Thanks very much for the question.
I think it's fairly simple. The existing authorizations to transport regulations and the power in the legislation are aimed at restricting where restricted weapons can be possessed, and these regulations have been in place now for over 50 years. The intent is to say that handguns represent a threat to public safety because they can be misused by their owners and they can be stolen. In fact, about a third of the handguns recovered in crime in Canada are guns that were at one time legally owned and have been sold illegally or stolen. Therefore, while we are prepared to allow individuals to use handguns for target shooting, and in some cases to have them as part of their collections, we want to be very cautious about where and under what circumstances they can have these guns.
The argument is that as you expand the authorizations to transport to basically say that you can be transporting your handgun from your home to any gun club in the province—which from my perspective could mean anywhere in the province—it's going to be near impossible to establish that someone was not going from their home to the gun club where they are a member and have a legitimate reason to be. They could be travelling virtually anywhere and saying they're on route to a gun club.
It's a technical change that could have unintended consequences. We've seen enough cases where restricted and prohibited weapons have been stolen from locked vehicles and then misused in crime, for example, to be concerned about this. I think the enforceability also becomes an issue. If you're basically saying that an authorization to transport allows you to take your handgun virtually anywhere in the province, then what exactly is the purpose of the authorization to transport?