November 21, 1994


Yellowknife, NWT - Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville is challenging Justice Minister Allan Rock to a public debate on gun control. Breitkreuz said, "The Minister has been making misleading public statements and I think they need to be clarified before he introduces legislation which would even further restrict the activities of law-abiding, responsible gun owners. The assumptions on which he is basing his proposed legislation are flawed and the public needs to be fully informed. I am prepared to debate the Minister anytime, any place but would prefer the debate be held on the Minister's home turf, in Toronto." Here are the issues Breitkreuz would like to debate:

(1) The majority of Canadians do not believe that placing more restrictions on law-abiding, responsible gun owners will reduce the criminal use of firearms. Canadians really want tougher penalties for those who use firearms in the commission of violent crimes.

(2) The current registration system for handguns is ineffective. The criminal use of handguns is on the increase despite there being a registration system for legally-owned handguns since 1934. The fact is, criminals don't obey any laws, especially gun control laws.

(3) The registration of all rifles and shotguns will not improve public safety and will not help police solve gun crimes as has been proven in New Zealand and Australia.

(4) The ineffectiveness of previous gun control legislation to improve public safety including a review of the observations and recommendations in the Auditor General's 1993 Report.

(5) The costs of gun control measures are not justified by the benefits. Which would save more lives - spending a $100 million on gun control, a $100 million putting more police on the streets or $100 million on health care? Tax money should be spent in areas which will save the most lives - Canadians must have a real say.

(6) Gun control measures have a multi-million dollar negative impact on the national and provincial economies.

(7) Explain how a law-abiding citizen acquires a gun and how current and proposed gun control laws will never stop criminals from obtaining and using guns.

What do you say Mr. Minister?

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Ottawa: - (613) 992-4394