Critics claim Canada’s handgun ban will punish law-abiding citizens

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces new gun control legislation in Ottawa, Ontario, on Monday, May 30, 2022. (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press via AP)

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces new gun control legislation in Ottawa, Ontario, on Monday, May 30, 2022. (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press via AP)

UPDATED 8:20 AM PT – Wednesday, June 1, 2022

A gun shop owner in British Columbia said Canada’s hand gun ownership freeze punishes law-abiding citizens, while the government rewards criminals. Matt Mendel, the co-owner of Wanstall’s Hunting & Shooting, strongly disagrees with the sweeping declaration by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The legislation freezes the buying, selling and transfers of handguns between consenting parties until further notice. Mendel thinks the order is unlikely to decrease violence in Canada as most weapons used at crime scenes are obtained illegally. He lamented the measure will greatly reduce his sales volume, in turn, diminishing the recreational shooting industry from year-round to seasonal.

“This does not do anything to address the illegal firearms that are being picked up after the scene of the crime where 82 percent of them are smuggled in coming from the United States,” explained the gun shop owner. “I think it’s a waste of resources that could be better allocated towards anti-trafficking, for example.”

While addressing the Canadian Parliament on Tuesday, Conservative Party Leader Candice Bergen found it hypocritical for Trudeau’s government to punish law-abiding citizens, while simultaneously loosening repercussions for criminals.

“On one hand, they’re banning handguns,” he noted. “On the other hand, they’re pushing through Bill C-5, which tells criminals, don’t worry if you’re convicted of a gun crime, you just hang out at home for your sentence. This is not keeping community safe, and it is not reassuring to moms and dads who are worried about their kids.”

Bill C-5, which was proposed late last year, removes minimal sentencing for a number of gun-related crimes, excluding the usage of a firearm in connection to a criminal organization. Trudeau, however, doubled down on his progressive policy, while claiming it will fix the inequitable composition of Canada’s penal system.

“The Bill C-5 legislation does not stop police from charging people with gun offences or prosecutors from pursuing convictions,” claimed the prime minister. “What it does do is make sure criminals face serious penalties, while addressing the overrepresentation of black Canadians and indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system.”

The legislation, pushed forward by Trudeau on Monda,y will also limit magazines to a five-round capacity and even ban toys resembling guns. Additionally, Canada’s public safety minister also announced a mandatory buyback program for so-called assault weapons later this year.

Conservative MP, Raquel Dancho blasted the move on Twitter, while claiming Canada’s crime rate has been rising despite years of gun bans and buy-backs. However,  Trudeau has made it clear he won’t allow discussions on effectiveness slow down gun control agenda.

“We cannot let the guns debate become so polarized that nothing gets done,” stated the prime minister. “We cannot let that happen in our country.”

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Amber Coakley
Author: Amber Coakley

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