Bill C-71 is one step away from becoming law after passing a final Senate vote on Tuesday.
The Liberal bill, which now only requires Royal Assent, has been strongly opposed by firearm owners and conservation groups including the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) since it was introduced in the House of Commons on March 20, 2018.
“Our issue all along has been that C-71 unjustifiably targets law-abiding firearms users with no convincing evidence to show it will do anything to enhance public safety,” OFAH Community and Partner Relations Senior Advisor Brian McRae stated.
What C-71 means
The bill intensifies background checks, requires those selling firearms to verify the purchaser’s PAL with the RCMP, requires retailers to keep records of firearms sales and inventories, enables the RCMP to classify and re-classify firearms, and tightens the rules on transporting restricted firearms (ATTs), for example.
McRae and OFAH Fish and Wildlife Manager Matt DeMille addressed the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence in an April 1 presentation. They proposed several amendments to the bill, however the Senate voted against them.
“We need strong policy and action on serious firearms-related crimes and the systemic causes behind them as opposed to taking the easy way out by targeting responsible firearms owners,” added McRae.