(Ottawa) The Federation of Municipal Police Officers of Quebec (FPMQ) joins its voice to those of two other major unions to demand in turn a ban on assault weapons. Meanwhile, PolySeSouvient, a Toronto citizens’ group and a coalition of feminist organizations are calling on New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Jagmeet Singh to take a clear stand in this debate.
“Remember that the majority of police officers who die in the line of duty are killed by gunshots, and most of the time these are long weapons, very often assault weapons like the Soviet SKS”, argues the FPMQ in a letter sent Monday to the Minister of Public Security, Marco Mendicino.
The Federation, which represents more than 5,000 municipal police officers, says it supports a ban on owning military-style weapons “that are not reasonably used for hunting.” This is also what the Brotherhood of Police Officers of Montreal and the Association of Provincial Police Officers of Quebec are asking for.
The federal government intends to table new amendments to this effect by the end of the month. He caused a stir in February by removing two controversial amendments that added a ban on assault weapons to the gun control Bill C-21. The gesture was welcomed by all the main opposition parties.
One of the amendments contained a list of over 300 pages that had caused confusion and led to an outcry. In addition to the models already banned, it included the SKS, a military-style weapon frequently used by hunters and Aboriginal people.
Minister Mendicino will give details in a parliamentary committee on Tuesday on the consultations undertaken since December to try to find a way through.
The minority Liberal government will need the support of the Bloc Québécois or the NDP to pass the new amendments it intends to table. However, the groups PolySeSouvient in Montreal and Danforth Families for Safe Communities in Toronto call, in a letter, the NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh, to clarify the position of his party. They accuse the NDP of undermining gun control efforts during the study of the bill in parliamentary committee.
A coalition of 32 feminist organizations, including the Fédération des femmes du Québec, also wrote to Mr. Singh asking him to “strongly” support new amendments to ban assault weapons and for a freeze on the sale of new weapons punches in Bill C-21. The coalition is calling on the NDP to “work urgently” to ensure the legislation passes third reading before Parliament adjourns for the summer.