Hunting rifles are seen on display in a glass case at a gun and rifle store in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010. Federal ministers played down notions Tuesday that Senate committee amendments to the Liberal gun bill would hobble the original aims of the legislation. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Ministers appear unfazed by Senate changes to federal gun bill

The bill would expand the scope of background checks on those who want to acquire guns

Federal ministers played down notions Tuesday that Senate committee amendments to the Liberals’ gun bill would hobble the legislation.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale suggested the government’s intentions for Bill C-71 will be reflected in the final version of the legislation, despite efforts by Conservative senators to cut provisions they say penalize law-abiding gun owners.

The government bill introduced last year would expand the scope of background checks on those who want to acquire guns.

Instead of just the five years immediately preceding a licence application, personal history questions would cover the applicant’s entire lifetime.

The bill would also force gun retailers to keep records of firearms inventory and sales, and require the purchaser of a hunting rifle or shotgun to present a firearms licence, while the seller would have to ensure its validity.

The legislation has been criticized by gun-control advocates as too weak, while some firearms owners have called the bill an attempt to revive the ill-fated long-gun registry.

READ MORE: B.C. gets $5.3 million to work against gangs and guns

A Senate committee adopted changes Monday that would remove the requirement for lifetime background checks, drop proposed restrictions on transporting restricted or prohibited firearms, and retain political oversight of firearm classification decisions.

“While this legislation remains weak and needlessly penalizes some lawful firearms owners, Conservative senators believe that these amendments provide some measure of improvement,” said Tory Sen. Don Plett.

“Conservatives believe in focusing gun-control efforts on combating the criminal use of firearms, targeting cross-border firearms smuggling and on measures that will genuinely enhance public safety without gratuitously targeting lawful firearms owners.”

Independent Sen. Andre Pratte said the committee’s changes considerably weakened the bill. ”I hope that the full Senate will defeat these amendments,” he tweeted. “Public safety depends on it.”

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale echoed the sentiment Tuesday.

“What has just happened is obviously not helpful but the process is not done yet, and I look forward to a more positive outcome at the end.”

If the full Senate adopts changes to the legislation, those amendments would have to be considered in the House of Commons, setting off ”the ping pong back and forth” between the two chambers, Goodale said.

Such exchanges have already taken place on other bills, with the government effectively winning the day, he suggested. “This is kind of like watching sausage being made, and it’s not over till it’s over.”

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Councillor questions need for more work on Ponoka County fire hall

County to slow gravel hauling, tire recycling updated

Ponoka County dealing with extraordinary rise in outstanding taxes

Nearly $4 million in property taxes, penalties remain unpaid

Justice Minister discusses rural crime in Lacombe

Minister Doug Schweitzer: “Our democracy is founded on public safety”

Testing winter feed

Testing winter feed lets producers know what nutrients are available

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

Judge finds Alberta couple not guilty in toddler son’s death

It was the second trial for the Stephans, who were found guilty by a jury in 2016

Alberta couple charged in toddler son’s death to learn fate from judge

David and Collet Stephan are charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life

Alberta government pitching that small rural areas pay for policing: NDP

Those 291 districts represent about 20 per cent of the Alberta population

Alberta inquiry into oil and gas foes could face legal challenge from Ecojustice

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has repeatedly accused U.S. charities of bankrolling efforts

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

The report describes the occasion as an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed gala event

‘Troubling, insulting’: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh reacts to Trudeau’s brownface photo

Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democrats, responded with a call for love after Trudeau photos surface

Most Read