Hunting rifles are seen on display in a glass case at a gun and rifle store in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010. Federal ministers played down notions Tuesday that Senate committee amendments to the Liberal gun bill would hobble the original aims of the legislation. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Ministers appear unfazed by Senate changes to federal gun bill

The bill would expand the scope of background checks on those who want to acquire guns

Federal ministers played down notions Tuesday that Senate committee amendments to the Liberals’ gun bill would hobble the legislation.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale suggested the government’s intentions for Bill C-71 will be reflected in the final version of the legislation, despite efforts by Conservative senators to cut provisions they say penalize law-abiding gun owners.

The government bill introduced last year would expand the scope of background checks on those who want to acquire guns.

Instead of just the five years immediately preceding a licence application, personal history questions would cover the applicant’s entire lifetime.

The bill would also force gun retailers to keep records of firearms inventory and sales, and require the purchaser of a hunting rifle or shotgun to present a firearms licence, while the seller would have to ensure its validity.

The legislation has been criticized by gun-control advocates as too weak, while some firearms owners have called the bill an attempt to revive the ill-fated long-gun registry.

READ MORE: B.C. gets $5.3 million to work against gangs and guns

A Senate committee adopted changes Monday that would remove the requirement for lifetime background checks, drop proposed restrictions on transporting restricted or prohibited firearms, and retain political oversight of firearm classification decisions.

“While this legislation remains weak and needlessly penalizes some lawful firearms owners, Conservative senators believe that these amendments provide some measure of improvement,” said Tory Sen. Don Plett.

“Conservatives believe in focusing gun-control efforts on combating the criminal use of firearms, targeting cross-border firearms smuggling and on measures that will genuinely enhance public safety without gratuitously targeting lawful firearms owners.”

Independent Sen. Andre Pratte said the committee’s changes considerably weakened the bill. ”I hope that the full Senate will defeat these amendments,” he tweeted. “Public safety depends on it.”

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale echoed the sentiment Tuesday.

“What has just happened is obviously not helpful but the process is not done yet, and I look forward to a more positive outcome at the end.”

If the full Senate adopts changes to the legislation, those amendments would have to be considered in the House of Commons, setting off ”the ping pong back and forth” between the two chambers, Goodale said.

Such exchanges have already taken place on other bills, with the government effectively winning the day, he suggested. “This is kind of like watching sausage being made, and it’s not over till it’s over.”

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

West Kootenay gleaner’s group gets big funding boost

CBT grant allows project to save more local produce from compost bin

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

RDCK passes climate change ‘call to arms’

Director says the statement will help guide policy

Facing high regulatory barriers, Kootenay cannabis producers gather for support

Symposium on barriers facing legalization attended by hundreds

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Most Read