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

IN PHOTOS: Grand Forks prepares for high water

Volunteers and emergency crews were busy all around the city, reinforcing vulnerable low points

‘Not technically feasible’: Grand Forks volunteers stack sandbags to fill in damaged dike

Residents hoped governments would do emergency repairs, but learned Sunday that it was up to them

Boundary freshet 2020: At least 189 properties ordered to evacuate as of June 1

Real-time gauges on the West Kettle, Kettle and Granby rivers suggested Monday water near peak

Flood warning issued for Boundary as Kettle River expected to rise to 20-year return level

RDKB: This amounts to a high flood risk for low-lying properties in the region

SD 51 students are allowed to return to school this week – under very different rules

School on June 1 and June 2 was cancelled due to the local state of emergency

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Most Read