New firearm-control legislation was tabled on Monday by the federal Liberals. The proposed legislation would see a national freeze on importing, buying, selling or otherwise transferring handguns, and other restrictions.
Kenora Mp Eric Melillo says that he agrees with certain aspects of the legislation, but that he cannot fully support the tabled bill.
“There are many aspects to this bill, some of which I can certainly get behind, others, not so much,” said Melillo.
“There is a provision in this bill to prevent those who have committed domestic violence from owning firearms, and this will also create a new offence for illegally increasing the magazine capacity on a firearm. I would support both on their own.”
“But for me, the headline is this ‘ban on handgun sales in Canada’, and I think it’s unfortunate that we are seeing the same old story with this government – bringing forward a bill that would largely impact lawful firearms owners and not do nearly enough to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”
The Liberal bill comes at a controversial time, amid a worldwide debate about gun safety after a recent string of mass shootings in the United States that killed 19 children and numerous adults.
The measures would allow current handgun owners to keep their weapons however, it would aim to cap the number of handguns already in Canada.
The bill would also allow for the automatic removal of gun licences from people who commit domestic violence or engage in criminal harassment, such as stalking.
The bill would create a new "red flag" law allowing courts to require that people considered a danger to themselves or others surrender their firearms to police.
The Liberals also say they will require long-gun magazines to be permanently altered so they can never hold more than five rounds, as well as ban the sale and transfer of large-capacity magazines under the Criminal Code.
“What I think is missing is more resources that need to be dedicated to the CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) to combat gun smuggling across the border and better support for policing.”
“We must make it more difficult to illegally acquire firearms in this country, but an arbitrary ban impacting lawful firearms owners, I believe, misses the mark, which is why at this point, I am opposed to this bill overall,” he concluded.
The number of registered handguns in Canada increased by 71 per cent between 2010 and 2020, reaching approximately 1.1 million, according to federal statistics. Handguns were the most serious weapon present in the majority of firearm-related violent crimes between 2009 and 2020.