We applaud Surrey-Cloverdale Liberal MLA Marvin Hunt’s introduction of a private member’s bill in Victoria on Wednesday that aims to make it illegal to drive a vehicle with an “unlawfully possessed” firearm in it.
Frankly, we’re surprised it’s not already on the books.
While private members bills more often than not die on the vine, hopefully this will come to fruition as cities like Surrey continue to struggle to curb gang violence.
As it is, Hunt notes, police stop suspect motorists, find a gun in the car, and are met with declarations of surprise and innocence. Police, he said, can confiscate the firearm but there’s no consequences for anyone in the vehicle.
Hunt’s proposed Prohibiting Driving with Illegal Firearms Act bill aims to “create consequences” that include escalating fines up to $10,000, imprisonment up to six months, suspension of the driver’s licence and ultimately the seizure of the vehicle.
Any legal tool that helps to get criminals and their weapons off the streets while at the same respecting the rights and freedoms of law-abiding citizens is most welcome in our books.
Hopefully the government will embrace this.
Hunt’s bill reads that a conviction would come with “a fine of not less than $2,000 and not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or both.”
Also, a driver’s licence could be suspended for one year on a first conviction, five years on a second conviction, and indefinitely on a third.
An “unlawfully possessed firearm,” according to the bill, “means any firearm whose possession is not authorized under the Firearms Act (Canada).”