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

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

C-21 would also allow municipalities to ban guns, handguns in particular, on their territory.

Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told a news conference Monday morning that, after canvassing rifle bans in other countries including New Zealand and Australia, it would be the best way to encourage owners of the guns to hand their weapons in.

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

Toronto Mayor John Tory noted the council in Canada's largest city has expressed support for a national ban, adding the city looks forward to receiving details from the federal government on how the proposal outlined Tuesday "would work and what its impact would be on gun violence".

The federal government introduced new gun control legislation today that would introduce a buy-back program for blacklisted firearms, such as the AR-15, allow municipalities to ban handguns and increase criminal penalties for gun smuggling and trafficking.

Bill C-21 would effectively end all legal use of the 1,500 assault-style weapons banned following a mass shooting in Nova Scotia that killed 22 people in April of a year ago.

Owners could turn in their guns for compensation but would also have the option of keeping them as long as the owners abide by strict conditions, including secure storage.

But as to whether a city-wide ban would put a dent in the numbers, Julius Haag, an assistant sociology professor at the University of Toronto, says the evidence is mixed. The government is continuing to take every step necessary to combat gun violence and keep Canadians and communities safe.

Conservative public safety critic Shannon Stubbs accused the government of taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens, saying the legislation "does nothing to stop unsafe criminals and gangs who obtain their guns illegally". The country has no definition of "military-style assault weapon". Firearms played a role in over 500 of those incidents, and victim advocates across Canada and the US have called on governments to enact "red flag" laws to have guns removed from the homes of those deemed at risk of committing violence.

"Too many Canadians have been killed or injured because of gun violence, and we need to take every reasonable step to stop more Canadians from suffering the same fate". There would be tighter restrictions on imports of ammunition and a ban on the import, export, sales and transfers of all replica firearms.

The initial firearms ban was announced less than two weeks after the Nova Scotia gun massacre, the deadliest mass shooting in the country's history. "It's ignoring the real problem and it's dividing Canadians", Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole said in a news conference Tuesday.

"And I think Mr. Trudeau misleads people when he tries to suggest that buying things back from hunters and other Canadians who are law abiding is somehow going to solve the problem of shooting and criminal gang activity in the big cities". The Trudeau government has also said it will reach out to US President Joe Biden's administration to find new ways to cooperate on gun smuggling issues along the border.

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