The federal government recently tabled Bill C-71, An Act to Amend Certain Acts and Regulations in Relation to Firearms. The new legislation will change current gun laws to include more comprehensive background checks and record keeping.
Under C-71, the RCMP will be required to conduct a background check on a person’s entire life before authorizing a person for a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL). Currently, the RCMP only conducts background checks on the past five years of a person’s life. The checks look for signs of mental illness and criminal activity.
Gun retailers will now be required to keep firearms sales records for 20 years. Retailers, along with private gun sellers, will have to check with the RCMP, through a hotline, that gun buyers have valid licences.
As well, the government has pledged almost $330 million, over five years, and $100 million a year following that, to address criminal gun and gang activities. The public safety minister also said other matters, including storage rules and advertising regulations, will be looked at in the future, after community consultations.
Please let me know your thoughts as we continue to debate this legislation in Parliament.