Mendicino Defends Canada’s Gun Buyback Program

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino told a House of Representatives committee Tuesday that Bill C-21, the proposed law to further restrict access to handguns in Canada, is crucial to ending gun violence.

In his testimony before the Public Safety Committee, Mendicino was specifically questioned several times about whether the arms buyback portion of the bill was the most effective way to reduce growing cases of gun violence. current increase or not.

If passed, Measure C-21 would introduce a national handgun “embargo” on the sale and transfer of handguns, introduce “red flag” laws, increase maximum penalties for certain crimes involved in firearms and implemented a buyback program of more than 1,500 “assault style” firearms that were banned in the country in 2020.

“It’s clear wherever you sit, no matter which side of the aisle, or partisan stripes, that the status quo is not going to be what it is,” Mendicino told the committee. “And every time I meet someone who has lost a loved one or suffered violence… we owe it to them to do more.”

Opponents of the bill argue that the buyback program is too expensive and that it punishes law-abiding gun owners, as opposed to effectively reducing gun violence by stopping illegal gun trafficking. law across the border.

Conservative MP and public safety critic Raquel Dancho questioned Mendicino extensively about the cost of the program, saying RCMP officials were thin in many parts of the country.

She argues that the acquisition will take away money from community protection and border enforcement.

“Ensuring that police services operating within provincial boundaries have the resources needed to enforce the law to keep our communities safe is not mutually exclusive with the acquisition of assault-style rifles. , and the reason is simple: those guns are designed with one purpose in mind and that is to kill,” Mendicino said.

“I think that’s reckless and they’re going to put our community at risk even more,” Dancho told the Minister, to which Mendicino replied that he “respects the disagree(s).

Officials in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have said they will not support the federal government’s buyback program and will not redirect law enforcement officials to task, a stance Mendicino called “reckless ” in an interview on CTV’s Question Period last week.

Mendicino told the committee he doesn’t have a “Plan B” if the Prairies refuse to support the program and that he is currently focused on “Plan A”.

“In this government’s view, it is appropriate to promote a fair buyback program that will compensate law-abiding gun owners for assault-style rifles they originally purchased legally. consistent with keeping our communities safe and we will always work with our province and territory partners,” Mendicino said.


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