After the Federal Government announced new legislation to further strengthen gun control in Canada, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino was in Regina.
Bill C-21 aims to
- Implement a national freeze on handguns to prevent individuals from bringing newly acquired handguns into Canada and buying, selling, and transferring handguns within the country.
- Taking away the firearms licenses of those involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment, such as stalking.
- Fighting gun smuggling and trafficking by increasing criminal penalties, providing more tools for law enforcement to investigate firearms crimes, and strengthening border security measures.
- Addressing intimate partner violence, gender-based violence, and self-harm involving firearms by creating a new “red flag” law that would enable courts to require that individuals considered a danger to themselves or others surrender their firearms to law enforcement while protecting the safety of the individual applying to the red-flag process, including by protecting their identity.
“It does reflect common-sense measures that are informed from the perspectives of law enforcement, survivor groups, women advocacy groups, and Canadians from across the spectrum who say this is a significant step in the direction of better protecting our communities,” Mendicino said.
Earlier this week, Premier Scott Moe said the federal government is ‘virtue signally’ with the new legislation. In response, Mendicino said statistics back up the need for the bill.
“Statistics Canada published a report just last week that indicates that gun violence, that handgun violence specifically is up and that domestic violence in connection with guns is up,” he said. “The way Bill C-21 addresses each of these concerning trends is by putting in place a national handgun freeze.”
He said that the new legislation won’t affect those who hunt wildlife for sport or use firearms to keep wildlife away from their properties.
“This Bill does not target them. I want to make that abundantly clear,” he stated. “What it does is it targets handgun violence, it targets organized crime, it targets domestic violence injunction with gun violence.”
He said with gun violence trending in the wrong direction in Canada, now is the time to act.
“It’s really important that we deal with this now. With everything that has been going on in our communities, Canada is not immune from gun violence,” he noted. ‘
Mendicino was in the Queen City for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual conference.