon – this adjustment technically makes it a different gun then the one that is prohibited and it is thus legal to own in Canada.
  • The result of this is too many military assault rifles – weapons that have absolutely no legitimate connection to hunting or sport shooting – are now legally owned and available in this country.
  • Military assault rifles are defined as fully-automatic and selective-fire rifles along with selected semi-automatic rifles designed for military purposes and possessing military features such as: use of a large capacity magazine, folding/telescoping stock, a protruding pistol grip, a bayonet mount, or threaded muzzle or flash suppressor. It is these military features – features whose sole purpose is to render the rifle a more effective tool for killing other people – which make these rifles a threat to public safety.
  • While fully-automatic rifles have been prohibited since 1978, many of the semi-automatic rifles with these military features are still not prohibited.
  • Banning these weapons would not require additional legislation. They can be added to the current list of prohibited weapons through an Order-In-Council.
  • This proposed prohibition would not cover semi-automatic rifles which do not contain these military features. A new Liberal government will not prohibit semi-automatic rifles with a legitimate connection to hunting and sport shooting.
  • In his report, published September 4, 2008, Coroner Jacques Ramsay called for a ban on the type of military assault weapon used by Kimv**r Gill in the Dawson College shootings on September 13, 2006.
  • This prohibition would cover the short-barrelled Beretta CX4 Storm rifle which was obtained legally by Kimveer Gill and used in the Dawson College shootings two years ago and the Mini-Ruger 14, the weapon used by Marc Lepine at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in December 1989 to kill 14 young women.

On Changes to the Firearms Advisory Committee:

  • The Firearms Advisory Committee has existed since the days of Kim Campbell.
  • First the Progressive Conservatives and then the Liberals attempted to use the committee to ensure that the Minister responsible for public safety received balanced and informed advice when it came to firearms in this country.
  • The previous governments ensured that representatives of legitimate, law-abiding firearms owners sat next to representatives of our national police organizations, health and safety experts and true proponents of gun control.
  • Stockwell Day has radically altered the make-up of this committee. He has stacked it with pro-gun advocates and removed from it all of those who advocate in favour of gun control and gun safety.
  • Future appointments to the Firearms Advisory Committee will provide balance to the committee. Legitimate gun-owners will work together with community safety advocates to ensure that the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness receives advice that is balanced.
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