Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Sunday, May 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Trudeau says legislation on municipal handgun bans coming

Trudeau acknowledged his government has more work to do when it comes to guns in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his assault-rifle ban on Sunday and promised to go even further by targeting handguns and tightening border security with new legislation introduced in the Parliament.

Yet he stopped short of providing a timeline for when such measures would be introduced, saying only that the federal Liberal government would move forward with legislation “when Parliament allows.”

The comments came during the prime minister’s daily COVID-19 news conference after the government on Friday outlawed a wide range of assault-style weapons. The ban did not require parliamentary approval and was instead published in regulations in the Canada Gazette.

Some have said the ban doesn’t go far enough and should include handguns while others have argued that it targets legal gun owners and that Ottawa should instead focus on the smuggling of illegal weapons at the border and stronger jail sentences.

READ MORE: Feds ban more than 1,500 assault-style rifles in Canada

Trudeau acknowledged his government has more work to do when it comes to guns in Canada, which was why it was working on legislation that will deal with the border, gun storage and handguns.

Exactly when will that legislation be introduced, however, appears to be anyone’s guess.

“We know there is more to do on strengthening gun control in this country which is why we’re going to be moving forward when Parliament allows it with stronger measures around borders, stronger measures around safe storage,” Trudeau said.

“Measures around handguns to permit municipalities to ban handguns within their city limits.”

Legislation will also need to be introduced around a two-year amnesty and a buyback program that will allow the current owners of assault rifles covered by Friday’s ban to receive compensation for turning in the designated firearms or keep them through a grandfathering process.

The Liberal government will move forward on that front “at the first opportunity when the House turns its attention to things other than” COVID-19, Trudeau said.

The House of Commons has limited its sitting to one in-person and two virtual per week due to the pandemic.

The assault-rifle ban came only weeks after one of the deadliest mass shootings in Canadian history, when a man dressed as an RCMP officer killed 22 people in Nova Scotia on April 18 and 19. Police have indicated the man had two rifles and several handguns on his possession at the time.

READ MORE: Ontario’s premier takes aim at Trudeau government’s gun control measures

Some have accused the prime minister of using the tragedy to instigate a ban while Parliament is largely consumed with the COVID-19 pandemic, while others have questioned why the government waited so long.

The Liberals promised in the last election campaign to ban assault rifles and introduce legislation allowing cities to ban handguns.

Trudeau refused to apologize for the ban after Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Saturday said it targeted legal gun owners. He suggested Ottawa should instead focus on smuggling of illegal weapons at the border and strengthening jail sentences for gun crimes.

“We’ve seen far too many mass shootings in which military-style-assault weapons were used to kill innocent Canadians. In Sainte-Foy. Recently in Nova Scotia. Back at l’Ecole Polytechnique 30 years ago,” Trudeau said.

“We’ve seen far too many cases in which these guns have caused devastation to families and communities. That’s why it was time to ban them. This is something that we were able to do through regulations so it didn’t require legislation.”

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Gun banJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Organizer, Victoria councillor, VicPD talk about upcoming rally for Black lives

‘It’s a simple ask’: Peace rally for Black lives organizer asks people to listen

PHOTOS: Dozens show up to rebuild vandalized Victoria people-less protest

Chalk messages of support surround the fountain in Centennial Square

George Floyd mural appears on Victoria street

Victoria artist Paul Archer painted the mural outside his shop on Fort Street

Playgrounds back in the swing of things on the West Shore

Langford, View Royal, Colwood reopen parks, playgrounds

Sooke fitness facilities reopen to the public

Extra measures set in place to ensure user safety

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read