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Could Canada’s gun laws soon change?


Following a horrific mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has signaled that the Canadian government will introduce new gun control measures “in the coming weeks.”

In previous Parliaments, the Liberals made changes to Canada’s gun laws, including strengthening background check requirements and banning more than 1,500 models and variants of “assault-type” firearms. . And, although some elements of their plans have yet to materialize — including their proposed mandatory gun buy-back program — in the 2021 federal election, Trudeau has promised to go further.

As part of his tenure and following Liberal campaign promises, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino was tasked with moving forward with a series of gun control measures, including the recent announcement of regulations on the verification of firearms licenses and the maintenance of business records.

As for what remains to be done and which could soon come from the federal government, the Liberals promised to:

  • Implement the requirement that owners of prohibited firearms sell them to the government to be destroyed or “rendered unusable”;
  • Move to prohibit the sale or transfer of high-capacity magazines that can hold more than the legal number of bullets;
  • Require long gun magazines to be permanently modified “so that they can never hold more than five rounds”;
  • Provide funding to provinces and territories that move forward with handgun bans in their municipalities;
  • Increase maximum penalties for trafficking and smuggling firearms; and
  • Chart of “Red Flag Laws” that would allow firearms to be removed immediately if the owner is deemed a threat to themselves or others.

Speaking of the shooting in the United States, the public safety minister said it was a reminder that “we still have a lot of work to do” in Canada.

“It’s not just about writing responsible, common-sense laws. It’s not just about investing more in law enforcement…It’s first and foremost about preventing the crime to happen, right?” Mendicino said May 25.

Justice Minister David Lametti also has overlapping responsibilities when it comes to tabling the “Red Flag Act” legislation.

In an interview on CTV News Channel’s Power Play on May 25, he promised that “concrete steps” were being taken in which he and other ministers have been involved. However, he declined to give details on what exactly the government plans to do in the short term.

“But I can say that there are options in working with municipalities in terms of restrictions under the Firearms Act, which we could work with municipalities to enforce. There are obviously Code provisions criminal,” Lametti said. I’m not going to promise anything. of that, I’m just going to say those are the types of discussions that took place.”

With just a few weeks left in the spring sitting of the House of Commons before MPs take a summer break from debating and passing legislation, and other priority bills are already in pending in Parliament, if a new gun control bill is introduced, as Trudeau said “in the coming weeks,” it is unlikely to pass before the fall.

Between factoring in the time that opposition parties would want to consider any proposed new legislation and the time that might be needed to implement any regulations arising from potential new laws, it could take some time before other updates to Canadian firearms laws are in effect.

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