Bill C-21 is the toughest gun regulation introduced in over 30 years
Today, Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, introduced Canada’s most significant action on gun violence in a generation. Bill C-21 will implement a national freeze on handguns, tackle organized crime, address the role of guns in gender-based violence, and more.
“Bill C-71 will help ensure that firearms do not get into the wrong hands. It will assist police in tracing guns used in a crime and are part of the broader strategy to keep communities safe,” Said Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino
We are taking action to keep Canadians safe from gun violence. We are bringing common-sense regulations that strengthen public safety through validated ownership, transparent business record keeping, and license verification before purchasing a firearm. Added Mendicino
At the same time, local authorities could use the act as a basis to develop stricter storage rules, limit the number of gun licenses, and ban the import and manufacture of new handguns to eliminate gun ownership.
“One Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many. I’ve seen all too well the tragic cost that gun violence has in our communities across the country. Today, we’re proposing some of the strongest measures in Canadian history to keep guns out of our communities and build a safer future for everyone.”
— The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
“The proposed phasing out of private handgun ownership, is a major step forward and shows that the Government has been listening to the voices of victims. For too long, and particularly since 2015, the number of handguns in private hands has grown, and too many of these have been stolen or diverted or used by license holders causing death and injury. This legislation will stop growing that part of the problem, and taken with other measures announced today, make the Danforth Families feel that public safety is being addressed.” Ken Price, father of July 22, 2018 Danforth Avenue Shooting Survivor Samantha Price
According to Statistics Canada 2020, 462 shooting incidents in Toronto doubled the 288 shooting incidents in 2015. In 2020, 39 people got killed and 178 injured, with dozens of shootings almost every month, and some people stated they were “numb and exhausting” by the situation.
When Marco Mendicino introduced the bill, prominent Gun-control advocacy group PolySeSouvient criticized the government for leaving it to different provinces, creating an ineffective patchwork of rules. He urged the government to change the classification of firearms because many Canadian manufacturers would avoid the restrictions by introducing new guns.
Meanwhile, opposition MPS says Bill C-21 targets legal gun owners but does nothing to prevent illegal guns from falling into the wrong hands.