TheGunBlog.ca — The Canadian government said it’s “open to all possible options” to keep communities safe from what it called “gun violence,” responding to an article in The Globe and Mail saying the prime minister may decide to ban handguns next month.
The Prime Minister’s Office directed questions by TheGunBlog.ca to the Ministry of Public Safety.
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Following are comments by Hilary Peirce, a spokeswoman for the office of Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale, sent by e-mail to TheGunBlog.ca today. She declined to comment specifically on a possible handgun ban, including the reason, timing or form of any such prohibition.
Hilary Peirce, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The recent shootings in Toronto are senseless tragedies and reminders of the devastating effects of gun violence and gang activity in our communities.
When it comes to keeping communities safe from gun violence, we are open to all possible options. The truth is there’s a growing problem with gun crime, especially in Canada’s largest cities. This is a dangerous trend, and we must stop it.
That is why we have taken multiple actions on this file since taking office. We started by convening a National Summit on Guns and Gangs: to hear from—and work with— provinces and territories, cities, police, border officials, and community groups who are on the front lines of the fight against this violence. We then announced unprecedented new funding for a variety of initiatives to reduce gun crime and criminal gang activities that will focus on prevention, effective law enforcement, and strong community partnerships. We also moved forward on Bill C-71, common-sense firearms legislation that will help keep communities safe by putting in place tougher background checks and by cracking down on illegal handguns. We believe effective gun control that keeps assault weapons and illegal handguns off our streets can and will save lives.
Our government is also already examining a number of other reforms including whether there should be a positive obligation on medical professionals to disclose mental illness for potential buyers of firearms, safer storage rules, regulations around advertising for firearms, and strengthening flagging systems for bulk purchases.
We will continue to work with municipal and provincial partners to address this ongoing issue.