Southern Alberta teenager’s gun laws petition tabled in the House of Commons
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Wednesday, September 19, 2018 9:47PM MDT
An online petition to prevent amendments to Canada’s gun laws garnered more than 86,000 signatures and, after being tabled in the House of Commons on Wednesday, is now the second largest e-petition in parliamentary history.
The petition was started earlier this year by high school student Ryan Slingerland and the teenager watched Wednesday’s proceedings on his laptop.
“The petition presented today was started by a 15-year-old in my riding by the name of Ryan Slingerland,” said Rachael Harder, Member of Parliament for Lethbridge. “As an informed and engaged you Canadian, he was upset when he learned the Liberals failed gun legislation was coming forward.”
“Bill C-71 is, yet again, another Liberal failure.”
Despite being too young to vote or obtain a gun licence, Slingerland launched petition 1608 and says the success of the campaign speaks to how many Canadians are passionate about the issue.
Opponents of Bill C-71 contend that the new firearms legislation creates a backdoor long gun registry and permits the confiscation of legally purchased firearms.
John Barlow, MP for Foothills, says the Liberals’ bill contrasts the efforts to reduce rural crime and improve safety in communities.
“This goes exactly the opposite,” said Barlow. “They keep touting Bill C-71 as a way to deal with gun crime but it doesn’t talk about guns and gang violence in that bill anywhere. Not once is it even mentioned. But it talks about registrar and registry dozens of times.”
Harder says she’s proud of Slingerland and his petition. “It is my hope that as the bill enters third reading tomorrow that the Liberals will listen closely to the voices of 86,000 Canadians."
Slingerland says he has realistic expectations about what his petition will accomplish, given the Liberals majority government, but believes that Wednesday was ‘a great day for firearm owners across Canada’.
The third reading of Bill C-71 is scheduled for Thursday.
With files from CTV Lethbridge's Terry Vogt