Madam Speaker, that is a very important question.
First of all, handguns represent a very significant danger. It is why we restrict them. Just to be very clear, in this legislation we are imposing very strict national restrictions on handguns: on their storage, sale and use. Those restrictions would apply in every place. We have also listened to municipalities where people have said that they would like to do more. We are prepared to work with communities that want to do more to keep their citizens safe. It is a responsibility we all have.
With respect to the Airsoft rifles that the member references, there is no problem with those devices, except when they are designed to exactly replicate dangerous firearms so that they are indistinguishable from those firearms. We have listened to the law enforcement community, which has passed a number of resolutions. By the way, I consulted with the law enforcement community about why it wanted this done, and the representatives said that these devices have been used in crime.
In Winnipeg, for example, Chief Danny Smyth identified that 215 replica firearms were used to commit crimes in his city just last year. In his response to Bill C-21 he said, “We think you're on to something”.
I also spoke to the president of the CACP, who strongly supported it and expressed appreciation that the government finally listened to law enforcement to take effective action to remove devices that exactly replicate dangerous firearms. There really is no place for them in our society. They represent an unacceptable risk.