Canada’s Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau made no secret of his stance against guns four years ago; now, he is trying his darnedest to push through extreme measures – including some changes that won’t be made public until after the Oct. 21 election – that hammer home his lack of tolerance for individual ownership of firearms in our neighbor to the north.
At present, Canada has some 2.2 million people gun licenses, according to media reports.
A favorite target, of course, is the AR-15-style rifle, ownership of which would be the first thing to go on the chopping block for a most-public disappearing act. Also disturbing is that Canada wants to grant cities the ability to basically ban handguns – only illegal ones, though – something that, at best, would be difficult to enforce and, at worst, would put anyone traveling with a handgun in a difficult position if they simply drive through one of the more so-called enlightened municipalities.
The restrictions are not etched in stone yet, as Canadian law prohibits such laws from taking effect during a campaign season.
The firearm debate in Canada has basically split that nation, much as it has done in America. On the left, people assert that guns have no place in a modern society; on the right, they charge that gun control erodes the rights and freedoms of the citizens.
When it comes to handguns, the legislators considered going so far as to enact a national ban on them in some cities – a move that the government admits “would not only be inadequate, considering the risks involved, but it would also be inefficient.
Reports say that Bill C-71, a piece of legislation introduced in the House of Commons in March 2018, encompasses such things as stricter requirements for buying firearms and more record-keeping when it comes to gun sales. The bill validates a concern that many law-abiding gun owners have – that the people who scream for gun control are never content with just one change. Rather, they keep chipping away at our rights.
The NRA’s ILA has written about Canada’s Bill C-71. According to ILA, a recent study by Dr. Gary Mauser of Simon Fraser University appears to confirm that regulatory gun laws overwhelmingly burden ordinary Canadians. He examined the number of criminal charges laid in Canada from 1998 to 2015 for violations of firearm rules related to gun storage and paperwork compliance – charges that could result in fines, imprisonment, and the loss of the violator’s guns. Out of over 3,000 charges a year related to violations of the bureaucratic firearm rules, only 4% were tied to criminal charges for violent crime, even though guns were used against 1,300 victims of violent crimes each year during roughly the same period. Instead of charging criminals with both firearm rule violations and the violent crime offenses, enforcement of the administrative firearm rules was almost exclusively associated with nonviolent offenders.
Dr. Mauser concluded that these “findings suggest that law-abiding Canadian gun owners are the target of administrative infractions,” with “firearms laws being used to disarm peaceable firearms owners and not violent criminals who use firearms.”
Why aren’t all the restrictions being made public? Because the Canadian Caretaker Convention prohibits it. The theory is that pushing through emotionally charged measures could sway the vote. So Canadians will have to wait until after Oct. 21 to discover the full reach of what the anti-gunners have in store.
The results of the Canada’s upcoming election may determine whether these proposals move forward.