Trudeau government would allow municipalities to ban handguns under new bill

Justin Trudeau

Canada introduces new gun buy-back program as firearms legislation tabled

He says municipalities will now be allowed to pass bylaws restricting the possession, storage, or transportation of these weapons.

"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.

March said he doesn't think a handgun ban will be effective, especially one that's left to the discretion of individual municipalities. Toronto Mayor John Tory also welcomed the news, noting that city council in the country's largest metropolis supports a national ban on handguns.

Trudeau added that the federal government will back a push by some mayors to ban handguns in Canadian cities.

"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 new legislation, which adds to the May 2020 Cabinet order outlawing more than 1,500 military grade rifles leaves it up to individual gun owners to decide whether they want to turn their weapons in or keep them securely locked in their homes.

The legislation calls for additional funding for the RCMP and Canada Border Services agency to better track guns and stop the flow of illegal weapons across the border.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just announced Bill C-21 in a press conference, joined by Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, who had tabled the bill in the House of Commons this morning, as well as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland and others.

However, families of victims of the 1989 Montreal Polytechnique massacre decried Trudeau's decision to opt for a voluntary buyback scheme instead of a mandatory program similar to the one adopted by New Zealand following the 2019 Christchurch massacre, the country's deadliest terrorist attack. "My family and I have fought for three decades to ban these weapons", said Suzanne Laplante Edward, whose daughter Anne-Marie was one of 14 young women shot and killed at Polytechnique on December 6, 1989.

The prime minister made the announcement Tuesday, with his focus on the buy-back program. They lied to us. "They lied to Canadians".

Here are comments from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the new legislation.

"Obviously there are political elements in this but the core of why we are doing this, the core of why Canadians want this done, is to keep our communities safe".

The federal conservatives and firearms rights groups have opposed the gun ban and the buyback saying they punish legal gun owners and don't do enough to battle the flow of illegal guns entering the country.

"We are not targeting law-abiding citizens who own guns to go hunting or for sport shooting.The measures we're proposing are concrete and practical", he said at a news conference in Ottawa.

It would also create new offences for altering the cartridge magazine of a firearm and introduce tighter restrictions on importing ammunition.

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

It doesn't matter that gun owners won't be "allowed" to use them, the point is they can.