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It would appear that Liberal MPs have been given new “evidence-based” talking points as Bill Blair’s examination gets underway. Local MP Stephen Fuhr, representing Calibre’s home riding, had the following response to correspondence regarding the discussion of a potential gun ban:

“Thank you for sharing with Mr. Fuhr your concerns regarding a ban on handguns.

The newly appointed Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction has been tasked with leading an examination of a ban on handguns and assault weapons in Canada in the coming months. Please be assured that Mr. Fuhr will share your concerns with the Minister and with caucus.

While Canada is one of the safest countries in the world, increased gun crime has caused too much violence and taken too many lives in our communities.

With regard to evidence-based gun control policy, please review the following from Statistics Canada:

  • There were 2,465 criminal violations involving firearms in 2016, an increase of 30% since 2013.  Gun homicides were up by two-thirds – from 134 in 2013 to 223 in 2016.
  • In 2016, the number of victims of police-reported intimate partner violence where a firearm was present was 684, up from 531 in 2013; an increase of almost one third (29%).
  • There are more than 500 gun-related suicides each year, often among young people.
  • Incidents of breaking-and-entering for the purpose of stealing firearms rose from 516 in 2013 to 804 in 2016.
  • The majority of firearms owned by Canadians are non-restricted, typically “long-guns” such a hunting rifles and shotguns.  In 2016, 31% of all firearms-related homicides- where the firearm was recovered – involved a firearm that did not require registration.

While it is true that crime rates generally have been on the decline for decades, since 2013 offenses involving firearms have risen.  By 2016, there were almost 2,500 criminal incidents involving firearms, up by 30%; gun homicides are up by two thirds; and break and enters for the purpose of stealing guns are up by 56%.

Additionally, when you consider that in 2016, 46% of firearm related homicides were not related to gang activity it raises concerns for many Canadians, including responsible gun owners.

It may be of interest to note that the government is making significant investments in order to combat gan violence and organized crime. The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness recently released the summary report on the Summit on Gun and Gang Violence. The report provides recommendations made by the over 180 partners and stakeholders from across the country.

It will help inform the allocation of $327.6 million over five years of new federal funding to tackle gun and gang violence in Canada. This initiative will support enforcement measures and community-led projects involving prevention. It will build on federal expertise and resources related to the illegal trafficking of firearms, and invest in border security to enhance prohibition of illicit goods, including drugs and guns. Funding will also be provided to Indigenous communities and organizations to address the unique needs of Indigenous communities and urban populations.

These funds are in addition to $43 million in annual investments in the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) to develop cost-effective ways to prevent crime among at-risk populations and vulnerable communities.

Thank you again for writing to Mr. Fuhr. We hope that you will find this information useful.

Sincerely,

The Office of Stephen Fuhr, CD, MP
Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country
Room 313 Justice Bldg.| Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0A6
Email: stephen.fuhr@parl.gc.ca
Tel: 613.992.7006 | Fax: 613.992.7636″

It is interesting to note that the historical low represented by 2013’s firearm statistics continues to be used by the government. Even more concerning is that the government would seem to be taking into account violence committed with long guns; pointing out that 31% of homicides “involved a firearm that did not require registration.”

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