Ottawa, ON – Raquel Dancho, Conservative Shadow Minister for Public Safety, and Pierre Paul-Hus, Conservative Shadow Minister for Public Services and Procurement, released the following statement on the Liberal government’s release of a proposed firearm buyback compensation table:

“The Trudeau government doesn’t care about criminals and illegal gun crime. Instead of targeting gangs and illegally smuggled firearms, Justin Trudeau is introducing a firearm buyback program that punishes lawful firearms owners. The fact is, hobbyists, collectors, sport shooters, and hunters are not the ones to blame for the rise in gun crime in Canada – gangs, criminals, and the guns they illegally smuggle from the US are.

“Unfortunately, the Liberal government continues to all but ignore the actual source of most gun crime in Canada: gangs, criminals, and illegal guns. A firearm buyback program which the Liberals say will cost taxpayers between $400-$600 million does nothing to get the countless illegal guns currently possessed by gangs and criminals off the streets.

“Many in the firearms community expressed concern that they would not be fairly compensated. What is worse is the details released so far about the Liberals’ gun buyback program confirm that those who participate in good faith and follow the law could end up being financially punished, potentially losing thousands of dollars.

“The Liberal government has yet to release details on how the so-called “buyback” will be safely implemented. Conservatives remain concerned that this burden will fall on local police, whose resources are already maxed out as they fight real crime on our streets. Offloading this expensive and ineffective policy on police would only further jeopardize public safety by draining limited police services in our communities.

“Conservatives have, and will always, support common-sense firearms policies that keep communities safe and guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. We believe the government should focus on supporting grassroots community organizations that prevent our youth from joining gangs in the first place and invest in CBSA and police anti-gang and gun units to provide law enforcement with the resources they need to stop illegal firearm smuggling and gun violence at its root.

“We continue to call on the Trudeau Liberal government to ensure that Canada’s firearms legislation is based on evidence and outcomes, not on ideology, and respects the rights of lawful Canadians.”