Blue Line

Bill C-21: Strengthening gun control laws

May 31, 2022  By Blue Line Staff

May 31, 2022, Ottawa, Ont. – Keeping Canadians safe is the Government of Canada’s top priority. Even one Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many, which is why, two years ago, Canada banned over 1,500 types of military-style assault firearms. The government also strengthened their gun control laws to expand background checks and keep firearms out of the wrong hands. These measures are put in place to help keep children and communities safe.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has now announced the introduction of new legislation to further strengthen gun control in Canada and keep Canadians safe from gun violence. Bill C-21 puts forward some of the strongest gun control measures in over 40 years.

These include:

  • Implementing a national freeze on handguns to prevent individuals from bringing newly acquired handguns into Canada and from buying, selling and transferring handguns within the country.
  • Fighting gun smuggling and trafficking by increasing criminal penalties, providing more tools for law enforcement to investigate firearms crimes, and strengthening border security measures.
  • Taking away the firearms licenses of those involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment, such as stalking.
  • Addressing intimate partner violence, gender-based violence and self-harm involving firearms by creating a new “red flag” law that would enable courts to require that individuals considered a danger to themselves or others surrender their firearms to law enforcement, while protecting the safety of the individual applying to the red flag process, including by protecting their identity. In addition, the government will invest $6.6 million to help raise awareness of the new law and provide supports to vulnerable and marginalized groups to navigate the provisions.

In addition, the Government of Canada will require long-gun magazines to be permanently altered so they can never hold more than five rounds and will ban the sale and transfer of large capacity magazines under the Criminal Code.

These are the measures that chiefs of police, families of survivors, doctors and advocates have been asking the government to take, and they build on the many concrete actions that have already been taken. The Government of Canada will work with provinces, territories, Indigenous communities and municipalities to implement these measures, and will continue to do whatever it takes to keep guns out of the communities and make Canada a safer country for everyone.

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