Police associations across Canada have asserted that the gun registry helped keep law and order and save lives. Many rural Canadians and First Nations people found the gun registry restrictions onerous and discriminatory. We always believed compromise was possible in reforming the registry to accommodate the concerns of legal gun users while ensuring that law enforcement agencies had the tools they needed. We need to better balance these interests without allowing guns to be prevalent in society.
It is time to crack down on gun smuggling across the U.S. border. Thousands of handguns are coming across the border and into our urban centres. We need to work with each of the U.S. border states to press for action against gun smugglers and invest in tougher border measures to halt the movement of illegal firearms.
The risks created by having dangerous weapons in our urban centres are significant. We will introduce balanced and fair measures to ban handguns and semi-automatic firearms. However, the use of guns in our urban centres is typically not the same as the use of guns in our rural communities. We will ensure that law-abiding citizens pursuing legal activities in hunting with long guns are free from unreasonable fees and the threat of criminalization.
Green Party MPs will:
- Provide increased support for Integrated Border Enforcement Teams made up of officers from the RCMP, Canada Border Services, U.S. Customs, and the U.S. Coast Guard in their gathering of intelligence and arresting of gun smugglers;
- Put strict measures in place for those who attempt to cross the Canada/U.S. border with illegal firearms. Ensure that gun smuggling is prosecuted as a gun crime of the highest order rather than as only a customs violation;
- Fulfill Canada’s obligation under international agreements (United Nations Firearms Protocol and the Organization of American States Firearms Convention) to mark all imported firearms, as recommended by the Canadian Association of Police Boards and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police;
- Ensure that gun crime charges are not dropped to facilitate convictions on lesser charges;
- Ban handguns and combat weapons, including semi-automatic rifles and assault rifles. Eliminate their use through consultation and a full buy-back program. Consult especially with holders of collections to ensure guns are rendered non-functional to eliminate usefulness to thieves, and with target shooters to establish safe and protected locations where target shooting can be practiced.