Earlier this month I sponsored a petition created by Nicholas Martin of Alliston calling on the government to reject Bill C-21 and to recognize airsoft and paintball as safe activities that support small businesses and jobs. I am truly disappointed to see that in the middle of a pandemic, the government is more ideologically focused on its own re-election than helping Canadians get vaccines.
Bill C-21 was introduced by the Liberal Government earlier last month. Like just about every other Liberal firearms initiative, it will not make our communities safer. The vast majority of gun crimes taking place in the major cities are committed with illegally obtained firearms, many of which are smuggled into Canada.
Not even one month ago, my friend and colleague Markham—Unionville MP Bob Saroya put forward Bill C-238, which would stiffen penalties for criminals in possession of illegally imported firearms. Sadly, 143 Liberals joined with 23 New Democrats to defeat this Bill. Only two Liberals voted in favour of this practical measure to reduce gun crime.
If Bill C-21 passes, we will not be any safer. But what ,will happen is that an overwhelming majority of Canadian airsoft guns will become prohibited. This will have a dramatic effect on the industry. It will result in job losses, business closures and large amounts of lost revenue. Not to mention, the destruction of a safe and fun hobby that tens of thousands of Canadians enjoy. My colleagues and I will continue working together to ensure airsoft enthusiasts and legal gun owners are treated fairly and their rights are protected.
The petition has been met with a tremendous amount of support. Today, the petition closed at 36,600 signatures! The 5th largest petition in the 43rd Parliament.
You can find out more details about Petition e-3201 here: Petition e-3201 – Petitions (ourcommons.ca)