Bill C-21, which aims at introducing tighter regulations on firearms, has passed through the House of Commons by a vote of 207-113.
All 110 Conservative party MPs voted against, including Kootenay-Columbia representative Rob Morrison, who spoke out against the bill during the discussion.
“I agree that we need to have gun laws, but the government is targeting Canadians who have legal guns,” said Morrison. “Why not go after the ones who have illegal guns, the criminals? Why not redirect the billions of dollars this government plans to spend on the confiscation program, into education programs.”
The bill outlines a number of changes to Canada’s criminal code, such as limiting gun magazines to five rounds and freezing the sale and transfer of handguns.
According to the document, it will also prohibit people with a history of domestic violence or stalking from getting a firearm license.
However, Morrison feels the bill is too broad, and will impact hunters and target shooters.
“This ban is not about handguns, or so-called ‘assault-style firearms,’ this is about the government taking the next step in their plan to confiscate hunting rifles,” said Morrison.
That said, the Liberals withdrew their proposed amendments to the definition of assault-style weapons in February, which would have banned guns used for hunting or sport shooting.
Morrison called for Bill C-21 to be withdrawn, citing the need for better crime prevention tactics.
“Successful crime prevention – again not directed at lawful Canadians, but gangs and organized crime – starts with our youth and must continue throughout their lives,” explained Morrison. “Education programs steering our youth away from gangs and organized crime, can be successful when delivered at the right times.”
C-21 will now move on to be debated in the Senate before it becomes law.