There has been a steady increase in gun violence year after year and recent mass shootings in Canada had the country calling for stricter gun laws
By: Charlotte Hui
Every year, the country continues to see a steady rise in firearm-related shootings, and according to Statistics Canada, 277 out of 743 murders in 2020 were the direct result of a firearm. Nearly 40 percent of all homicides stem from using a gun.
Just a couple days ago, around 8:30 p.m., a 32-year-old man, Calvin Andre Scott, a Toronto resident, was shot and killed on Jane Street in an alleged hijacking. Police are still investigating the fatal event.
In February of this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new legislation to overhaul Criminal Code and close the loopholes in the Firearms Act to fight crime and improve public safety.
“One Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many. The tragedies we have seen in Ste-Foy and Portapique, and more recently in Toronto and Montréal, should never happen. This is why our government has taken some of the strongest action in our country’s history against gun violence. We will continue to take steps to strengthen gun control measures, remove dangerous weapons from our streets, and make sure everyone can feel safe from violence,” Said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
The new firearms measures include:
* Combating intimate partner and gender-based violence and self-harm by creating “red flag” and “yellow flag” laws. It allows a friend or relative to petition a court to take away an individual’s gun and review their license.
* The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency are stepping up efforts to crack down on gun smuggling.
*Implementing stricter controls on the import of ammunition and new regulations on changing ammunition components to depict violence in gun advertising.
* Providing financial support to municipalities and indigenous communities provides opportunities for young people to avoid crime.
* Complete the prohibition of assault-style firearms to ensure that the individual will not illegally use the gun.
Today, Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino announced stricter rules governing the sale or transfer of non-restricted firearms.
As of May 18, 2022, individuals and businesses transferring or selling non-restricted guns will be required to confirm the recipient’s identity. In addition, the validity of their firearms license will need verification by the Firearms Registry before completing the transfer. These amendments prevent those who are not allowed to possess firearms from obtaining them.
“We are taking action to keep Canadians safe from gun violence. To that end, we are bringing into force common-sense regulations that strengthen public safety through validated ownership; transparent business records keeping, and licence verification prior to purchasing a firearm. Today’s regulations under Bill C-71 will help ensure that firearms do not end up in the wrong hands, assist police in tracing guns used in crime, and are part of the broader strategy to keep communities safe,” Mendicino states.
No magic bullet can solve Canada’s gun problems. The federal government must continuously pay attention to the problem of gun smuggling and sales, review outdated regulations, implement a strict crackdown, and increase its supervision of border-to-border storage and sales. Only in this manner can tragedies be avoided in the best interest of the safety of all Canadians.