Surely a lot of Conservative communities would feel safer with a lifetime background check

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. Conservative colleague for his expression of concern, because I have been quite baffled, having read Bill C-71, as to why the Conservative Party is alarming people who are legal gun owners, lawful citizens of Canada. I understand it better now, but when I read the legislation, it does not add up.

I think this legislation as very valuable. I ask my hon. colleague if he disagrees that it is not better to ensure that when we do checks on someone’s history, in terms of mental health and whether we would want such an individual to own a gun, that we do not stop at the current legislation, which only goes back five years, but that we actually look at the lifetime record of an individual and decide whether that person should be able to buy a firearm. Surely a lot of Conservative families and communities would feel very relieved to know that there was a lifetime check, not just the current five years.

Kevin Waugh – Member for Saskatoon-Grasswood

Mr. Speaker, we are all for public safety. Twenty years is a long time. Many businesses change hands. We all know that when we buy a gun from Cabela’s or somewhere else in this country. We know that gangs in this country will not walk into a store and register their names or do all the things they have to do. This is what we want to have corrected in this country through Bill C-71. Law-abiding citizens are being picked on in the bill, while gang members are not. Law-abiding citizens have for years and decades been law-abiding. They are the safest with guns, yet the bill does little to give them any support whatsoever.

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, for decades leading up to 1995, retailers selling guns had to keep track of the transactions. It was common sense. It was not a registry of any kind. We did it for a very long time, and it disappeared with the long-gun registry and the repeal of the long-gun registry. It looked like a mistake, and it is being corrected now.

Does the member and his party think that we should not keep track of the sales of guns in any way, shape, or form?

Kevin Waugh

Mr. Speaker, I think we should. I am wondering about gang members, though, because we do not see any legislation that targets them. That is the biggest issue with the bill. Law-abiding citizens have been law-abiding forever in this country. Now we have gang members that are not registering guns. The bill does not talk about them, so we are upset about the bill.

The other issue we are upset about is not talking to first nations. The committee did not hear enough information from first nations. We think this is important. They have a big say on this too.