Banning handguns: Knee-jerk


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jsalcedo
January 5, 2006, 04:15 PM
Long-time gun owner John Parsons has the same opinion as the Conservative candidate of Prime Minister Paul Martin’s call for banning handguns: Knee-jerk.
“They’re punishing the good guys because they’re scared to punish the bad guys,” he said Tuesday.
And while target shooters would be exempt from a handgun ban, Parsons is worried the government is even considering confiscating handguns -- even rifles at some point.
“That could be next,” said the ex-corrections officer.
“There’s not much trust in the Liberal government in the firearms community, I tell you.”
Prime Minister Paul Martin announced in December a five-part plan that would ban handguns, increase jail terms and create a $50-million Gun Violence and Gang Prevention Fund. A buy-back program would collect existing guns while a Gunstoppers Program would pay for tips leading to a gun’s removal from the street.
The proposal also allows “legitimate” target shooters to be exempt from the ban -- but Parsons says that would be meaningless because target shooters and gun collectors are the only ones currently allowed to have handguns.
Today, in order to buy a handgun you have to be a member of a gun club, said Parsons, with the Port Coquitlam and District Hunting and Fishing Club.
To buy a gun requires a possession and acquisition licence. But to do that, courses in non-restricted (rifles) and restricted weapons (handguns) are first required.
Carrying the firearm back and forth to the range requires a separate authorization to transport the weapon. Once home, the handgun has to have a trigger lock and be stored in a safe compartment.
“Your actual criminal element … they don’t have licences and they don’t have registered firearms,” said the Maple Ridge resident.
He added that a provision has been on the books for 20 years calling for four years added to any offence involving a firearm. But that’s never enforced.
Pitt Meadows Coun. Andrew Tolchard, a former Ridge-Meadows detachment RCMP officer, confirmed tough laws already exist for firearms offences.
It’s up to people to elect politicians who will pressure the judiciary system to impose such sentences, he said.
“For many of these crimes, the punishment does not fit the crime.
“We are not correcting that behaviour.”
Tolchard said that Canada’s criminal justice system, for the most part, is a great system and works well for most of society. But when it comes to certain areas, such as violent crime, the evidence is that it’s not working.
Current laws for some firearms offences call for a 14-year jail term or life -- yet such charges are often plea-bargained away or only minimal sentences are handed down, despite the public mood for tougher sentences for such crimes, he said. “I think things can change.”
Tolchard said while handguns have always been around, they are becoming more prevalent in crime.
He sees no need for such weapons, but also disagrees with a ban on handguns, saying it wouldn’t have much effect.
“I think we need to support our police. They’re the ones on the front lines trying to deal with these issues.”
He said handguns and the drug trade go hand in hand and getting tough in both areas could be the place to start.
“I think there needs to be strong penalties for repeat offenders. I think it’s time we really started to get serious about this issue.”
But doing nothing isn’t the answer, he said.
Parsons said most of the guns used in gang warfare are smuggled in from the U.S., part of the marijuana trade, adding that handguns are available on the street starting at $50.


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Standing Wolf
January 5, 2006, 04:43 PM
To buy a gun requires a possession and acquisition licence. But to do that, courses in non-restricted (rifles) and restricted weapons (handguns) are first required.
Carrying the firearm back and forth to the range requires a separate authorization to transport the weapon. Once home, the handgun has to have a trigger lock and be stored in a safe compartment.

Sounds like a leftist extremist fantasy come true.

carebear
January 5, 2006, 04:45 PM
Sounds like a leftist extremist fantasy come true.

And yet it still isn't enough for them.

nfl1990
January 5, 2006, 05:52 PM
Originally Posted by Standing Wolf
Sounds like a leftist extremist fantasy come true.

No that would be a complete ban.

FRIENDLY
January 5, 2006, 06:00 PM
ALL BANNED except for the bodyguards of the very rich and powerfull I think.This does sound very familiar

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