Mr. Speaker, I listened closely to my hon. colleague and I do not share his opinion whatsoever.
Before I was elected in 2004, I worked as a defence lawyer and criminal lawyer for 20 years. I saw the arrival of additional sentences for crimes committed while in possession of a gun. These penalties are now four years. We went from one year to three and then four years. Unless my colleague opposite has more recent information, we do not have any studies that show that the increase in minimum sentences for gun-related crimes has reduced crime. If my colleague has any studies on the matter, I would like him to table them in this House.
If this bill passes, how will my colleague reduce what is referred to in Canada as plea bargaining? Let us say that I am a defence lawyer and my client is charged with a gun crime. What will we do? We will push the procedure to the maximum, as far as possible. We will ask the Crown to drop the gun possession charge in exchange for a guilty plea to a charge of assault with a weapon instead of attempted murder, for example. That does not solve anything.
If so much is to be resolved with this bill, why did the hon. Minister of Justice forget to include hunting rifles and shotguns in this bill? That is my question. We have studies that show that crimes committed over the past few years, in rural areas, were committed with rifles and shotguns. Why did the government fail to include rifles and shotguns in its bill?