Mr. Chair, I'm honoured to present e-petition 2341 on behalf of more than 175,000 Canadians. This pile on my desk is but a small sampling of those 175,000 Canadians who oppose the Liberals' firearms ban and believe that using an order in council to bypass debate and accountability in this House is wrong and undemocratic.
This is the largest e-petition in Canadian history to date, although I am pleased to report that new e-petition 2574, started recently by my colleague from Calgary Nose Hill and also directly related to the recent gun ban, already has over 80,000 signatures in the first day. That fact just underlines the significant importance of this issue to Canadians.
As the e-petition 2341 petitioners note, the government's ban fails to take firearms away from criminals and unfairly targets Canadians, the firearm owners who are already among the most vetted in Canadian history and society. I believe it is wrong for the government to use the current pandemic and immediate emotion of the tragedy in Nova Scotia to push through their ideological agenda and make major firearms policy changes at this time.
As a former police officer, I know first-hand that Canadians want real action on crime, on gangs and on smuggled and illegal firearms. The vast majority of Canadian crimes committed with guns are committed by illegally obtained firearms by individuals who are not legally authorized to possess them. Nothing the Liberals announced last week addresses this problem. Instead, the government's policies are targeting law-abiding firearm owners instead of the dangerous criminals who choose to do evil with illegal and smuggled firearms. This is lazy and ineffective government.
Conservatives have supported and will always support common-sense firearms policies that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals.