Coming on the heels of last years ban on assault-style weapons, Prime Minister Trudeau, announced the introduction of new legislation to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act to make continue the battle against gun violence.
New measure introduced Tuesday would:
- Reduce intimate partner and gender-based violence, and self-harm involving firearms by creating “red flag” and “yellow flag” laws. These laws would allow people, such as concerned friends or relatives, to apply to the courts for the immediate removal of an individual’s firearms, or to ask a Chief Firearms Officer to suspend and review an individual’s licence to own firearms.
- Discourage gun smuggling and trafficking by increasing criminal penalties, and by enhancing the capacity of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency to combat the illegal importation of firearms.
- Support municipalities that ban handguns through by-laws restricting storage and transportation in their jurisdictions. Individuals who violate these municipal by-laws would be subject to federal penalties, including licence revocation and criminal sanctions.
- Help young people to avoid criminal behaviour by providing funding to municipalities and Indigenous communities to support youth programs.
- Protect Canadians from gun violence by creating new offences for altering the cartridge magazine component of a firearm and depicting violence in firearms advertising, introducing tighter restrictions on imports of ammunition, and ensuring the prohibition of imports, exports, sales, and transfers of all replica firearms.
- Complete the prohibition of assault-style firearms to ensure these weapons cannot be legally used, transported, sold, transferred, or bequeathed by individuals in Canada. The government intends to move forward with a buyback program in the coming months,
In order to improve the firearms classification framework, the Minister of Justice will conduct a review of firearms classification. The Minister will also look into modernizing language in the regulation and the Criminal Code with respect to prohibited weapons, devices, and ammunition to close gaps in the law.
There were over 99,000 victims of intimate partner violence in Canada in 2018, and firearms were present in over 500 of these incidents. Women accounted for almost eight in 10 victims of all intimate partner violence incidents, and they were even more likely to be the victim in incidents where a firearm was present.