(Public comments open at bottom- Comments will be posted after moderating)
In Canada, obtaining a firearms licence requires mandatory training and detailed background checks by police. There are also many strict regulations regarding firearms use and storage. Many types of firearms are banned outright.
Canada’s federal government is proposing still more regulations on gun owners with a Liberal proposed law called Bill C-71 currently being debated in the Senate.. The Liberal government has also said it will study an outright ban on hand guns following calls by the major urban centres of Montreal and Toronto to ban hand guns and modern sports rifles, typically mis-classified as “assault rifles”.
A recent survey on gun laws by the University of Saskatchewan Social Sciences Research Laboratories was part of its “Taking the Pulse” series of provincial surveys on various provincial attitudes and social policy situations.
This survey shows a majority of residents in the prairie province say the current laws are good enough (47%), or should even be more relaxed (9%).
Some 40 per cent thought the laws should become somewhat or considerably stricter.
Unlike many other areas in Canada, there seemed to be no specific divide in results between rural and urban residents.
In discussing the results Greg Illerbrun, firearms chair for the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, said he wasn’t surprised by the results but echoed other gun owner’s organisations in saying more people would favour an easing of gun laws if they knew the strict regulations and laws already in place.
Quoted in the Regina Leader-Post he said, “A lot of people that don’t own guns don’t really know what the laws are today, how restricted things are. There are a lot of hoops we have to jump through just to own a firearm”.
A federal Conservative Member of Parliament in neighbouring Alberta said he also wonders if the 40 per cent reported to favour stricter laws actually are aware of the current laws, saying most Canadians have limited knowledge of existing gun control legislation. MP Glen Motz said Canadians lack of knowledge of existing strict laws has not been helped by the federal government portraying gun laws as weaker than they actually are in order to boost support for their proposal for still more regulations with its Bill C-71.
Federal Liberal Minister of Public Safety, Ralph Goodale interpreted the results somewhat differently saying the important thing for him was that 90 per cent of residents don’t want a lessening of gun laws.
Although the survey sample size was small, the University research lab says it is representative of attitudes throughout the province.