Justin Trudeau: “Bill C-42 would allow handguns and assault weapons to be freely transported … even left parked outside a Canadian Tire or local hockey arena.”
By: Tyler Sommers on
Justin Trudeau, Liberal Party leader and MP for Papineau, during Question Period on November 26, 2014
Justin Trudeau said bill C-42 to amend the Firearms Act would allow “handguns and assault weapons” to be transported anywhere within a province, even to Canadian Tire or a hockey arena. This is false. The locations that were unlawful before, continue to be unlawful.FactsCan Score: False
A gun law tabled by the government in October prompted criticism from Liberal leader Justin Trudeau that the legislation would “allow handguns and assault weapons to be freely transported in a trunk anywhere within a province, even left parked outside a Canadian Tire or local hockey arena.”
Presently, the Firearms Act allows people (who have proper licenses) to transport prohibited or restricted firearms “between two or more specified places for any good and sufficient reason” when they get a permit to do so. According to another set of regulations, people must transport their firearms by a “reasonably direct” route.
A change related to transportation in bill C-42, or the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act, is creating “automatic authorization” to transport firearms for licensed individuals to specific places only. This would replace the need to obtain a permit.
In other words, if someone has a license, they would also have authorization to transport – no paperwork needed.
Transport where? Several defined places: to and from (1) shooting clubs and ranges, (2) a peace officer or firearms officer for verification/registration/disposal, (3) a business authorized to repair or appraise, (4) a gun show, and (5) a port of exit and entry (section 6 of C-42).
Neither the type of lawful locations nor the condition that transport follows a “reasonably direct” route would change under bill C-42 in its current form. That leaves the question of whether the locations Trudeau described – parking lots of a Canadian Tire or hockey arena – are presently lawful under the Firearms Act.
On this question, criminal defense lawyer and firearms expert Solomon Friedman said, “I would advise a client that the kind of conduct Trudeau is describing would not be lawful [because it is not reasonably direct] and will continue to be unlawful.”
Friedman added that there is not yet case law on Trudeau’s parking lot examples.
Because bill C-42 does not change the list of lawful locations, the only factor that would validate Trudeau’s statement is if, under the Firearms Act, guns are allowed to be left in Canadian Tire and hockey arena parking lots. According to two experts, and our reading of the law, this is not the case. We find Trudeau’s statement is false.