By: Greg Staley
Written On: 2021-09-15
“We are very much pro-gun and pro-gun owners,” said Chelsea Hillier, the Peoples Party of Canada (PPC) candidate for Elgin-Middlesex-London. Only those whose RSVP’d were permitted at the event.
In the “gun town hall” that took place at an undisclosed location, the PPC candidate spoke to a crowd of roughly 30-50 people about the current state of gun regulation in Canada and the PPC’s position on gun ownership and regulation within Canada.
“The PPC generally, how they approach anything is that government generally ruins anything it touches,” Chelsea Hillier told those gathered – eliciting laughs from the crowd.
What would gun rights look like under a PPC government?
If the PPC were elected they would “Repeal Trudeau’s 2020 cabinet decision to ban 1500 types of firearms” and “Mandate that all future changes to firearms regulation be completed through Parliament only.” This is a direct jab at how Mr. Trudeau banned these guns.
By forcing all future changes to firearms regulation to be completed through parliament, it will ensure that “neither the RCMP nor cabinet will be able to move the legal goalposts for legal firearms owners without the approval of Parliament” the Peoples Party platform says.
This shouldn’t be a controversial point of view in my opinion. After all, in a democracy all laws are supposed to be passed by parliament after time for debate has been allowed – something especially important on a controversial and important topic like gun ownership.
This is something the Trudeau Liberals had no regard towards when banning these weapons under the pretext of public safety. In fact, they didn’t pass the gun ban in legislation but instead by an order in council – bypassing debate on the topic all together.
Hillier’s campaign director Alex, a former infantryman of the CAF, said that “the biggest part about this gun ban, it was never debated they just unilaterally did this without any input on their own executive authority which is dubious.”
The PPC platform also calls for a lifetime certification system for “firearms owners following mandatory vetting, safety training and testing.” Under the current Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) program that the government uses, gun owners must pay fees ranging from 61-81 dollars (cost depends on restricted/non-restricted) every 5 years to keep their license to own firearms.
The PPC platform says that to “avoid criminalizing peaceful and responsible gun owners and guarantee their property rights, this system will legalize simple possession of firearms for certified Canadians as long as they use their firearms lawfully and don’t commit some other crime that would disqualify them from firearms ownership.”
Another point that sticks out in the Peoples Party Firearms platform is that it will “require that all firearms categories be based on function, not on looks or arbitrary political whims.” The PPC platforms says that it will also “reclassify all firearms based on the Simplified Classification System as proposed by the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.”
The PPC says “this will remove ineffective restrictions which unfairly target sport shooters but have no deterrent effect on criminals.”
Observations as a non-gun owner
At the gun town hall, two former CAF members led the range day, ensuring the safe handling and firing of the weapons as those in attendance took turns shooting at the targets on the range. One of those CAF members was Dillon Hillier, Chelsea Hillier’s brother.
It was fascinating to me to take in this gun town hall as someone who has never been around gun culture before. As I watched both young and old take turns firing weapons that many would find “terrifying” at targets downrange, I was struck by how Canadians truly lack knowledge about gun culture. We are quick to demonize what we don’t understand in this country.
I took a turn
When offered the chance to shoot these weapons myself I didn’t hesitate – it was an opportunity I may not have again for a long time and I wanted to better understand what these weapons were like to handle. I was instructed on the safe loading of the weapons and the safe handling of the guns before proceeding to shoulder the weapons and aim downrange at the targets.
In closing, I’ve never really considered gun ownership rights in Canada as they didn’t pertain to me. However, after being around the culture in person it woke me up to some of the lies perpetuated in our media and by our politicians about gun owners in Canada. Regardless of where you stand on the topic, the beginning of wisdom is understanding.
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