View Full Version : Meet Pierre Lemieux - he knows his guns, he is also a CPC leadership candidate!

12-19-2016, 04:56 PM
Meeting the Leadership Candidates: Guns and Politics - Pierre Lemieux

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“I served in the military for 20 years, in the Army - I joined at the age of 17. Within my capacity of serving in the military I encountered firearms. I was a range safety officer on hand gun ranges, rifle ranges, and machine gun ranges. Currently I am a gun owner and I am a competitive sport shooter, I am a member of the CSSA - I participate in IPSC and cowboy shooting as well. I own handguns, rifles and shotguns.”
-Pierre Lemieux

As many of you know – the Conservative Party of Canada (Parti conservateur du Canada) is slated to select its next leader on May 27th, 2017. Currently there are fourteen candidates vying for this incredibly important position as not only leader of the CPC, but leader of the Official Opposition in Ottawa. We decided reach out to every single candidate to see where they stood on issues that were important to millions of Canadian firearm owners.

Pierre Lemieux

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minster of Veterans Affairs (2015-2015)
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2008-2015)
Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages and Deputy Government Whip (2007-2008)
MP Riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell (2006-2015)
20 year Canadian Forces veteran - Retired Lieutenant Colonel

Do you think Canada’s existing gun laws need to be rewritten?

A lot of the problems with the current laws stem from the fact they are the product of a liberal ideology. Bill C-68 came in under Allan Rock, his view of a firearm policy was that the only people that should own firearms in Canada were the military and the police. Unfortunately this goes against our Canadian traditions, this goes against our heritage. I live in rural Canada, this goes against our rural Canadian lifestyle as well. I am surrounded by farmers who own firearms. One of the key problems with the liberal view of law abiding gun owners is that rather than respecting law abiding gun owners, there are ever more restrictions heaped upon them. The firearm laws have become very onerous and they have become a heavy burden to the firearm owner - and with high risk. There is a risk that they can incur a criminal offense, and yet they are law abiding Canadians.
C-68 needs to be reviewed and there are many existing firearm laws that need to be re-written. Firearm laws need to be clear and simple to understand - right now the firearm laws are complicated and highly subjective. It is not clear at all why some decisions are made - which leads to confusion. So we need laws that are clear and are simple to understand, that is a benefit to everybody.

Should the RCMP continue to be the body in charge of firearms regulation in Canada?

I believe that by having the RCMP in charge places them in a very difficult situation. The primary role of the RCMP and our police forces is to enforce the laws and regulations, not to make them. In the current situation, specifically with the classification of firearms, they make the rules and they enforce them - they do both. This does not work well at all. I believe the RCMP should be able to make recommendations, by all means - but I feel that the final decisions need to rest with the people that are elected by Canadians - this is extremely important. As an elected MP, you are accountable to Canadians and that accountability is very important. The RCMP should not be in the role of making regulations and enforcing them at the same time.

I have a couple of recommendations:
-The responsibility for the Canadian Firearms Program will be transferred from the RCMP to the Minister of Public Safety.
-When I look at the responsibility of the CFO, I am not convinced that a police officer needs to hold this role, this position could be held by anyone who is qualified and has experience.
-I believe there needs to be a firearms advocate, there needs to be someone there who is on the side of firearms owners, this person would be someone who firearms owners can appeal to, someone who can speak on behalf of firearms owners while advocating on their behalf.

Do you think self-defense is a legitimate reason for firearms possession?
I believe that Canadians should be able to defend themselves. The use of force needs to be appropriate to the threat to them or their family. I think it is entirely reasonable and should be understood that Canadians will defend themselves. For example - I have five children, and we live in a rural community in Canada. If there was a threat to my family, the police may arrive in time - but they might not. As a husband and a father, it is my responsibility to protect my family.

Do you believe the AR-15 should remain restricted?

This is another example of how complicated, unclear, and subjective the current laws and regulations are. It used to be that long guns under 26 inches were restricted - then the barrel length became a factor, then the look of a firearm became a factor. The look of a firearm is highly subjective and it leads to much confusion.

The classification of firearms needs to be simplified, my recommendations are:
-If a long gun is 26 inches or longer it its shortest form, than that is a non restricted firearm
-If it is less than 26 inches in its shortest form, that is a restricted firearm
Decisions need to be “go, no go” - absolutely no confusion.

Will you commit to removing sound suppressors from the prohibited devices list? Further to that, what are your thoughts around magazine size restrictions?

On sound suppressors, they are legal in many European countries - they are actually a health issue. These devices can actually help and contribute positively to the health of the firearms owner - and those that are operating in close proximity. These devices provide a healthy benefit.

For magazines - the current laws and regulations are extremely confusing. If the gun owner gets it wrong, he or she may be in possession of a prohibited device and could incur a criminal record. Then there is the issue of the re-classification of magazines - we just had this with the Ruger 10/22 magazines. This needs to be fixed and simplified.
Bottom line is that the government needs to stop focusing on and penalizing law abiding gun owners in Canada - but spend its time focusing on the criminal use of firearms. The government needs to put its resources into fighting crime.

Will you commit to ensure that no existing non-restricted firearms, restricted firearms or devices would be classified as prohibited under your leadership?
Yes - I would commit to that.
I believe that Canadians understand fairness and that they value “just” laws and “just” regulations. When a new firearm enters Canada, it should be evaluated and classified. Once that determination has been made, and Canadians start to obtain those firearms and own them, it is not fair to determine later that the firearm is now prohibited. Especially when you bought it in good faith, based on the initial classification.
I do not support the reclassification of firearms, they need to be classified properly when they are first evaluated.

CJ Summers, Director of Public Outreach (https://www.facebook.com/CJJSummers/?ref=page_internal&qsefr=1)
Calibre Magazine (http://calibremag.ca/)