Zimmer pleased about possible increased level of screening to obtain firearms licenses

Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer questions Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale in the House of Commons. File photo.

FORT ST JOHN, B.C. – Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP and Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus co-chair Bob Zimmer says he’s pleased to hear about a possible plan to increase the level of screening that goes into acquiring a firearms license in Canada.

In a statement, Zimmer said that Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale held a summit yesterday on the topic of increased gang activity and gun violence in Canada. According to The Canadian Press, statistics presented at the meeting show that homicides involving firearms increased from 26 percent to 39 percent between 2013 and 2016. 109 people were killed with a firearm in 2013, but that number nearly doubled to 195 in 2016.

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After the meeting Goodale held a news conference, saying that possible legislation that will be tabled by the government including a new law requiring a longer look into a buyer’s criminal history, which goes back only five years under the current system. In addition, if Ottawa gets buy-in from provincial governments, the background checks could include an examination of the purchaser’s mental-health history.

Zimmer issued the following statement today in reaction to Goodale’s press conference:

“As a strong supporter of the outdoor community and the lifestyle that it promotes I support the idea of more vigorous background checks that could include a mental health history and more comprehensive look at the criminal past of the purchaser. We need to continue to protect the rights of law-abiding firearms owners while also working to ensure that firearms do not end up in the wrong hands. I will watch closely as this legislation takes shape and I look forward to participating in the consultation process.”

With files from The Canadian Press: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/public-safety-minister-vows-to-toughen-gun-licence-screening-in-canada/article38246723/

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