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441-01139 (Justice)

Petition to the Government of Canada


  • The Government of Canada's amendments to C-21 tabled in the Committee on November 22, 2022 negatively affect law-abiding gun owners;
  • The amendments of C-21 drastically change the original focus of the bill;
  • In the amendment of C-21 the definition "prohibited firearm" was not in the Charter Statement and was not debated in the House of Commons;
  • Public Safety Canada stated that the Hill & Knowlton consultant summary "Reducing Violence: A Dialogue of Handguns and Assault Weapons" was their primary source of Information to justify the Order in Council 2020-0298 and Bill C-21. As noted in the report key findings, the majority of stakeholders who were invited by Public Safety Canada for written responses opposed a potential ban of firearms of legal gun owners;
  • The amendment of November 22, 2022, "evergreen definition" of a prohibited firearm is an overreach. Semi-automatic firearms are non-restrictive. Fully automatic firearm and magazines capacity of more than five have been prohibited in Canada since the 1970s;
  • The amendment to C-21 greatly infringes on the treaty rights of First Nations legal gun owners; and
  • The prohibited firearm definition is an item currently contained with in Federal Court Case concerning the Order in Council of May 2020. The amendment could directly affect the outcome of this Federal Court Case.

We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:

1. Stop targeting law abiding hunters, sports shooters and farmers with gun legislation; and

2. Immediately withdraw the amendments tabled on November 22, 2022, at the Standing Committee of Public Safety and National Security.

Response by the Minister of Public Safety

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): PAM DAMOFF, M.P.

As part of a comprehensive approach to address firearms violence and control, the Government has introduced Bill C-21, which represents the most significant changes to gun control legislation in more than 40 years. The objective and spirit of Bill C-21 is to enhance public safety through targeted firearms control and since its introduction, the Government of Canada has made clear commitments to take further action to protect Canadians and our communities from gun violence.

When the Bill was tabled, the Government noted the intention to continue working to ensure a comprehensive ban of assault-style firearms. In November 2022, amendments were proposed to accomplish this. The core intent of the amendments was to prohibit assault-style firearms that are not suitable for civilian use, and not to target firearms that are commonly used for hunting. The proposed amendments generated significant debate and legitimate concerns.

On February 3, 2023, the Government withdrew these amendments to create an opportunity to further consult with Canadians.

Our Government recognizes the traditional and cultural importance of hunting for Indigenous communities and we are committed to ensuring that laws that are proposed or enacted do not prevent Indigenous Peoples from participating in a certain activity or practice that is integral and distinctive to their culture. The core intent of the amendments is to remove assault style firearms from civilian use and not to target hunting rifles. These amendments are not in any way intended to limit Indigenous rights. The Government will continue to consult and cooperate with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to identify a path forward.

The Government recognizes the legal civilian ownership of firearms for hunters, competitive and recreational sport shooters and collectors. We are committed to working with the all Canadians to identify a sensible approach that prioritizes public safety, supports effective police work and community programming and treats everyone in a fair and reasonable manner.

Presented to the House of Commons
Alex Ruff (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound)
February 14, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01139)
Government response tabled
March 30, 2023
Photo - Alex Ruff
Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound
Conservative Caucus

32 signatures

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.