THE ANASTASIA BILL - THE GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC HAS PROPOSED A SERIES OF MEASURES TO RESTRICT THE CIRCULATION OF FIREARMS



    MONTREAL, June 15 /CNW Telbec/ - It was at Dawson College that Québec
Premier Jean Charest and Jacques P. Dupuis, Minister of Justice and Minister
of Public Security, explained the details of the Personal Security Bill
introduced in the National Assembly today. This bill, which mainly concerns
restricted and prohibited firearms, is part of a series of measures that will
be put in place with a view to increasing the security of Québec's population.
    "Our laws must adequately protect the citizens of Québec. They must also
be adapted to today's realities. This bill is well suited to this context.
Moreover, it is supported by a series of complementary measures which
underscore our wish to achieve the bill's main objective: ensuring the
security of Québec's citizens," stated the Premier.

    Legal solutions

    First, the bill aims to ban the circulation of all firearms on the site
of designated institutions as well as on means of transportation, both public
and school-related. This legislation mainly impacts daycare centres and
educational institutions, but other types of institutions may be added by
regulation. Any person who fails to comply with this ban will be liable to a
fine. Moreover, the firearms in their possession will be seized without a
warrant and confiscated.
    The bill will also make it mandatory to report to police authorities any
person who circulates on the site of a designated institution with a firearm.
A person working for this institution who has reasonable grounds to believe
that an individual is violating this ban will be required to report this
situation to a peace officer. Furthermore, this legislation promotes and
facilitates the reporting of individuals whose behaviour gives reason to fear
that they may compromise public security with firearms. For example, certain
professionals, whether they work inside or outside the designated
institutions, will be expressly authorized to report to police authorities any
such behaviour noted in the exercise of their profession, even if this means
conveying information that would otherwise be protected by professional
privilege, in particular in the health and social services field.
    Finally, the bill provides a framework for engaging in target practice
with restricted or prohibited firearms in shooting clubs and on firing ranges.
The bill notably provides for the granting of an operating permit and various
requirements including the keeping of a register of attendance by members and
users, as well as compliance with safety and security rules. In addition,
persons wishing to engage in target practice will have to be members of a
shooting club, meet the conditions for maintaining their membership in said
club, and obtain an attestation of their ability to handle firearms safely.

    Complementary measures

    "To ensure that this bill has the anticipated impact, we have added
tangible measures that also reflect current realities. In the past, certain
individuals responsible for recent tragedies have been known to visit certain
web sites. This has led us to put in place measures to monitor these sites in
order to prevent the occurrence of other events of this nature," stated
Mr. Dupuis.
    On this subject, the cyber-surveillance and monitoring division of the
Sûreté du Québec will be strengthened in order to detect problematic behaviour
related to firearms and illegal firearm transactions.
    A joint unit in charge of combating firearm smuggling will be set up and
will devote its energies to combating smuggling, trafficking and possessing
firearms intended for use in the commission of crimes in Québec.
    Police forces will be called upon to take action to reduce the supply and
use of firearms for criminal purposes. Several actions seeking to permit the
collection of systematic data on firearm possession in Québec, to ensure
better support for investigations, to promote the analysis of information, and
to contribute to the reduction of firearm thefts in Québec will be put in
place.
    Moreover, on May 17th of this year, Mr. Dupuis sent his federal
counterpart a letter urging him to amend the Firearms Act to give the
provinces, which so desire, greater regulatory power with respect to firearms.
He also reiterated Québec's position concerning the firearms register
specifying that it should be maintained in its entirety.
    To conclude, the Chief Firearms Officer will tighten certain control
measures. At the present time, the firearms register does not indicate the
reasons for registering certain firearms found on Québec's territory. It was
agreed with the Chief Firearms Officer that he would check the final purpose
of possessing restricted and prohibited firearms with the holders of permits
for these weapons.
    "The government is convinced that this bill and these complementary
measures will make it possible to improve the control of firearms and, in so
doing, to prevent the occurrence of such unfortunate events," concluded the
Premier.

    
      Appendix - BILL ON THE SAFETY OF INDIVIDUALS IN CERTAIN AREAS AND
                 AMENDING THE ACT RESPECTING SAFETY IN SPORTS
               Dawson College, Montréal - Friday, June 15, 2007

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
         LEGISLATIVE MEASURES              COMPLEMENTARY MEASURES
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ban possession of all types of   Intensification of the module Internet
    firearms on the campuses of      surveillance and watch of the Sûreté
    academic institutions as well    du Québec.
    as on school buses and public
    transportation.

    - Day-care centers and teaching
      establishments are mainly
      affected.
    - Other institutions can be
      added through regulation.
    - Individuals who fail to
      respect this ban will be
      liable to a fine and
      confiscation of the
      firearm(s), which will be
      seized without warrant.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Encourage and facilitate         Implementation of a joint unit in the
    reporting of risky behaviour to  struggle against firearm smuggling.
    the police authorities.
                                     Contribution of the police and the
    - Render obligatory that         institution of several initiatives
      employees of academic          directed at:
      institutions report any
      individual moving about with   - Establishing a systematic data
      a firearm or who shows signs     collection on firearms in circulation
      of risky behaviour.              in Québec;
    - Certain professionals,         - Ensuring better investigative support;
      especially those in the        - Favouring information analysis and
      health and social services,      contributing to the reduction in
      will be explicitly authorized    firearm theft in Québec.
      to report risky behaviour,
      even if this implies
      communicating privileged
      information.
    - The identity of those who
      file these reports is assured.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Supervise target practice with   Firearm controller:
    restricted and illegal firearms
    in clubs and firing ranges.      - Tighten up certain control measures;
                                     - Verify among permit holders the
    - New requirements for clubs       purpose of owning restricted and
      and firing ranges: grant a       illegal firearms.
      permit to operate, keep a
      registry of visits by members
      and utilizers, as well as
      respect for safety
      regulations.
    - Anyone interested in target
      practice must be a member of
      a shooting club, respect the
      conditions for membership,
      and obtain an attestation of
      his aptitude to handle a
      firearm safely.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Letter to Mr. Stockwell Day on May 17,
                                     2007, requesting:

                                     - Modification of Canada's Firearms Act
                                       granting those provinces that want it
                                       the power to increase regulation;
                                     - Maintain the entire Canadian Firearms
                                       Registry.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    -%SU: SOC,LAW,SPT
    -%RE: 1




For further information:

For further information: Hugo D'Amours, Press secretary, Office of
Québec's Premier, (418) 643-5321; Philippe Archambault, Press secretary,
Office of the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Public Security, (418)
643-4210

Organization Profile

CABINET DU PREMIER MINISTRE, RESPONSABLE DES DOSSIERS JEUNESSE

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890