Let’s see how it works.
Charlie Angus, NDP Member of Parliament for Timmins-James Bay, was an opponent of the long gun registry.
In a vote in the House of Commons today, Charlie Angus supported the move to end the long-gun registry. Angus says this is a position he promised constituents he would take since first being elected in 2004.
“I made a promise to my constituents on this issue and today I fulfilled that promise. I have heard from across the region the overwhelming frustration with how the long gun registry has been implemented and maintained. I expressed this frustration on behalf of my constituents in the House of Commons.”
Charlie Angus voted for Bill C-391, which would have scrapped the long gun registry, on 1st and 2nd readings.
Then Charlie Angus voted for a motion brought forward by Liberal MP Mark Holland to kill Bill C-391 before it could even come back for 3rd reading.
NDP leader Jack Layton said that his party supported the registry but would work to ‘fix’ it. He also said that the NDP party was in favour of banning handguns.
Now Charlie is no longer opposed to the registry but thinks it will now be a good thing with his ‘fixes’.
So was Charlie Angus lying all these years when he said he actually opposed the long gun registry? Or was it simply that the strength of his convictions weren’t sufficient to stand up against pressures from his party leader.
So now out of the blue Charlie Angus comes forward with a private member’s bill, Bill C-580, which he says will ‘fix’ the long gun registry just like – surprise, surprise – his leader Jack Layton promised.
Actually, I would be more interested to know why Charlie, of all of the vote switchers, was picked to float this turkey.
Possibly he was so desperate to try and salvage his credibility with his constituents that he signed on to a bill knowing next to nothing about what it really was about.
Which brings us to the question: What is Bill C-580 all about?
The Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) has done an analysis of the bill and found that in reality that the bill, if passed, would tighten the screws even further on honest Canadian gun owners.
There are lots of cute little sections in the bill, but one that should make every gun owner nervous is this one:
Gun bans – fasten your seat belt!
4. Section 117.15 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):
(3) The Governor in Council may make regulations requiring a manufacturer or importer to provide information for the purpose of establishing that the thing in question is reasonable for use in Canada for hunting or sporting purposes.
This section is a Canadianized version of the infamous British “Sporting use test” where all firearms are subject to bureaucratic interpretation as to what justifies a hunting or sporting firearm. This has been used to prohibit most of the firearms in Great Britain. It places enormous power in the hands of the bureaucracy to ban firearms. It is obvious that this is the intent of this section. Charlie Angus spoke of “closing the loopholes” in order to prohibit the popular Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle, a common sporting and hunting firearm used by tens of thousands of Canadians. As the Mini-14 is no different than many other hunting rifles, this would be the start of wholesale confiscation.
Charlie Angus should be bloody well ashamed of himself.