TheGunBlog.ca — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau changed the wording of his plans for mass gun bans yesterday, expanding the scope of municipal handgun prohibition to include “communities.”
He introduced the new language in the so-called Speech from the Throne outlining his priorities.
The speech is written by the prime minister’s office and was delivered by Governor General Julie Payette.
Political analysts scrutinize the announcement for clues about government policy.
“Municipalities and communities that want to ban handguns will be able to do so,” the speech said.
Adding “communities” expands on what Trudeau and his Liberal Party said during the September-October election campaign.
“We will work with the provinces and territories to give municipalities the ability to further restrict — or ban — handguns,” the Liberal Party said Sept. 20 in a press release announcing the measures.
The prime minister’s office referred TheGunBlog.ca’s questions about the new wording to the Ministry of Public Safety.
“The Throne Speech reiterates the commitment we made to Canadians to work with provinces and municipalities by empowering them to ban handguns within their jurisdictions,” Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for the office of Minister Bill Blair, told TheGunBlog.ca by e-mail today. “That commitment has not changed.”
Not Only Cities
Some firearm owners have wrongly interpreted Trudeau’s handgun-confiscation plans as targeting only residents of large cities.
Barring a few exceptions, everyone in Canada lives in a municipality. It’s the third level of government after the federal and provincial levels, according to the Constitution.
Laws on firearm ownership are often viewed as belonging to the federal government. Legal analysts question how such powers could be handed to municipalities.
Each level has a role in firearm use, from federal rules on buying and selling, to provincial rules on transportation, hunting and environment, to municipal rules on business and noise.
Forced Rifle Surrender
In addition to wanting to give “municipalities and communities” the ability to expel handgunners by banning their gear, Trudeau is also threatening federally licensed firearm users with jail unless they surrender about 250,000 of their hunting and sporting rifles.
Any move against lawful Canadians will face challenges, including opposition by police leaders and provincial premiers.