Alberta Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann supports strengthening federal Bill C-71 amending Firearms Regulations

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann has issued the following release on federal Bill C-71:

Swann stated, “We must do more to reduce over 1,300 firearms related deaths in Canada annually.”

More than 60% of gun deaths are suicides linked to mental health and addiction issues and are not the result of criminal activity. More than 350 children or youth are injured by gun violence with 25 dying from firearms injuries each year (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Dr. Swann stated, “As a public health physician and an Alberta provincial legislator, I stand with the Coalition of Gun Control and support their proposal to strengthen public policy to reduce preventable gun injury and loss of life. These unfortunate fatalities cost the national health care system billions of dollars.

“A priority is updating lists of restricted and prohibited weapons including handguns based on recommendations from the RCMP and police experts.

“We ust limit the proliferation of prohibited (military-style, rapid fire) and restricted weapons (handguns) while also restoring mandatory records on sales of rifles and shotguns.

“We need to provide more rigorous licensing protocols including tougher screening of applicants, restore more comprehensive records of firearms ownership, and improve controls on the transportation of restricted weapons.

“Public health recommendations include investing in youth and primary prevention services, requiring physicians to report cases where individuals are a threat to themselves and others.

“I urge all Albertans and Canadians to call for the strengthening of federal Bill C-71 an Act to Amend Certain Acts and Regulations in relation to Firearms by the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU) on Tuesday June 5.

“Join me with the chorus of Canadians demanding these amendments be approved.”

Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann releases statement on gun violence

Liberal MLA David Swann has released the following statement on gun violence and proposed federal legislation on gun control:

Gun violence is a public health and safety issue, not just a criminal justice issue. It causes direct loss of life and injury as well as far-reaching emotional and mental health issues.

I stand with the Coalition for Gun Control in their call for a more comprehensive strategy. I applaud the Federal Government Bill for taking steps such as an improved screening process and stricter record keeping requirements for gun retailers. However, the federal government needs to consider other actions including:

  • More rigorous screenings, including more routine licensing checks and interval reassessments.
  • Banning of assault weapons capable of automatic function and sniper rifles.
  • Regularly updating the prohibited and restricted lists consistent with the advice of police experts.
  • Launching a national awareness program to highlight the risks associated with firearms in suicide, homicide and unintentional injuries
  • Reinstating evidence based approaches which consider firearms in the context not just of street crime but domestic violence, suicide, and injury.
  • Increase public awareness by providing open and transparent access to data on guns and gun ownership, firearms death and injury.
  • Establishing a system to track all gun sales and eliminate the loop holes that allow secondary sales with no accountability.
  • Harmonize reporting of fire arm injuries across Canada.

We must take comprehensive action including education, access to data and the health impacts on Canadian citizens if we are to fully address the harms of gun violence in our society.

Dr. Swann is available for interviews at 1:15 pm on the “INS” at the Alberta Legislature. He is also available by phone or skype.