Sopuck unimpressed with potential firearm amendments


Eoin Devereux
Neepawa Banner & Press

Dauphin/Swan River and Neepawa M.P. Robert Sopuck is not all that impressed with the Trudeau government’s recent take on gun regulation; and he’s letting them know about it. The federal Liberals recently tabled Bill C-71, which would amend certain acts and regulations in connection to firearms. A big part of the changes would include revisions to the background check system and new mandatory record-keeping practices for vendors. The bill also requires RCMP to examine more of a person’s history and not just the last five years, as is currently required. 

While some on a national level have commended the proposal, others have expressed concern that it simply creates more red tape for lawful gun owners.

One individual who is unhappy with the bill is M.P. Robert Sopuck, who believes it’s nothing more than a backdoor attempt to bring back the long-gun registry, which was rescinded in 2012. He also questioned whether or not it would actually address the issue of violence in urban and rural communities.

“Canadian’s deserve a government that tackles real criminals, not one that adds onerous regulations to law abiding firearms owners,” said Sopuck. “The safety of Canadians should be the number one priority of any government. Coast to coast, we are seeing escalating crimes rates, especially rural crime. Almost all increases in gun violence are due to gang violence.  We all recognize that criminals, like gangs, don’t buy their guns legally, and they certainly are not going to register them with the government. Instead, this legislation is once again putting the onus on the people who legally own and sell firearms.”

Sopuck also suggested that a recent tweet from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shows just how far off the mark he is on the existing firearms laws. On Mar. 20, Trudeau tweeted that “If you want to buy a gun, by law you’ll have to show a license at the point of purchase. Right now, that’s not a requirement.” Sopuck said that statement is off track, because the law already requires a person to provide a possession and acquisition (PAL) license before they can buy a gun.

“He doesn’t even know the legislation. I’ve had a PAL ever since you’ve had to have it. And every time I’ve purchased a firearm, or even when you purchase ammunition, you have to show your PAL. So for the Prime Minister to not realize that, is astonishing,” stated Sopuck.

Sopuck added that Trudeau should get a general understanding of the current gun laws before he tries to change them.