Bill Blair confirmed that there will be no ban on handguns or “assault style” weapons until the fall election. (Jonathan Hayward/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Liberals will not ban guns until the coming elections but have new measures in mind, says federal minister

The Canadian Minister of Organized Crime Reduction and Border Security, Bill Blair says that measures must be taken to address gun violence in Canada but that no ban or other regulation will be voted before the coming federal elections.

Entering a cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, the minister confirmed that there will be no ban on handguns, as requested earlier by Toronto and Montreal, or “assault style” weapons until the fall election but he is ready to let municipalities consider further restrictions of their own.

Liberals have new measures in mind

Blair explained that Liberals wanted to impose new measures to reduce the ability of criminals to get access to firearms to commit violent crimes. These measures would include additional requirements regarding safe storage, measures to stop straw purchases and a more secure border.

There are very significant additional measures that we can and I believe we should and must take in order to make sure those guns are not vulnerable to theft, vulnerable to diversions and vulnerable to smuggling.Bill Blair to reporters
Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair spoke to reporters before entering a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

When asked about whether the Liberals will ban assault weapons he replied: “It’s certainly my recommendation.”

There are some weapons, quite frankly, in my opinion, that are so dangerous that there really is no place in a safe and civil society for them, and I think there are measures we can take to make those guns just generally unacceptable and inaccessible.Bill Blair, Minister of Organized Crime Reduction and Border Security

The idea of banning “assault-style” weapons is supported by anti-gun groups such as PolySeSouvient, or PolyRemembers, a gun control citizen advocacy group but they are not fully satisfied by Bill Blair’s announcement.

This is a significant and positive development for gun control in Canada, as it makes a ban on assault weapons a real possibility in the near future. The problem, however, is that they will only do this after the next election, and only if they get reelected.Heidi Rathjen, spokesperson of PolySeSouvient

At the end of May, the Liberal government passed a new bill to further regulate gun owners, which has sparked considerable debate in Canadian society.

Legal gun owners might have to do more

Gun lobbies have long opposed new regulations stating that most gun owners are law abiding and that measures should be taken to tackle the illegal market rather than responsible citizens.

Tracey Wilson from the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights reacted to M. Blair intervention by saying:

“This government has failed to address crime and violence so we find ourselves in the 11th hour before a federal election, with brazen campaign promises to ban ‘assault-style rifles’, a term that is simply undefined.”Tracey Wilson, V.P. of Public Relations at the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights
AR-15 rifles are often used used as an example of so-called “assault-style” weapons. Under Canadian gun laws, the AR-15 is ‘restricted,’ meaning it’s legal to own with a proper license, but it needs to be registered with the RCMP and can only be used on a firing range. (Joshua Roberts /REUTERS)

“Assault weapons” or “assault-style” are not actually legal terms in Canadian law.

Canada has three classes of firearms: non-restricted (which includes most hunting rifles and shotguns, or “long guns”), restricted (which includes most handguns and semi-automatic weapons) and prohibited (certain concealable handguns and fully automatic firearms).

When people talk about “assault-style” weapons, they generally refer to firearms that are at least semi-automatic, can fire large amounts of ammunition and are designed for rapid fire.

To be legally sold in Canada, all semi-automatic rifle and shotgun magazines are limited to five rounds. Modifying magazines to increase their capacity is also a crime in Canada.

Rather than focus his efforts and resources on crime and violence, Blair is satisfied to use the public purse to seize firearms from RCMP vetted sports shooters and hunters.Tracey Wilson, V.P. of Public Relations at the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights

The minister said there are roughly 200,000 so-called “assault-style” firearms in Canada that he would like to ban. To what Tracey Wilson replied by saying that buying back this number of guns would cost taxpayers a lot of money.

Bill Blair acknowledged that they were responsible gun owners in Canada and that he respected their efforts but that the government might ask them to do more.

We may ask them to undertake additional measures to secure their weapons, to make sure that they are not vulnerable to being stolen, for example.Bill Blair, Minister of Organized Crime Reduction and Border Security

Click here to learn more about the debate on firearms in Canada

Give more power to municipalities

The Minister of Organized Crime Reduction and Border Security also specified that the government was aware that some major cities were facing additional challenges and they were considering giving more power to municipalities regarding gun regulations.

“Because of the particular vulnerability of large urban centres to gang violence, there may be additional measures that can be appropriately applied within those municipalities, and we’re prepared to explore that with them.”Bill Blair, Minister of Organized Crime Reduction and Border Security
The Liberal government will consider letting municipalities enact restrictions and potential bans of their own that go beyond the national safe-storage rules. (Andy Clark /REUTERS)

This prospect frightens PolySeSouvient.

Such a measure is not only inadequate, considering the risks involved, it would also be inefficient. All one has to do it consider the glaring disaster resulting from a patchwork of state and local gun laws south of the border. Heidi Rathjen, spokesperson of PolySeSouvient
No measures until the next elections

Blair also said that it was important not only to do the right thing, but to take the time to do it right.

And time is what the Liberals are lacking. The House of Commons adjourns at the end of this week and the elected officials will not return to Ottawa before the election is called.

On Saturday, the PolySeSouvient group issued a press release as the Globe and Mail reported on Minister Blair’s intentions with respect to “assault-style” weapons.

“Why not take action now? asked Rathjen. Canadians need to be convinced that this time, the promise to get rid of assault weapons is more than just words,” she wrote.

With files from The Canadian Press

Categories: Politics, Society
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11 comments on “Liberals will not ban guns until the coming elections but have new measures in mind, says federal minister
  1. Avatar Joe Dirtey says:

    a Liberal ban will have a more positive effect on reducing crime than any gun ban. Vote out the Lieberal tyrants who would turn law abiding gun owners into criminals with ever-increasing malum prohibitum laws. Vote CPC in October.

  2. Avatar Rob Sciuk says:

    “Assault Rifle” is a divisive term used by hoplophobes to limit the rights of scrupulously law abiding target shooters. The same rifle used by law enforcement is referred to as a “patrol carbine”. This is a shameful persecution of the wrong population, and transferring the blame for criminal activity onto the law abiding citizens.

  3. Avatar Matt Wilson says:

    When will people realize that placing further restrictions on law abiding gun owners will do NOTHING to reduce crime/violence caused by GANGS. Criminals don’t obey the law – thats why they are criminals! And these gangs DON’T GENERALLY USE `Assault Rifles’. People need to do some careful research and planning and not just act out emotionally… THINK IT OUT!

  4. Avatar Jeff A says:

    Why do I need handguns and “assault rifles? I want them, use them for sport shooting, for hunting and it is possible to use for self defence. Why does anyone need alcohol? Why does anyone need alcohol in the City? Drunk drivers kill about 100 times more innocent people compared to legal firearm owners,
    By the way there are about 3 million legal firearm owners, and we have more firearm enthusiasts in this country than HOCKEY PLAYERS. If public safety is the concern why all the talk about banning shooting sports and trained, vetted citizens from firearm ownerships while there is no talk of banning alcohol?
    Speeding drivers also kill a lot of people, way more than legal firearms. Perhaps we should look at banning the ownership of sports cars and motorsports in Canada.
    Did you know that the average citizen is 3 times more likely to commit murder than licensed gun owners? I am a person with severe health problems that can not take part in sports or other activities. Firearm collection and sport shooting is the love of my life, the only passion of mine that I am still physically able to pursue, please don’t take that away from me it would destroy my life.
    I am trained, vetted and receive a background check daily by CPIC. I am a “gun nut” and statistically your “normal” neighbour is three times more likely to kill you. Please don’t support firearm bans.

    RCMP response to Access to Information request dated Jan 7, 2019 – Received Jan 11, 2019 by Dennis R. Young
    ATTACHED RCMP TABLE: Registered Restricted & Prohibited Firearms Reported Stolen in Canada 2001 to 2017
    EXCERPT: “The Canadian Firearms Program does not collect information associated to stolen firearms such as: (1) Individual firearm owners, (2) Firearm collectors, (3) Shooting ranges and gun clubs,(4) Firearm retailers,(5) Firearm wholesalers or distributors,(6) Firearm manufacturers, (7) Museums, (8) Federal Government Departments and Agencies,(9) Provincial Government Departments and Agencies,
    (10) Armoured Car Companies,(11) Police stations, (12) Military bases or armouries, (13) Movie Sets and Prop suppliers,(14) Other.”

    Where is the Evidence to Support Minister’s Statements? Public Safety ATIP file: A-2018-0214 By Dennis R. Young

  6. Avatar Bill Wilson says:

    Why do you keep referring to ” assault style” firearms when there is no legal definition of such a thing.

  7. Avatar dave baxter says:

    this of course after implemented will only lead to more liberal bans–its their party policy–socialism does not work well with an armed populace–people can fight back against the inevitable dictatorship style govt it will create–happens everywhere socialism has reared its ugly head—I do not want to be a state drone thx

  8. Avatar Roland Hersey says:

    The Liberals failed to do anything about violent criminal gangs, which when street checks were stopped, shootings increased. Violence had been going down for over 40 years, until the controversy over police shootings of black suspects in the U.S. in 2014.

    Then came Black Lives Matters, and support from President Obama, also increasing victim mentality extreme political correctness. Now they politically can’t sustain street checks. Black gang members kill each other 19 times more often than the police.

    So now without street checks violent gang affiliated thugs can parade around the streets carrying concealed illegal hand guns with impunity. So now young black males are killing each other even more, and putting further restrictions on law abiding people won’t do a dam thing.

  9. Avatar T R Smith says:

    Bill Blair, Ralph Goodale, and his merry band of Monte Python extras are absolutely clueless.

    “Assault rifles”’have been prohibited in Canada since the passage of Bill C51 way back in 1977. They have, after lengthy and repeated remedial education, amended their rhetoric to “assault style rifles”. That is a misnomer in and of itself. Appearances are just that – appearances. It has zero bearing as to the mechanical function. The proper term is “modern spirting rifle”.

    Just as the musket made way for a cartridge rifle and that made way for the lever action then the bolt action, the semi automatic rifle has been around since the first ones rolled off a production line in 1887. While mechanical improvements have been made, the basic function has remained unchanged for over 120 years: one shot per trigger pull. The change to the stock (creating the scary black rifle PolySouviant wants everyone to be afraid of is nothing more than an exercise in ergonomics – essentially the same process that office chairs were subjected to. The modular stock provides lighter weight, customization to fit the owner, and provides better weapon discipline. It allows someone 5’2” to fit the rifle to them without having to over extend themselves and someone 6’2” from being hunched over trying to safely operate the weapon.

    In simple terms, the efforts of the Liberals to demonize a basic platform is akin to placing a spoiler and aftermarket rims on a Mazda Six and trying to call it a Corvette. It is ridiculous, illogical, and a waste of $400+ million taxpayer dollars.

  10. Avatar Isaak Nikolas says:

    Good luck Mr. Blair, youre going to need it. There will be extremely minimal compliance with any ‘ban’ on unregistered firearms — not that youre going to be re-elected anyway.

    2.2 Million PAL holders, almost everyone and their mother has a semi auto SKS. There are dozens of semi-auto models in Canada enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of Canadians young and old, If you think there are only 200k youre sorely mistaken.

    • Avatar Aaron says:

      Willing to bet there won’t be much if any compliance with the registered restricted ones either!!!
      Save sum money, and our country….ban Liberals!!!🖕😁