moved for leave to introduce Bill C-349, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (body armour).
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a bill to amend the Criminal Code in relation to body armour.
The bill would make it an additional offence to use body armour during the commission or attempted commission of an indictable offence. It would also ban those convicted of violent crimes from possessing body armour.
The recent spate of gang violence in the Lower Mainland of B.C., with at least 31 shootings and 15 deaths in the past two months alone, has revealed chilling examples of notorious criminals decked out in body armour, wielding guns and ready to do battle. These are not petty thugs. They are armed and dangerous gangsters who have no regard for their own lives, the lives of police or of innocent bystanders.
I have two sons who are police officers and they have told me of the disturbing situation in which beat cops are put, facing gangsters equipped with body armour that makes them almost invulnerable to patrol officers and with armour piercing weapons that can penetrate regular issue police armour.
The bill is modest in scope and only addresses one but one important small component of the problem. Our communities are crying out for a comprehensive, anti-gang strategy. The government has promised a comprehensive strategy but so far it has failed to deliver.
I call on everyone in the House to support the bill to protect the lives of police officers and the lives of innocent bystanders.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)