Last Wednesday, Public Safety Minister, Steven Blaney, introduced the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act.
On the face of it, this is a much-needed improvement to Canada’s gun laws. Currently, there are many bureaucratic rules placing restrictions and demands on Canadian gun owners. Many of these things make absolutely no sense whatsoever and cannot be rationalized as legitimate crime prevention measures in any way. Even worse, law-abiding gun owners are threatened with criminal records and possible jail time for breaking them. We are talking about technical infractions like lapsed PAL licenses, or a failure to have all the required slips of paper with you on your way to the range (even though you have your PAL). Particularly onerous in this regard is the ATT (Authorization to Transport) system. These are required in only three provinces (Ontario and Quebec among them), but the other seven seem to do just fine without them. Among other improvements, ATTs will soon be history.
Canadian gun owners are not the only winners with this law. In terms of political strategy, Stephen Harper also wins. The public opinion polls taken so far indicate that Justin Trudeau will be Stephen Harper’s most significant challenger to date. In order to win next year’s federal election, Harper will need all hands on deck. The first step in any campaign is locking down your base – keeping them enthused and motivated. This bill will go a long way to making sure that Canadian gun owners will be writing cheques and hammering lawn signs during the next federal election campaign.