Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced new legislation to prohibit Canadians from buying, selling, transferring, or importing handguns. The legislation, Bill C-21, was introduced by Trudeau on Monday, May 30, at a press conference. At that time, the prime minister stated that, “Other than using firearms for sport shooting and hunting, there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives. We need less gun violence. … This is about freedom. People should be free to go to the supermarket, their school or their place of worship without fear.”
While Trudeau doesn’t believe law-abiding Canadians have the “freedom” to own handguns, a good number of Canadians themselves apparently have a different point of view. As soon as Trudeau announced his intentions, Canadian gun shops experienced a rush to buy handguns, as reported by various news outlets.
“Our customers are speaking with their wallets,” Ryan Simper of Select Shooting Supplies in Cambridge, told CTV News. “Our customers are frustrated.”
In Canada, purchasing a firearm already requires the possession of a firearms license, which mandates a criminal background check done by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), plus meeting various training and gun-safety requirements.
As Simper noted to CTV News, actual handgun customers have been vetted and proven law-abiding by no less than the RCMP, and he saw no way that Bill C-21 would target or stop criminals from acquiring and using firearms illegally.
Bill C-21 comes on top of a 2020 law, imposed unilaterally by Trudeau through an Order in Council, that bans over 1,500 firearms in Canada. This Order in Council was imposed on Canadians without parliamentary debate or a vote. As A1F.com reported, the banned firearms “have been described by … Trudeau, as ‘military-grade assault weapons,’ but they are, of course, no such thing. Rather, they are the most commonly produced rifles, pistols, shotguns and carbines in the world, including the AR-10, the AR-15 and the Mini-14.”
Canadian citizens who owned any of the more than 1,500 banned firearms were “granted an amnesty, during which they were barred from using their guns ‘for hunting or sport shooting, either at a range or elsewhere,’ as well as from buying, selling, loaning or transporting their guns in any way, until the government decided what to do next.”
As of right now, the Canadian government still has not decided how it plans to implement the confiscation, compensation and grandfathering associated with the May 2020 Orders in Council. As the original amnesty period was soon to expire, the Canadian government quietly announced an extension of the amnesty period until October 30, 2023.
In an email to A1F.com, Blair Hagen, executive vice president of Canada’s 75,000-member National Firearms Association, noted that C-21 is far from a done deal.
“C-21 must go through a legislative process, which includes consultations and committee hearings before it goes to a vote in Parliament and finally the Senate,” Hagen said. “This is controversial legislation and will not be given an easy ride. There is just simply no excuse for this blatant assault on the rights, freedoms and property of Canadians by an irresponsible, childish and virtue-signaling government.”
Others are not so sure this legislation can be stopped, including Tony Bernardo, executive director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.
In an email response to A1F.com, Bernardo said, “The Liberals possess a large majority government—made larger by unqualified support from the New Democratic Party (NDP). This makes it impossible to stop the implementation of the bill, but we may be able to make recommendations to the Standing Committee that can effect some changes.”
He added, “Realistically, the only way to defeat it is to change governments and [then] go through the repeal process.”
If you wonder how a Canadian government leader like Trudeau could even suggest banning and then confiscating private property, look no further than this statement made at a press conference by Bill Blair, Canada’s Minister of Emergency Preparedness.
“In Canada, gun ownership is a privilege, not a right,” Blair said. “This is a principal that differentiates ourselves from many other countries in the world, notably our colleagues and friends to the south. In Canada, guns are only intended to be used for hunting and sport purposes.”
This, and much more, is why NRA members fight so dearly for our Second Amendment rights.