Bill C-71 Is A Red Herring GARY MAUSER
Bill C-71 Is A Red Herring GARY MAUSER
Bill C-71 is a Red Herring
Submission to the Federal Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security on Bill C-71
Gary A Mauser, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies
Beedie School of Business
Simon Fraser University
Thank you for this opportunity to present my observations to the Committee on Bill C-71, “An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms.”
I am concerned that Bill C-71 is founded on faulty assumptions. Assumptions that ignore the real problem of violent gang crime to focus exclusively – and unnecessarily — on law-abiding firearms owners — hunters, sport shooters, and firearms retailers — individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety. The problem is violent crime, not firearms ownership.
There are many egregious problems with Bill C-71. In essence, this bill is a red herring, intended to distract the Canadian public from the government’s failure to deal with gang violence. Here, I will content myself with briefly identifying a few errors in the underlying assumptions in the bill.
By selecting the year 2013 as the base of comparison, the government abuses statistics to argue shootings are increasing. The year 2013 is an outlier.
The year 2013 saw Canada’s lowest rate of criminal homicides in 50 years (1.45 per 100,000), and the lowest rate of fatal shootings ever recorded by Statistics Canada (0.38 per 100,000). Naturally, this results in 2016 (1.68 homicides and 0.61 fatal shootings per 100,000) being an increase from 2013.
Total homicides have declined at least since the 1990s, not the “steady increase” the government claims. If anything, stabbings have steadily increased, not shootings.
Bill C-71 is unnecessary and does not contribute to public safety. Canadian gun laws are already enormously complex and constitute a maze for unwary firearms owners. Since 1998, gun crime is predominantly administrative violations not violent crimes.
The additional regulatory complexity created by Bill C-71 will increase demands upon government services and increase costs to taxpayers. This can only reduce public safety.
The problem is violent crime, not ‘gun crime.’ When will the government get serious about gang violence?
 Baker, J. and S. McPhedran. 2007. Gun Laws and Sudden Death: Did the Australian Firearms Legislation of 1996 Make a Difference? British J. Criminology. 47, 455–469; Kates, Don B., and Gary Mauser. 2007. Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International Evidence. Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 30, 2 (Spring): 649–94; Kleck, Gary (1997). Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control. Aldine de Gruyter; Langmann, Caillin. Canadian Firearms Legislation and Effects on Homicide 1974 to 2008, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2012, 27(12) 2303–2321; Mauser, Gary and Richard Holmes. An Evaluation of the 1977 Canadian Firearms Legislation, Evaluation Review, 1992 16: 603; Mauser, Gary and Dennis Maki, An evaluation of the 1977 Canadian firearm legislation: robbery involving a firearm; Applied Economics, 2003, 35:4, 423-436; National Research Council of the National Academies, Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review 7;m (2004), available at http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10881&page=7:
 Cook, Philip, W Cukier and K Krause, “ The illicit Firearms Trade in North America,“ Criminology and Criminal Justice. Vol 9(3), 2009, 265-286. Toronto Mayor Tory told the Guns and Gangs summit meeting (7 March 2018) that at least 50% of the guns used in homicide had been smuggled, and that just 2% had no connection to the drug trade. Gary Mauser, “Will Gun Control Make Us Safe? Debunking the Myths. An evaluation of firearm laws in Canada and in the English Commonwealth,” invited address to the Ontario Police College, Toronto, Ontario, May 24-25, 2006.
 Professor Gary Mauser. The Case of the Missing Canadian Gun Owners. Presented to the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2001.
 MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT RESPECTING THE FEDERAL- PROVINCIAL FINANCIAL AGREEMENT ADDRESSING THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE FIREARMS ACT AND REGULATIONS. March 29, 1999.
 Minutes of the Toronto Police Services Board, January 22, 2004.
 Professor Gary Mauser and Dennis Young. Critique of the RCMP’s Firearms and Investigative Services Directorate (FIESD) 2014 Annual Report. The definition is on page 10 of the FIESD report.
 Heemskirk, Tony and Eric Davies. A report on illegal movement of firearms in British Columbia. PSSG-09-003. 2009 http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/law-crime-and-justice/criminal- justice/police/publications/independent/special-report-illegal-movement-firearms.pdf
 A firearm need not be used in a crime for Statistics Canada to considers a crime “firearms-related.” A crime is “firearms-related” if a firearm the “most serious weapon present” during the commission of the crime (or is later found at the scene).
 Professor Gary Mauser, Statistics Canada Special Request number 85C9996, 17 May 2017.
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