NEW DEMOCRAT VOTES TO END DIVISIVE POLITICS

Time to make gun laws that make sense for more Canadians: Hughes

OTTAWA – Carol Hughes is saying that tonight's defeat of bill C-391 makes it even more important to work toward a solution that makes sense to more Canadians.

“I have spoken with people right across Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing and am hearing from those who support the registry and those who don’t,” said Hughes. "I really think it’s time to move the debate from the black and white characterizations and look for ways to make the registry make sense for more Canadians.”

Hughes waded through feedback from constituents, committee testimony, reports and met with lobbyists on both sides of the issue.

“No one is denying that there are problems with the registry that have to be addressed,” continued Hughes. “But at the end of the day, I think it is tool worth preserving and believe we can make changes that reflect what I am hearing from constituents and people right across Canada.”

Hughes said the way the Conservatives and Liberals have used the issue to divide Canadians for their own political gain is deplorable and condemns their failure to offer solutions acceptable to more Canadians.

“The job of an elected representative is to listen to the concerns of all groups on all sides of an issue, while paying special attention to those most vulnerable,” said Hughes. “In this case, front-line police officers and victims of domestic violence face the greatest risk and I believe that we can address many of the concerns of those opposed to the registry while keeping an important tool for law enforcement.”

Last week, New Democrats outlined concrete proposals that address the concerns of rural communities while improving public safety.

They include:

• merging possession and acquisition licenses;
• addressing issues with inherited firearms;
• addressing mental health issues and gun ownership;
• mandating the Auditor General to ensure the long-gun registry is cost-effective.