The federal government is to study a complete ban on handguns and so-called "assault rifles" Opponents say it will only stop legal sport shooters and will do nothing to stop criminals. (Rachel Cave-CBC)

A ban on handguns for Canada?


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The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau is set to examine a national ban on handguns and “assault rifle” lookalikes.

In a letter to the recently created ministry of border security and organised crime reduction, Trudeau instructs Minister Bill Blair to support the Minister of Public Safety, Ralph Goodale and his.proposed new gun law Bill C-71.  It also says they should work together on new policies and regulations to reduce gun crime and to study the possibility of “a full ban on handguns and assault weapons in Canada, while not impeding the lawful use of firearms by Canadians”.

(July 24, 2018) Minister of Border Security and Organised Crime Reduction, Bill Blair (Left) has been instructed this week to work with Public Security Minister Ralph Goodale (R) on gun control issues and a possible ban on all handguns and assault rifle lookalikes, (Sean Kilpatrick-CP)

Toronto has seen a spate of gang-related shootings this summer and a tragedy where ISIS made a dubious claim of responsibility for a daylight shooting in the city in July leaving two innocent bystanders dead. Toronto Council later proposed a city-wide ban on handguns. Montreal council later asked the Trudeau government to propose a national ban on handguns and so-called “assault rifles”.

Heidi Rathgen, a well-known anti-firearms lobbyist, quoted by the CBC said this latest announcement by the federal Liberal government was “very encouraging”.

However, earlier this month the head of the national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was equivocal on the idea. Commissioner Brenda Lucki told a CBC radio host, “I’m not sure if a complete ban is the answer or tweaking the legislation to ensure more accountability. That’s definitely something we need to study”.

Reaction from gun owners

Tracey Wilson, spokesperson for the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights said, “A ban on legal civilian handgun use literally does nothing to target the real issues, crime, violence and gang activity. Once again the government has failed to target crime and instead has focused on target shooters”.

Tracey Wilson, CCFR spokesperson says “a ban on legal civilian use of handguns does nothing to target the real issue of crime” (supplied)

The CCFR website also points out  “Assault rifles have been prohibited in this country for decades, something this government should already know”.

Although these semi-auto rifles look similar to military assault rifles, they are in fact not “assault rifles”. Gun owners say these modern sporting rifles could be banned simply because of their looks. Actual assault rifles are already banned in Canada (Rich Pedronelli-AP)

Another firearms advocacy group also expressed dismay at the plan. Tony Bernardo, executive-director of the 30,000 member Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) said,  “Our community is furious that disingenuous politicians consistently try to deflect their inability to do anything about gang crime over onto citizens who obey the law.”

Even before this latest announcement when the Prime Minister was speculating on such a move,  Sheldon Clare of the firearms owners advocacy group, National Firearms Association, referenced the July daylight shooting tragedy in Toronto on their website. “The terrorist who perpetrated the Toronto attack, which resulted in the murders of two innocents and the wounding of many more, possessed no firearms licence, no registration, no authorizations and used a stolen firearm. This is a classic example of the failure of gun laws to stop a person of ill intent from carrying out an evil act”, he wrote adding, “No gun control law or firearms ban has anything whatsoever to do with public safety. Now the government is targeting the property of Canadians as a kind of bizarre virtue signalling gone mad”.

Such a ban could be developed to be prepared for the  Liberal government’s Throne Speech at the start of the fall session of Parliament.

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78 comments on “A ban on handguns for Canada?
  1. J. Main says:

    Lets start by considering the following:

    1 – A gun or firearm is a device specifically designed to deliver lethal force anywhere within its effective range. Lethal force is irreversible.

    2 – Who among the general population really need such a device?

    3 – A small proportion will have a genuine need, some on case specific instances. These will include indigenous populations that rely on hunting for their food supply, those living or visiting areas where animals are a real threat, e.g. polar bears, farmers for pest control, hunters, target shooters, gun collectors.

    4 – No one needs military grade weapons, very few need hand guns.

    5 – All of these cases can be managed in such a fashion that reduces the proliferation of firearms, the types of firearms allowed and where and how they may be safely stored. Many will not need to have fire arms in homes, perhaps easing restrictions on possession. e.g. Target shooters could be limited to low velocity firearms or gun ranges equipped to safely store firearms.

    6 – Laws governing criminal firearms related offenses, importation, trafficking, illegal possession should be tightened up to a point where it impairs demand and is no longer attractive to engage in such practices. Commercial gun lobbying activities should be subject to strict controls.

    7 – Maintain, perhaps enhance, current laws requiring individuals wishing to handle firearms to be trained and assessed periodically for eligibility to participate. Advances in neuroscience indicate that there is no guarantee of mental stability throughout ones life.

  2. Alex Aitken says:

    Guns have no place in Canada and the laws similar to Japan n should be enacted.
    We do not have to copy the insanity that occurs in the USA where stupidity reigns.
    Our Supreme Court also needs to wake up and seriously address the penalties. They let Canada down when thy rejection pm harpers attempt to control those who used guns in pursuit of crime.
    Canada needs to be a leader and not copy the USA and their mrs,
    Only police and armed services should be responsible to have weapons,
    Gun collectors should have all fire pins removed from their collections.
    I was born 85 years ago and have watched as our society has gone down .
    NO GUNS for canada

  3. Stellios Kontis says:

    As usual the government is impotent when it comes to dealing with gun violence, and in order to show Canadians that they are doing something, they pick an easy target; the law abiding citizen. It is sad when a government chooses to attack citizens that pose no danger to their fellow citizens for political gain. Our government lacks the ability and will to do the hard work of dealing with actual criminals. It is easier to attaçk the easy target; the harmless law abiding citizen. It is sad when faced with the choice between showing some backbone or being pathetic our government shamelessly chooses the latter.

  4. Jason says:

    This liberal government is such a joke. They have their own agenda to follow and they care not for one actual Canadian citizen. They are imbeciles and should be put on an island and left their to fend for themselves. Every person that voted liberal should also be forced to listen to Trudoom speak for 18 hours a day until they learn that he is a complete moron and should be shipped out of Canada!

  5. Brandon says:

    This is ludacris. I legally own my firearm and have never used or even considered using it to commit a crime. Taking it away from me, and people like me (whom are the majority of us who own firearms) will do nothing but disarm the innocent while the guilty stay armed. Come on liberals. Try thinking with common sense. I really do hope the liberal government is voted out, they should have never been in power.

    I also agree with Joseph. Concealed carry should be legal in Canada and I hope it is one day soon. I am a strong believer in the philosophy illustrated in the statement: “the only one capable of stopping a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”.

    If anyone knows of a petition that can be signed to eliminate this nonsense, please let me know.

  6. The Druid says:

    I Believe the government dearly wants to ban hand guns, not because of crime. Maybe to buy votes, more importantly i believe we are going to experience a currency collapse, ever since Trudeau Senior put in the basil accord of 1974 we have been living on borrowed time, check out the federal debt prior to 1974 and after, you will see it looking like a Hockey stick, now look at Venezuela. Crime went through the roof people starving and killing each other, with a socialist government it’s all about tax spend and control. This is our future if people do not wake up.

  7. Henri Cousineau says:

    You have to be naive to think that c-71 will reduce gun crimes.
    Criminals don’t follow the rules.
    Let’s get rid of those rules and those who create them.
    Let’s get rid of Trudeau and his liberals next election

  8. Peter H says:

    Banning firearms from law abiding citizens who have 16 hrs of safety training minimum, have been background checked by RCMP & Interpol, have had their mental condition checked and cleared, have had their spouses sign off on, have had two non family members interviewed as references and who undergo Canadian Police Information Centre Continous Eligibility Screening every single day as part of their license conditions as well as having all transfers and purchases of restricted weapons recorded and approved by RCMP and who are already severely restricted on where they can take their legal guns, how they store them and how they get them to one place from another…….WILL NOT in any way prevent criminals and violent Gang members from obtaining firearms illegally smuggled in from the US and committing illegal shootings and murder with those already prohibited weapons.

    It’s time to get real and focus on the growing problem of Criminal Violence and Gang Violence in Canada and #BanGangs instead.

  9. E. Reid says:

    I guess now all the criminals will rush to the police stations all across the country to turn in their illegal hand guns and assault rifles now that Justin has spoke. How dumb can a group of educated members of parliament be if they think this solves one iota of the problems the police are facing.

  10. Mike Botha says:

    Justin Trudeau and his cronies know that they are on their way out in the next election, this is nothing more than a desperate attempt to swing voters in a last ditch attempt to garner votes.
    Leave the law abiding Canadian gun owners alone for a change, and get off your collective backsides and do something about the death merchants who are peddling Opioids and causing more deaths per day in Canada than firearms have done in a decade.

  11. Garrett Belanger says:

    Any form of firearms ban is only a “look good” political reaction to pacify the generally uniformed public. Criminals don’t follow the laws already in place so making more or changings the existing regulations will have zero impact. It’s already been proven that more than 90% of the crime guns in Canada come from illegal sources typically smuggled from the USA and a ban will do nothing to change that. After all banning things has work so well for things like rape, murder, robbery, illicit drugs and many other criminal activities that no longer happen in Canada because they’re all illegal.

  12. Robert Carville says:

    Again deal with the real criminal elements and not us responsible gun owner’s.l wont give up my firearms without a fight.l have allot of money invested in my firearms as well as their security . Who will compensate me for my collection?

  13. What a relief it is to read level minded organizations speaking up for sane Candians that own firearms (for whatever non-evil reasons) and to have a taxpayer media organization provide them a mega phone nationally. Whew!

    I’ve carried weapons for protection since 8 years of age, on both sides of the ocean. St. Luke 22:36.

  14. Clayton Tucker says:

    Sounds idiotic but, the government will lose a large income from 2 million plus gun owners. Loss of income for some 30,000 approx businesses. Then bring in something else to make up for that loss. Which may create more crime. It doesn’t make sense to me. Sorry but I really don’t understand why this is happening. Seems like most people are extremely predjudiced about guns. But most of us at one point or another have shot a gun in our lifetime. Politicians definitely are bipolar on crime. What is their true interest in crime anyhow?

  15. Geoffrey P Dunne says:

    Yep as if criminals using illegal guns will obey this ban. Let’s go after the legal and most vetted people in Canada instead of going after the issues. This is a feel good measure that does not go after the issues. Its even a point the rcmp head and other top cops have stated they don’t see this actually helping with the main gun issues in Canada , ie the gangs and such with illegal guns brought in illegaly from the us and elaewhere.

  16. David says:

    If this Liberal crime syndicate goes forward with this, it shows that they do not follow what proper data analysis and even high ranking law enforcement recommends. Not following what factual prevalent data shows, is worrisome as this also shows they will not follow financial, legal, nor ethical recommendations. This shows that they are following an alternatively driven agenda not from Canadians but from some one else.

  17. Michael Blecich says:

    Punish criminals not law abiding citizens.

  18. Bjorn Bjorkman says:

    After the Toronto shooting I heard the mayor or one of the councilors saying that if banning all handguns even saved one life it would be worth it. I would agree. The thing is if even one citizen had a legal handgun the shooting spree would have been stopped and many lives would be saved. Why won’t CBC talk about both sides of the issue?

    • James says:

      That is ridiculous,to take someone’s property because they may do something is like revoking you license before you drink and drive ,as ‘legal gun owners” we are vetted and have our names run through cpic 2times a day , if they find any charges or criminal activity guess what , license revoked, these people doing the crimes are exactly that criminals , last I checked murder was illegal to but did that stop them ? It’s very tiring to be painted with the same brush constantly when you do everything to be safe , legal gun owner, hell we over compensate and go above and beyond storage laws and transport laws , I guess what I’m trying to say is I’d like to invite you to read the. Pal rpal hand book and laws already required and in place for legal gun ownership. And make an informed decision from there . Please also feel free to look at London as an example, ban guns , stabbing way up, ban knifes, car/van ramming way up . Now there mayor is considering closing of streets to curb this problem , Ill intent and mental/criminals need to be address through stronger boarders ( which liberals slashed budgets on) and more policing ( which liberals mayors like Tory slashed budgets for as well) is it just a strange coincidence that since these budgets have been slashed and un vetted immigration crime has skyrocketed??

  19. Richard Wakefield says:

    A quick calculation would show that to ban handguns and semi-auto rifles would cost taxpayers at least 2 billion to compenate us for our property (unless you like government just taking anyone’s property any time). Besides the fact that the money used to buy back firearms could be better used to fight crime, one also has to remember that the government is running a deficit, which means they would have to borrow the 2 billion to buy back our firearms.

  20. Al Socholotuk says:

    I think that the opioid epidemic that is killing far more people than firearms should be more of a priority than trying to target the lawful gun owners.Government is not targeting the doctors that write the prescriptions or big pharmaceutical companies.

    The legislature that covers the private ownership of handguns and the “so called” assault rifles is strong enough as it is. Any new legislation will just remove the guns from the law abiding citizens and do nothing to stop the gang violence and their use of firearms.The government is taking the easy way out. Punish the people whom they know have legal firearms. They should be spending the money to fight gang violence not just talk about it.

  21. Nicholas Jean GOTT says:

    Legal firearms owners commit less crime than police. This is just lazy politicians going through the route of least resistance. Got forbid they actually fight crime.

  22. Concerned says:

    Very concerned about this.

    Handguns are registered as soon as they are bought, however very few of the handguns in these crimes are used with registered handguns (some are, of course, but from what I’ve seen, less than 5%).

  23. Henri Cousineau says:

    Isn’t strange that elected officials who want to ban guns have armed bodyguards.
    If they ban handguns for honest people, only crooks and the bodyguards will be armed.
    Only naive people think that criminals buy registered guns.
    Next election let’s get Trudeau and his restrictions loving followers out of office.

  24. Sean says:

    What’s next, a ban on vehicles? More people die from car related incidents than guns and at the hands irresponsible people. Attacking good Canadians who have earned the “privilege” only affects the surface and looks great at the polls when comes election time. Does nothing for the real problem. Wasn’t there once a taskforce that kept gun violence under control? Seems to me that the problem has only gotten worse since it was dismantled. Just saying. And who was responsible for that? Johnny and Billy both walk into a convenient store. Johnny pays for his candy but Billy steals his and is caught. Should both Johnny and Billy be punished?