Liberals Defeat Bill Targetting Illegal Gun Smuggling to Protect their Gun Ban Agenda

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on January 28, 2021

When The private member’s Bill C-238 was proposed by Conservative Party MP Bob Saroya it seemed like no-brainer legislation that targets one of the root issues of gun violence in Canada, that being illegal weapons smuggling over Canada’s southern border.

The summary of the bill on the parliament’s website reads:

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to provide that a person who is charged with an offence in respect of the possession of a firearm that is alleged to have been unlawfully imported into Canada is required to demonstrate that their pre-trial detention is not justified. It also increases the mandatory minimum penalty for the possession of such weapons.

The bill not only makes it a heavier penalty to be in the possession of illegal firearms with minimums prison sentences of three years for a first offence and five years for a second offence, but it also makes it a requirement for the offender to remain in detention while the trial is occurring rather than letting offenders back on to the streets.

(Photo from CTV News)

(Photo from CTV News)

Bill C-238 was clearly very sensible legislation for anyone who actually takes real gun crime seriously.

The Liberals, not being among those who actually want to deal with the sources of gun violence in Canada, preferring to persecute law-abiding gun owners, took issue with Saroya’s bill and quickly came up with excuses to not vote for it.

Liberal MP Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, when speaking in parliament against Bill C-238 stated that:

The government delivered on its commitment regarding military-style assault weapons by implementing a regulation banning 1,500 models of assault-style firearms that pose a significant threat to public safety and are not necessary for hunting or sport shooting….I strongly believe that this balanced and comprehensive approach is preferable to the narrower approach proposed by the bill.

MP Arif Virani (Photo from CTV News)

MP Arif Virani (Photo from CTV News)

Virani acknowledged that most illegally possessed firearms do originate from the United States, but pivoted away from that issue by saying, “The majority of illegal firearms in the U.S. originate in the U.S., but may occasionally come from other countries, such as Canada.”

NDP MP Jack Harris although he said that, “We want stronger laws to keep guns off our streets,” announced he would not be voting for the bill due to three and five-year minimum sentences being deemed “unconstitutional” in one particular Supreme Court decision.

Both Conservative and Bloc Quebecois MPs spoke in favour of Bill C-238, including of course Bob Saroya who openly criticized the Liberal’s gun ban as not actually targeting criminals.

Saroya stated: 

I believe the Liberal government has approached this issue in the wrong way. It has focused on gun bans. For its plan to work, violent criminals would have to suddenly start following the law. We know that criminals are not getting a licence to buy firearms that would require taking a course and having a background check. Criminals are buying smuggled guns, just like they are buying smuggled drugs. A gun ban would do little, if anything, to stop them.

Regardless of the obvious utility and focus of Bill C-238 for dealing with gun violence, especially in urban areas, the Liberals and NDP defeated the bill on its second reading in favour of continuing to pursue their antagonistic gun ban against law-abiding Canadian gun owners. They are effectively ignoring real crime to criminalize the ownership of models of rifles perfectly safe in the hands of a responsible and licenced gun owner.

MP Bob Saroya (Photo from Markham Review)

MP Bob Saroya (Photo from Markham Review)

The National Telegraph in the aftermath of the bill’s defeat interviewed Rod Giltaca, CEO and Executive Director of the Canadain Coalition for Firearm Rights, to see what the actions of the Liberals and NDP signal to the firearms community.

Giltaca explained that:

It really seems like the Liberals and the NDP will do whatever it takes to allow criminals to operate with impunity in Canada. That’s not even hyperbole, the facts bear it out. Meanwhile, a billion-dollar gun ban (on only licensed firearm owners) rolls forward as planned. Trudeau, Blair, and their cronies have certainly an inverted reality.  

Giltaca went on to say that in the current climate that the debate over gun control is taking place, “We can only hope that Canadians can snap out of their trance and hold these people to account. Our future depends on it.”

It seems likely few Canadians will hear about Bill C-238 from the mainstream media, let alone understand that the Liberals are openly blocking legislation that would actually target the criminals and gangs who are responsible for the vast majority of gun violence.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

2 responses to “Liberals Defeat Bill Targetting Illegal Gun Smuggling to Protect their Gun Ban Agenda”

  1. Ian M says:

    This action of the stoppage of this bill shows Canadians that the gun ban currently in place is simply a decision to unarm law abiding , tax paying citizens of Canada . Changing the law to increase penalties for illegal use and smuggling of weapons is definitely the only reasonable thing to do…

  2. ML says:

    Disarmament of law-abiding citizens is the hallmark of a government that has ill intentions toward its citizens, and to that end, will remove any real opposition to any malicious plans it may have in order to gain absolute power. Trudeau has already shown a tendency to enjoy a dictator-type role, as proven by his proroguing Parliament and using an Order In Council to enact the gun ban. An Order In Council is normally used to tweak existing legislation, as such minor changes do not warrant a debate in the House Of Commons. To use an Order In Council to enact such major legislation as the eventual confiscation of property from legal owners of said property without the benefit of due process and second reading in the Senate is nothing short of dictatorial. Trudeau must be stopped, because it won’t end with guns. If they succeed in this grab, then any property is up for grabs. Your house, your bank account, you name it. Nothing you own will be considered "yours", and the use of the OIC sets a dangerous precedent for everyone in Canada, not just gun owners. This fact should concern everyone in Canada, whether you like guns or not.