We know a little more about Justin Trudeau’s plan to implement his gun ban and compensated confiscation efforts now that a new gun control bill has been introduced in Parliament, but the Canadian prime minister is still keeping mum about some pretty important details; including how much his confiscation will cost and when it will begin.
Despite the lack of a detailed plan, the clock is ticking for gun owners, who have until April of 2023 to hand over their guns or lock them up for good. Under the legislation released by Trudeau today, while there will be no door-to-door confiscation of legally-owned firearms (at least for now), those who don’t turn in their newly-prohibited firearms must “agree not to use the weapons, to import or acquire any more of them or to bequeath them to anyone else.”
The legislation introduced today, known as C-21, would not only ban the use of modern sporting rifles, but would empower municipalities across Canada to impose bans on handgun ownership as well.
If passed, the bill would create “red flag” and “yellow flag” laws which would allow individuals — such as concerned friends or relatives — to apply to a court for the immediate removal of someone’s firearm.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said these laws could be used in cases of domestic violence and concerns about mental health.
Trudeau said his government also plans to increase criminal penalties for gun trafficking, smuggling, possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm or possession of a weapon obtained by the commission of an offence — from 10 to 14 years in prison.
The legislation also would create new offences for altering the magazine of a firearm, introduce tighter restrictions on importing ammunition and allow municipalities to ban handguns through bylaws restricting their possession, storage and transportation, said the prime minister.
“We’re backing up the cities with serious federal and criminal penalties to enforce these bylaws, including jail time for people who violate these municipal rules,” said Trudeau.
Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver will likely introduce their own municipal gun bans in the very near future, though cities like Edmonton and Saskatoon, where opposition to Trudeau’s gun ban is much higher, aren’t expected to follow suit. Still,
Gun control groups aren’t happy about the fact that the compensated confiscation efforts are voluntary, but Trudeau’s public safety minister Bill Blair reiterated today that owning a firearm in Canada is a “privilege, not a right.” It’s a privilege that will be restricted to a chosen few if the gun ban bill is approved by Parliament, which appears likely.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said earlier today that he doubts the program will curb gun violence.
“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,” he said.
“It’s ignoring the real problem and it’s dividing Canadians.”
It’s most definitely dividing Canadians. In fact, we’ve already seen several provinces make plans to challenge the new federal provisions, including Saskatchewan, where provincial officials decided last summer to hire their own chief firearms officer in opposition to the federal edict.
Provincial chief firearms officers have historically been appointed by the federal government.
“We believe a provincially appointed chief firearms officer will be well positioned to represent Saskatchewan’s position on firearms regulation to the federal government,” Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell said in a written statement to the press last Wednesday.
“Our government will always stand beside law-abiding Saskatchewan firearms owners, and we believe a provincially appointed CFO will assist in that advocacy.”
At least four other provinces have already followed suit, and their may be more litigation once C-21 has been approved by Parliament.
Coming up on Wednesday’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. we’ll be delving deeper into this issue with Tony Bernardo, the executive director of the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action, which is one of the largest gun owner advocacy groups in Canada. We’ll not only be talking about CILA’s efforts to defeat the gun ban bill, but the political ramifications of Trudeau’s full-frontal assault on Canadian gun owners and how that’s likely to impact the next parliamentary elections, which by law have to take place before October 17th, 2023, just a few months after Trudeau’s gun confiscation is scheduled to be completed.
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