Mr. Speaker, I would like to focus on the recently passed gun legislation.
Our articulated gun bill in Canada says something for us as a society not only for today but for generations to come. However, I have some real concerns in the ability to apply that law. We would like to think that Canadians are law-abiding citizens in terms of there being seven million guns. I do not know who counted them. I do not know who knows for example that I have three guns.
Let us say there are seven million guns out there. A lot of those guns have been sitting around. They are in attics, basements and behind pantry doors. A lot of them are not used and have not been used for years. I have two rifles that have not been used for 20 years. My concern is that we must have some incentive to flush out of existence a lot of those rifles and guns which have not been used, are not being used and will not be used unless they happen to fall into the wrong hands.
I am proposing a form of gun amnesty in Canada. There would be some incentive for people to turn in those guns. Some people are quite aware they have no use for the gun but there is a reluctance or a sentimental attachment to it. Perhaps the widow's husband used the gun for many years and she is just a little bit reluctant to get rid of it but at the same time knows she has no earthly use for it.
The bill could be improved. The application of the bill certainly would be much easier. It will be a tremendous and horrific job for our police departments unless there is genuine co-operation to register the guns.
My proposal is to have a form of amnesty, amnesty plus if you like, with some sort of minimal tax credit, something in the area of $25 or so for turning in those guns. Motivation is needed. I do not think a lot of people would object to that. It would not cost very much. It is going to cost something to register the gun
anyway so it is not as if it were all lost. Some program like that with a public relations selling job associated with it would have a very positive effect on the number of guns that are in this nation.
I would be glad to turn in my two rifles and keep my shotgun. In that case I would probably make better use and take better care in the storage of my shotgun than if I had a whole lot of guns sitting around.
We could flush out those guns that are no longer used and where their purpose is long forgotten. I do not see any advantage to having them sitting around when people will be reluctant to go through the inconvenience of registering them. They would be relieved if there were some way in which they could dispose of them. The motivation could be a very small tax credit. I think it would work. I have received very positive feedback from some very unexpected corners when I think back to their attitude toward the gun bill. That is why I brought this matter forward.