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Thunder Bay’s MP, Marcus Powlowski, recently wrote a letter to Public Safety Minister, Bill Blair, regarding the government’s plan to ban military style rifles. The letter received a lot of attention from those opposing the ban and was circulated around the internet.
The letter was dated January 16 and included objections and concerns regarding the plan. Powlowski said that he wrote the letter to pass on views of his constituents. One supporter wrote that Powlowski is “standing up to his own party.”
“Over the course of the past three months, I have heard a wide variety of views on this proposed ban,” wrote Powlowski. “I believe it is my role to ensure that these views are brought to your attention for consideration.”
iPolitics reported that Powlowski has worked as a doctor with First Nation communities in northern Ontario for around two years. He has also acquired two degrees in law from Harvard University.
“Given that there is currently no legal definition for a ‘military-style assault rifle’ in Canada, some community members I have spoken with are skeptical that a ban based on this term would make sense as a coherent firearm policy,” the letter said.
“Such a term, as they see it, is more political than policy oriented, and seeks to target certain firearms without a rational basis.”
“For some hunters in my riding, a ban on ‘military style’ firearms would seem to arbitrarily target one forearm over another based on their appearance.”
Powlowski brought up the fact that “military style assault rifles” are frequently used for legal hunting reasons.
Many people have also brought up the fact that the ban will be directed at gun owners who obey the law and legally own their weapons as opposed to the criminals who obtain and use firearms illegally.
Glen Motz, the Alberta Conservative MP, has demanded in a House of Commons petition that the issue be debated in court. Part of the reasoning includes Bill Blair’s estimation that the ban will cost over $250 million.
Powlowski wanted to make it clear that he supports the platform but thought that the concerns should be passed on and considered.
He told iPolitics, “I’m completely behind the Liberal party’s policy,” he added, “I’m not a gun enthusiast, I’m just passing on the views of my constituents, it’s part of my job as a Member of Parliament on behalf of my constituents.”
The House of Commons petition against the Liberal gun ban has accumulated 93,683 signatures and counting. The petition has been open since Dec. 17, 2019 and closes on Feb. 15, 2020.