Big thanks to Calibre Magazine for including this issue during their recent and ongoing interviews with Conservative leadership candidates.
The question asked was simply:
Will you commit to removing sound suppressors from the prohibited devices list?
Answers from the candidates interviews so far are below:
“Yes. I see many benefits to sound suppressors. First, they are largely used in Europe by gun owners – they do a great job in simply reducing the noise. Sound suppressors are an effective way to reduce “noise pollution” at the source. It also has benefits for health and safety issues of not only those that use firearms, but also those in the vicinity. I see sound suppressors as a constructive device. “
– Steven Blaney
“Yes. It would make sense to do so. Particularly for hunting and target shooting – why wouldn’t you? I understand the police may want something (regulation) for handguns, but rather than having a blanket prohibition, there has to be some way we can loosen this up so people can use it for hunting. I would be supportive in my legislation so people can use suppressors for legitimate uses. Having said that, if you are a criminal using a handgun already, what difference does it make if you toss on a suppressor? Any which way you are going to break the law. It is the old line that laws are not made for criminals; they are designed for honest people and to keep small children out of things.”
– Brad Trost
“Yes, I would commit to removing sound suppressors from the prohibited devices list.”
– Chris Alexander
“I am not in a position to make comments on those specific items. A leader of a party or caucus needs to find common ground. I think before we get into specifics of any different clauses in the criminal code, the most important thing is to tighten up the definitions, remove the subjective power from the RCMP, and just ensure that we are always focused on firearms tied to crime and not responsible gun owners. The thing about a lot of these issues, if you talk to any gun owner about this – they can have very legitimate concerns around aspects around classification. For example, sound suppressors – I have not thought about the health side until you just mentioned it, or magazine capacity – but we have a very big country with a very diverse population in those urban and rural settings. I think the community, along with myself as leader – regulations would be easier to understand, there would be broader appeal for support. We will walk before we can run – we need to understand that there is a comfort level in the larger society with some of these things. It is all about wanting to engage,consult, and listen while making sure the firearms community knows that they have someone at the table who is sympathetic and understands their concerns – not someone who would treat everyone that owns a firearm as a problem. That is the issue we get into with Liberal governments, when they get in power, it is like they are looking for ways to make it worse. You just get that sense that they do not sympathize with us, they don’t believe in our rights, they do not believe we should be doing what we are doing – so we get that adversarial relationship.”
– Andrew Scheer