North Okanagan—Shuswap MP Mel Arnold. (Contributed)

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP opposes ban on assault-style rifles

Mel Arnold says underlying issues of mental health, addictions should be addressed first

North Okanagan—Shuswap MP Mel Arnold voiced his opposition to new gun control measures announced on Friday by the federal government.

“The reality is, most gun crimes are committed with illegally obtained firearms and nothing that the Prime Minister announced today will solve this problem,” Arnold said in a statement May 1.

“Today’s announcement should have targeted gangs and those who smuggle, sell or use guns illegally. Instead, the Prime Minister has announced measures that will solely impact Canadians who have met the legal requirements of firearms ownership and follow the law.”

The announcement from Prime Minister Trudeau on May 1 puts an overnight ban on more than 1,500 types of assault-style rifles, including the types used in the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal and other Canadian mass shootings.

Arnold said eliminating violence in Canadian society is “attainable,” but added gun control measures should take a back seat to mental health and addictions support.

“If we are to effectively reduce or eliminate violence in our society, we must first deal with the mental health and addictions crises across Canada,” he said.

While calling into question the Trudeau government’s handling of mental health issues—which he says are “at the root of tragedies such as that in Nova Scotia last week”—Arnold also suggested the federal government took advantage of Canada’s state of crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic to usher in the gun control measures.

“Although, I believe the Prime Minister desires to reduce the amount of violence caused by guns, his decision to forego Parliament’s legislative and democratic channels and utilize an Order in Council to deliver a 2019 campaign promise is, frankly, wrong.”

Arnold said he and his Conservative Party colleagues will pressure government for more support for anti-gang and gun units, an firearms smuggling task force and tougher court sentences for violent offenders.

“Additionally, Canadians need our federal government to get serious about expanding access to mental health supports and addictions treatments for all Canadians.”

READ MORE: Feds ban more than 1,500 assault-style rifles in Canada

READ MORE: Okanagan-Shuswap gun club leaders react to Canadian government’s firearm ban


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

assault weaponsguns

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

Ryga Arts Festival to include live events

Arts festival in Summerland will feature live and online performances

Highway 3 open after five hour closure west of Princeton

Vehicle incident 39 kilometres west of Princeton had highway closed most of Thursday

South Okanagan sees increase in real estate activity

More single family homes sold at higher prices when compared with a year ago

Penticton Peach Fest headliners moved to 2021

Artists include Glass Tiger, Simply Queen, Jess Moskaluke and Honeymoon Suite

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Penticton man wakes to wildfire, forced to evacuate

A wildfire sparked off the side of Highway 97 near Penticton on Thursday

Anti-gang cops probe Kelowna’s street-level drug trade over B.C. Day long weekend

CFSEU’s Gang Enforcement Team was deployed to Kelowna last weekend

Man allegedly wielding knife at Kelowna Superstore arrested

The 29-year-old Kelowna man has been released on strict conditions for a future court date

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

Most Read