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Barrie-area MPs take shots at Liberals over changes to gun ban

'Hunters and farmers in our riding see their rifles and shotguns as tools to feed their families and protect their livestock,' says Shipley
2020-03-27 Doug Shipley John Brassard
Barrie-Springwater-Oro Medonte MP Doug Shipley (left) and Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard. | BarrieToday files

A series of amendments to pending firearms legislation, called Bill C-21, which some firearms owners say would have unfairly targeted hunters and farmers, have been withdrawn by the federal government.

On Friday, the Liberal government withdrew a long list of guns that would have been classified as ‘prohibited’, as part of its push to ban assault-style weapons.

Being scrapped are clauses that effectively would have banned any rifle or shotgun that could accept a magazine with more than five rounds — whether it actually has such a magazine or not.

The Liberals also intended to ban long guns that generate more than 10,000 joules of energy, or any gun with a muzzle wider than 20 millimetres. These two rules that would have rendered many firearms illegal.

These changes would have effectively banned a number of long guns in wide use by hunters.

Doug Shipley, who is the Conservative MP representing Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, said “massive public backlash” helped change the Liberals’ mind.

“I know that hunters and farmers in our riding see their rifles and shotguns as tools to feed their families and protect their livestock,” he said in a release issued Friday afternoon.

John Brassard, the Conservative MP for Barrie-Innisfil, said the amendments had gone too far.

“No one believes that going after hunters will reduce violent crime across the country,” he said. “We support common-sense firearms policies and we will continue to defend the noble traditions and way of life of millions of law-abiding Canadians.” 

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, who had defended the amendments as a way to decrease gun violence in Canada, said in a statement Friday that legitimate concerns had been raised by critics about the need for more consultation and debate.