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Op-ed: Is this just politics?

Instead of targeting gangs and illegally smuggled firearms, Justin Trudeau has introduced a firearm buyback program that punishes lawful firearms owners. The fact is, hobbyists, collectors, sport shooters, and hunters are not the ones to blame for the rise in gun crime in Canada – gangs, criminals, and the guns they illegally smuggle from the US are.

The Liberal government claims that the firearm buyback program will cost taxpayers between $400-$600 million, (likely a lot more). This so-called program will do nothing to get the countless guns illegally held by gangs and criminals off the streets.

Eighty-five percent of handguns come from the United States. Should not the focus be on enforcement? Where is the program to collect and destroy the guns the Trudeau government is now claiming are too dangerous for licensed, law-abiding Canadians to own?

Will legal firearms owners be compensated? 

What this buyback program will do is punish those who follow the law by financially punishing them. 

Again, the government should focus on supporting grassroots community organizations that prevent our youth from joining gangs and invest in CBSA and police anti-gang and gun units to provide law enforcement with the resources they need to stop illegal firearm smuggling and gun violence at its root.

The federal government currently has a tender notice on their website for a “request for information (RFI),” not even a “request for proposals,” on how to design the program. The RFI was posted July 14 and amended on July 29 with a closing date of August 17 for those interested in helping with the BBP or buyback program. More than two years after the Trudeau government announced this program, they still don’t have the basic structure, despite having already spent more than $8.8 million on it. 

As no buyback program exists, how does this government even put out this price list? Millions have been spent since May 1, 2020, and still nothing has happened.

The RCMP has said they can’t oversee this program in terms of collecting firearms. Canada Post has also reportedly told the government that it can’t be the main collection point for hundreds of thousands of firearms, either. 

What do you say?

Gerald Soroka,
Yellowhead MP

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