Edmonton Police Chief Dale McPhee has warned lawmakers that the federal government’s proposed handgun transfer “freeze” law could actually increase crime in the short term.
On October 20, McFee testified before the House Public Safety Committee considering Bill C-21, proposing legislation to further limit access to handguns in Canada.
“There are some that we support, and others that we have serious concerns about,” McFee said.
Bill C-21 “freezes” the sale, purchase or transfer of handguns in Canada.
The handgun freeze is expected to reduce the number of handguns in circulation in the long term, McPhee said, but in the short term, those who want to obtain guns will find alternatives, leading to smuggling, 3D printing, and Increases the chance of modifying airsoft guns.
“This could also increase the value of the product and motivate individuals, including legal firearm owners, to sell their handguns,” McPhee told lawmakers.
About 20,000 handguns have been purchased since the bill was announced, while 12,000 handgun transfer applications are still pending processing.
He added that most of the powers proposed under the bill’s red flag laws already exist under section 117 of the Penal Code. This provision allows the courts to apply an emergency weapons ban order to remove firearms for up to 30 days if they pose a danger to themselves or others.
McFee also took aim at the federal gun buyback program and said it shared concerns with other jurisdictions about how it would affect police resources.
“I don’t know what the actual benefits are,” he said.
In recent weeks, the governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick have all said they do not want their limited police resources to act as confiscation agents for their programs. adopted a motion stating that local RCMP resources should not be used for federal gun buyback programs.
The government buyback program 2020 law Bans over 1,500 models of “assault-type” weapons, including the AR-15.
McPhee said he supports provisions in the law to strengthen border controls and strengthen penalties, “all of which are beneficial in deterring the criminal element.”
The federal government says its gun control laws will help reduce gun violence.
“We are proposing some of the most powerful measures in Canadian history,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in May when introducing Bill C-21.
“This law will help reduce gun violence and keep Canadians safe,” said Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino also said the law “will help reduce gun violence and keep Canadians safe.”
Conservatives oppose these new measures, saying they won’t solve the problem of gun crime.
In a statement, Conservative MP Dane Lloyd said McPhee “confirmed” what the Conservatives have been saying all along.
“The C-21 does little to improve public safety and can actually have many negative public safety consequences,” Lloyd told the Epoch Times.
“We need real solutions to address the threat of illegally obtained firearms falling into the hands of gangs and criminals and using firearms to perpetuate violence within their communities. Don’t attack law-abiding firearm owners who pose little risk.”