Amid a Wave of Mass Shootings in the U.S., Canada Tightens Gun Laws

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[In Case You Missed It: What Canada Doesn’t Know About Its Guns]

Given the sweeping gun measures introduced this week, let’s stick with the subject.

Two of the federal government’s plans dominated the information. First, Canada moved instantly to freeze the promoting, gifting, buying and selling and importing of handguns. It’s not a ban, however it does imply that the variety of handguns legally owned by Canadians outdoors of the navy and the police is not going to enhance from the estimated 900,000 owned now.

The opposite attention-grabber was the federal government’s resolution to observe up on its earlier ban of military-style assault rifles with a mandatory buyback program.

The proposed laws, nevertheless, goes past the freeze and the ban. It will strip individuals of their firearms licenses if they’d been concerned in home violence or legal harassment, enhance penalties for firearms offenses and require individuals whom a decide has discovered to be a risk to themselves or others to show over their weapons to the police.

The announcement, made late on Monday, adopted a number of latest mass shootings in the US, significantly the devastating assault on an elementary faculty in Uvalde, Texas, final week. As of Friday, some 20 mass shootings had taken place over nine days in that nation, a fee of greater than two a day.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cited the horrific killings when he introduced the proposals. However given the complexity of introducing any authorities invoice to Parliament, it’s unlikely that the present proposal was put collectively after the Uvalde taking pictures.

One level considerably misplaced within the shuffle is that the handgun freeze received’t want Parliament’s approval. It was already implement by means of a comparatively temporary sequence of adjustments to the Firearms Act.

(My colleague Max Fisher wrote an explainer contrasting how the Parliament in Canada has acted rapidly on gun management whereas the US Congress has remained gridlocked on the difficulty for a decade.)

The federal government plans to have formal steerage for gun homeowners, gun retailers and the small variety of individuals exempt from the brand new guidelines (together with Olympic and Paralympic athletes) throughout the subsequent few weeks. Given the time lag concerned in acquiring a firearms license, the federal government additionally hopes to stop individuals who don’t already maintain licenses from stocking up on weapons final minute earlier than the brand new directives go into impact.

No less than one facet of gun legal guidelines isn’t altering: the foundations that mainly restrict handgun use to focus on apply at an permitted firing vary. At residence, handgun homeowners should proceed to maintain their weapons locked up.

And it’s nonetheless unlawful to make use of a handgun towards one other individual in any circumstance. The farmer who shot and killed Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree man from Saskatchewan, was acquitted of homicide and manslaughter in 2018, however was nonetheless fined 3,900 Canadian {dollars} and positioned below a 10-year ban on gun possession for improper firearm storage.

This week’s proposed laws and alter to the handgun guidelines have been praised by a number of gun management teams.

“There isn’t any ‘proper to personal’ weapons on this nation,” Wendy Cukier, the president of the Coalition for Gun Management, stated in a press release. “Authorized handguns are a big supply of handguns utilized in crime and are the weapons most frequently utilized in mass shootings.”

However Raquel Dancho, the Conservative member of Parliament who speaks for the get together on public security issues, criticized the invoice on Twitter, saying it doesn’t deal with what she views because the “the foundation reason behind gun violence in our cities: unlawful weapons smuggled into Canada by legal gangs.” (Simply over a yr in the past, the Canada Border Companies Company introduced a joint activity power with its counterpart in the US to stem the cross-border circulate of weapons.)

Many individuals welcomed the adjustments however urged the federal government to go even additional. John Tory, the mayor of Toronto, known as for a nationwide ban on handguns.

There’s no manner of figuring out if the handgun freeze and the assault weapon buyback program will have an effect on gun crimes and gun-related suicides. A evaluate of worldwide firearms laws, ready by the general public security division’s analysis division in 2020 and launched below access-to-information legal guidelines, discovered “little to no quantitative proof for the effectiveness of firearm buyback packages in lowering firearm violence.”

And a research launched final November by Dr. Caillin Langmann of the medical faculty at McMaster College in Hamilton, Ontario, discovered that “whereas there could also be an association between legislation and a reduction in suicide rate by firearms, total suicide charges remained unaffected resulting from substitution into different strategies.”

Many individuals pushing for tighter gun management additionally famous that ladies are disproportionately affected by gun crimes.

“The presence of weapons is our first indicator that deadly intimate accomplice violence is a excessive danger,” Amanda Dale, a household lawyer in Brampton, Ontario, stated in a press release in response to the gun reform invoice. “For individuals who really feel immediately their privileges have been scaled again, I’d remind them that this isn’t the identical as being stalked, threatened and killed by the one that is meant to like you.”


  • Patricia Leigh Brown traveled to Kinngait on Baffin Island in Nunavut to fulfill with the artists of the Kinngait Studios. “That a spot of great challenges, from poverty to suicide, has developed right into a ‘Florence of the North’ is a proud truth of life right here,” she wrote. “Artists comprise roughly 1 / 4 of the group and largely be taught by statement, mentored by elders and members of the family.” Brendan George Ko contributed some excellent images from the group of artists.

  • Katie Yu, a 16-year-old attending Inuksuk Excessive Faculty in Nunavut, is certainly one of 10 winners of a profile contest for college kids run by The New York Instances’s Studying Community. In her piece, she advised the story of Heather Shilton, the director of Nunavut Nukkiksautiit Company, Nunavut’s first fully Inuit-owned renewable power developer.

  • Some Individuals on worldwide journeys are bypassing the US’ requirement for detrimental Covid take a look at outcomes to board flights by first traveling to Canada after which returning residence at a land crossing.

  • Two manufacturers of natural strawberries could also be responsible for an outbreak of hepatitis A in Canada and the US.

  • Christopher Clarey, The Instances’s tennis professional, examined the taking part in type of Leylah Fernandez, the teenage tennis star from Montreal, as she superior to the quarterfinals of the French Open. (Due to an harm, nevertheless, she didn’t make it previous that stage.)

  • The Frugal Traveler column features several spots in Canada in a listing of locations for the budget-minded traveler fascinated with wine, tradition, meals and the outside.


Ian Austen is a local of Windsor, Ontario, and was educated in Toronto. He lives in Ottawa and has reported about Canada for The New York Instances for the previous 16 years. Observe him on Twitter at @ianrausten.


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