Feds dismiss firearm advisory report

Prime Minister Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons, Dec. 6, 2012.

Credits: REUTERS/Chris Wattie


OTTAWA - On the 23rd anniversary of the Montreal massacre, the federal government ran away from an advisory committee report which reportedly called for some "prohibited weapons" to be delisted, among other controversial measures.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the Commons Thursday that a firearms committee report doesn't reflect the views of the government and agreed to consider Liberal leader Bob Rae's proposal to expand the advisory committee to include police chiefs and suicide prevention officers.

Opposition parties asked Harper to respond to a Toronto Star story that suggested documents obtained by the Coalition for Gun Control showed the government is considering recommendations to reclassify prohibited weapons like handguns to increase accessibility.

The 12-member advisory committee also reportedly proposed ditching a current gun owner requirement to get an "authorization to transport" firearms.

"Let me be as clear as I can be," Harper said. "Prohibited weapons exist as a category under the law for essential reasons of public security. The government has absolutely no intention of weakening that category of protections."

Rae says he hopes the prime minister "learned something."

"I think what happened is I think the Prime Minister was probably taken aback by the lack of - frankly, the lack of political sensitivity and common sense of a committee that would come up with those kinds of recommendations at a time when Canadians are looking in a very different direction," Rae told reporters.

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