Canada is set to introduce a bill this week that will afford cities new powers to legislate laws regarding the sale and ownership of firearms.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for new, sweeping measures in a press conference on Tuesday, saying that in order to fight gun violence, you have to fight the root cause of it, that being the ownership of firearms.
Many law-abiding Canadians may feel hard done by the new legislation, which will introduce a federal buy-back program and will allow municipalities to ban handguns.
What does the new legislation state?
The new legislation affords multiple new powers to municipalities all across Canada.
The bill includes an increased penalty fee for individuals who are caught conducting established illegal activity such as gun trafficking, whilst also placing tighter restrictions on the imports of ammunition.
The bill also creates multiple bylaws that will allow municipalities to make the ownership, transportation, and storage of ordinary handguns illegal.
Chief Firearms Officers across the country will also have the power to revoke the gun licenses of citizens who they deem are no longer able to retain their license if they have ‘reasons to suspect’.
This would then give the authorities the power to conduct investigations into citizens who have been reported by their friends, family, or neighbors if they are in possession of a firearm.
‘Gun ownership in Canada is a privilege and not a right’
The bill also affords power to the police and border authorities to collect and share licensing and registration data so they can investigate any potential issues when it comes to firearms, especially firearms that are expected to be smuggled in across the Canada-United States border.
Bill Blair, the Public Safety Minister, says that gun ownership in Canada should be a privilege and not a right, adding that the privilege to own a gun and defend yourself and your family with it can only be afforded to citizens who follow ‘our laws, our regulations, and our restrictions’.
Prime Minister Trudeau stated that the legislation has his support, reassuring law-abiding Canadians that they are not trying to put them at a disadvantage.
Instead, he claims that this legislation will ‘protect you, your family, and your community’.
The legislation comes after a previous ban introduced in May of 2020, which banned over 1,500 variants of ‘assault-style’ firearms.