Trudeau: “We will ban military-style assault rifles”
Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau has unveiled the Liberal Party’s plan to restrict assault rifles and handguns, a plan which is set to be starkly different from the Conservative’s plan.
Trudeau’s announcement, which was made only a short distance from the July 2018 Danforth shooting in Toronto’s Greektown with an illegally obtained gun.
Trudeau cabinet’s Bill Blair has revealed that their gun control plan will be rolled out in a “multi-step process” which will include the prohibition of the sale of assault weapons.
While the Trudeau government aims to prohibit assault weapons quickly, other measures, they say, will take more time, including the partial handgun ban that will require talks between the federal and provincial governments, according to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.
Trudeau had specifically called for the banning of “military-style assault weapons” during his 2019 campaign, with a primary focus on weapons that farmers “did not” need that were designed to kill “the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time.”
Blair went on to tell reporters Tuesday that his government will implement their agenda on firearms as the steps become ready to implement by the federal government or by the country’s minority parliament.
“Our work is to reduce the supply of guns getting into the hands of criminals, but you also have to interdict the demand for those guns,” he said. “We have just gone through, for many communities across Canada, a very difficult summer last year. And so we want to make sure we are there for those communities and work in those communities to make substantive changes and investments that will help to keep them safe,” Blair told The Globe and Mail in Winnipeg.
Blair said that new rules being put in place “could be accomplished in the near term,” going on to say that programs like an assault weapon buyback “will take a little bit more time.”
When Prime Minister Trudeau was asked in September about those who would not want to participate in a gun buy-back and “making law-abiding citizens into criminals,” Trudeau did not give a direct answer.
Provinces are disagreeing with the federal Liberals regarding their plan to enforce a handgun ban. They are instead siding with law enforcement who are arguing that banning legal guns is not the way to reduce violent crimes in Canada.
Saskatchewan is among the governments arguing against the planned handgun ban which is only directed at legal gun owners. They are also against banning semi-automatic rifles and allowing municipalities to choose whether they want to ban handguns for their areas on their own judgement.
Ontario’s Premier, Doug Ford, also commented that bans on legal gun carriers will not be an effective way of lowering gun violence in his area or others.
In Alberta’s legislature, they unanimously passed a motion to preserve the rights of their legal gun owners.
Gun bans are opposed by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. CTV News reported Vancouver police Chief, Adam Palmer saying, “The firearms laws in Canada are actually very good right now. They’re very strict.”
Trudeau previously said, “I very much look forward to the election campaign in which we will be able to share with Canadians our vision for how to keep Canadians safer.”
“That involves, yes, strengthening gun control but it also involves investments that … are so deeply needed in community infrastructure.”
Palmer argued, “People can’t be naive to the realities of how it works with organized crime and smuggling.”
“There will always be an influx of guns from the United States into Canada,” he added. “Heroin is illegal in Canada, too, but we have heroin in Canada.”
Const. Rob Carver debunked the idea of a handgun ban to the media today, describing the notion as “nonsense.”
“When we seize handguns, the handguns are always almost 100% in the possession of people who have no legal right to possess them. They’re almost always stolen or illegally obtained,” said Carver. “I simply don’t see how as a 27-year-old veteran, how adding another layer of law will make any difference, anywhere in this country.”
Const. Carver’s notion goes directly against that of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said he would not let resistance from unwilling premiers to stunt municipalities from banning handguns.
Trudeau told the Canadian Press that his government intended to allow handgun prohibition on “a city-by-city basis, rather than enacting a sweeping federal ban.”
City leaders in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto have all voiced concerns about deadly shootings, and have called for higher measures to control handguns in their cities.
The Saskatchewan government wants the federal Liberals to rethink their recent gun control measures. The controversial new measures would give cities the power to enact local bans on handguns and also outlaw certain semi-automatic rifles.
Ottawa has the final say on firearms and the changes were promised in an election campaign. But Don Morgan, the justice minister of Saskatchewan, thinks that there are other effective ways to fight gun crime.
According to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Morgan said he’s “not taking anything off the table,” referring to the federal government’s plans for gun control. He mentioned that he wanted to collaborate with Ottawa on the issue.
Morgan said, “We don’t want this to go ahead in this form.” He added that the collaboration between provinces would be a “great signal.”
“We’re going to try and adopt a positive approach with them. We’ll put forward the ideas, we’ll want to meet with them at federal-provincial-territorial meetings, which are coming up this month. I intend to raise those issues there,” he said to the StarPhoenix.
Premier Scott Moe is against the banning of guns but the Public Safety Minister, Bill Blair, will have to be swayed by Saskatchewan which does not seem likely.
Blair’s spokesman, Scott Bardsley, noted that they were committed to banning assault rifles but leaving further restrictions on handguns to municipalities.
In an email, Bardsley mentioned that $11.9 million was recently put towards anti-gun and anti-gang programs in Saskatchewan.
Some of the people against the new measures believe that Canada already has fairly strict rules and regulations when it comes to purchasing and possessing firearms.
The Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights says that there are no recorded crimes that have been carried out with AR-15’s by licensed gun owners in Canada.
U of S Social Sciences Research Laboratories conducted a poll in September of 2018 regarding Saskatchewan residents and their opinion on the subject. The poll showed that only 40 percent of residents want stricter gun regulations.
Saskatchewan’s government has not proposed that the gun regulations be less strict.
Morgan believes that there is not much evidence that shows banning “military-style assault rifles” would reduce the crime rate since they are not among the common guns generally used in crime.
Morgan also thinks the many millions that would be used to purchase back the weapons could be much more effective if put towards other issues. He suggested it be used for addiction issues and gangs because of the high crime rate involved with those problems.
Bardsley noted, “Military-style assault rifles have been used tragically to target women and students. For more than four decades, police chiefs in Canada have been advocating for restrictions on assault weapons, and we have listened.”
Morgan said that he is not in favour of giving the authority to ban local handguns to municipalities. He said, “I don’t think that’s where municipalities really should be.”
Bardsley said, “We understand that each city and province has different needs and concerns. We will work with provinces and municipalities by empowering them to enact additional requirements to restrict the storage and use of handguns within their jurisdictions.”