Bail reform more important than new gun laws: Peterborough-Kawartha MP Ferreri

Liberal backtracking on C-21 is part of a ‘sneaky agenda,’ she says.

By Brendan Burke Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Monday, February 6, 2023

A federal government decision on Friday reversing amendments to proposed firearms legislation has received a positive reaction from Peterborough-Kawartha Conservative MP Michelle Ferreri.

“This is a huge win for Canadians,” she told The Examiner in an interview.

“(The Liberals) knew they didn’t do things properly and today, they’re admitting that by temporarily pausing it. But the other really important thing is that we need to recognize that this is a temporary pause, she said, calling it a “sneaky agenda.”

The proposed Bill C-21 was drafted to ban handguns, but the amendments, which were tabled in Parliament in November, were part of a ban on assault-style weapons. They would have meant a number of long guns used by hunters and others would be banned.

Critics of the amendments said they unfairly targeted hunters, farmers and Indigenous hunters who use firearms.

The amendments also included taking away firearm licences from those committing domestic violence or criminal harassment, increasing criminal penalties for smuggling and trafficking of firearms and a red flag law, which would require people deemed to be a threat to themselves or others to turn in their firearms to law enforcement.

Ferreri agreed with the amendment that people with a risk of committing domestic violence should not have firearm licences.

“Do I want them to have a gun? No.”

For her, the main issue is the need for bail reform, not gun control, saying crime is up and public safety is at an all-time low.

“The problem is they’re targeting the wrong people. That’s the reality of it,” she said. “Going after law-abiding people will not solve the rising rate of crime. The focus has to be getting our public safety under control.”

“The issue is bail reform and, until you do that, you cannot target law abiding firearms owners and Indigenous groups. You cannot do that.”

PolySeSouvient, a group of Polytechnique students and graduates in Montreal, has been in favour of the amendments and said it was “shocked” by the government’s decision.

“It is clear that the misinformation propagated by Conservative MPs and the gun lobby has won,” said Nathalie Provost, a spokesperson for the group, said in press release on its website Friday.

“Survivors and victims of mass killings who have been campaigning for decades to ban assault weapons are shocked by the unanimous withdrawal of amendments … aimed at banning assault weapons by the Standing Committee on Public Safety,” she said.

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Bail reform more important than new gun laws: Peterborough-Kawartha MP Ferreri (