Trudeau government would allow municipalities to ban handguns under new bill


"We are backing up the cities with serious federal and criminal penalties to enforce these bylaws, including jail time for people who violate these municipal rules", said Trudeau.

"Banning 1,500 models of assault-style weapons past year was a critical step, but we also need to continue to fight the illegal gun market".

The draft legislation contains measures to crack down on the illegal firearms market by increasing penalties and enhancing resources at the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

"At the same time, we will also create new offences for altering the cartridge magazine of a firearm and introduce tighter restrictions on importing ammunition", he added.

"When it comes to keeping Canadians safe from gun violence, we need more than thoughts and prayers - we need concrete action", the prime minister said.

It's a voluntary program, but Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told a news conference that anyone deciding to keep the weapons won't be able to legally use, transport, sell, transfer or bequeath them.

Toronto Mayor John Tory noted the council in Canada's largest city has expressed support for a national ban, adding the city looks forward to receiving details from the federal government on how the proposal outlined Tuesday "would work and what its impact would be on gun violence".

Data from Statistics Canada shows firearms were involved in 49 per cent of all homicides nationwide in 2019. "We have the rule of law to do that".

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A Criminal Code amnesty is in place until April 30, 2022, to protect lawful owners from criminal liability and to enable them to comply with the law.

Municipalities would get much-asked-for supports to restrict the possession, storage, and transportation of handguns through their jurisdictions.

In London, there were 14 incidents of gunfire previous year, including three fatal shootings, up from 12 cases of shots fired in 2019. Even getting licensed will also become more hard with new enhanced background checks that delve into an applicant's lifetime history and not just the previous five years.

"Every day, Canada's emergency physicians encounter people with suicidal ideation, untreated psychosis, substance abuse, potential perpetrators of intimate partner violence and those with impulsive aggressive behaviours", the association said in a statement.

The Government also wants to enact red flag laws that will allow friends, family and neighbours to report potentially unsafe situations (domestic abuse, self-harm) where a gun is present and have that gun taken away before it can be used.

Helping police trace guns used in crimes by requiring businesses to keep point-of-sale records for non-restricted firearms.

Trudeau and Blair admitted the government, through the RCMP regime that tracks firearms, does not know even how numerous weapons there are in the country.

Justice Minister David Lametti said the government would also undertake a "long overdue" review of the overall classification system for firearms.