Canada Taking Action on Gun Reform as Opposed to Their Southern Neighbors

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Courtesy of Clint Satterwhite (Flickr CC0)

In the wake of multiple mass shootings over the course of 2022 in the United States neighbors to the north are looking to push gun reform. On Monday new proposed legislation by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Canadian government to halt any further buying, importing, and selling of handguns. Currently, the country already has efforts to end the sale of over 1,500 kinds of styles of military alike firearms, with a further enactment at the end of the year — a buyback program that is compulsory for owners of these types of firearms.

“In Canada, gun ownership is a privilege not a right. This is a principal that differentiates ourselves from many other countries in the world, notably our colleagues and friends to the south. In Canada, guns are only intended to be used for hunting and sport purposes,” said Bill Blair of emergency preparedness.

Canadians as of the 18th of May must present their identification along with a firearms license for weapons like rifles or shotguns bought prior without any restrictions. It is mandatory for businesses to record these transactions, police will be able to view these with a warrant present. Authorities are organizing to provide harsher penalties for people who are found trafficking firearms including smuggling. Further resources are being invested in investigation efforts with stronger border protection measures. Funds that have been increased have provided assistance to border authorities to increase the amount confiscated from the U.S and Canada border.

In a tweet by Bruce Heyman, who served as the United States Ambassador for Canada during the Obama era said “Canada can teach us a lot.”

Courtesy of John McCallum (Flickr CC0)

“Conservatives very much associate themselves now with the opposition to gun control, but that wasn’t always the case,” a professor of history at Saint Mary’s University located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Blake Brown said to The New York Times.

Conservative Stephen Harper and the former prime minister, back in 2012 his administration tore down the prior registry for rifles and shotguns that instead of vendors, was federally maintained by a registry that was writhed with technical problems. Brown further added that it wasn’t uncommon to see Conservatives working alongside Liberals to provide gun control action during the 1950s and 1960s. After the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre where a gunman motivated by misogyny was able to acquire a semi-automatic rifle and a Regur Mini-14 and then killed 14 women, the parties came together to create stronger gun laws.

Multiple countries over the decades have been able to vastly reduce the prevalence of mass shootings, helping to make these tragic atrocities very rare. Countries such as Australia do not have the ability to filler buster legislation that is popular with the majority of its citizens by a minority of lawmakers. It took two weeks after the Port Arthur massacre for Australia to act and ban semi and pump firearms in the face of a strong gun lobby. Enacting a similar buyback program in Canada. A nonprofit organization in Switzerland estimates that there are currently 300 million guns with 120.5 firearms per 100 people in the United States.

Written by Skye Leon
Edited by Sheena Robertson

NPR: Canada’s government moves to make selling or importing handguns illegal
The New York Times: What Canada Doesn’t Know About Its Guns; By Vjosa Isai
The New Yorker: How to Prevent Gun Massacres? Look Around the World; By John Cassidy

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Clint Satterwhite‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of John McCallum‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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