Surrey-Cloverdale Liberal MLA Marvin Hunt is expected to introduce a private member’s bill in Victoria this Wednesday afternoon that, if passed, will make it illegal to drive a vehicle with an “unlawfully possessed” firearm in it.
“If they (police) stop a group of people and find a firearm in the car, they’ll go ‘I don’t know about it’ and there’s no consequences for it,” Hunt said. “They can confiscate the firearm but there’s no consequences for anyone in the vehicle.”
Hunt said his proposed Prohibiting Driving with Illegal Firearms Act bill aims to “create consequences” that will help curb gang violence.
“There can be fines up to $10,000, there can be imprisonment up to six months, there can be the suspension of the driver’s license and ultimately the seizure of the vehicle,” he said.
“It’s giving a range because every situation isn’t the same and so therefore you give a range of options, and the consequences, which also escalate with the repeating of the offence so that law enforcement have the tools to work with.”
The 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).”