An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
ONE OF THE BEST THINGS about the federal government’s handgun bill is that it abandons the ridiculous notion of offloading the problem onto City councils.
As you’ll recall, when Justin Trudeau started talking seriously a couple of years ago about tougher restrictions on handguns, he proposed giving municipalities the power to ban them.
That would have created a patchwork of handgun policies across the country that would have been confusing and impossible to enforce.
As I wrote at the time, a debate around the Kamloops City council table on banning handguns would be fascinating but certainly not productive.
Trudeau got the message, and instead has tabled a bill that would impose a “national freeze” on buying, importing, transferring and selling handguns. Rather than an outright ban, the new legislation will be aimed at capping handguns at the current number.
This is the best gun-control legislation the federal Liberals have come up with yet. Handguns are the favourite weapon in firearms offences and Canadians overwhelmingly support restricting their proliferation.
In answer to critics who insist gun-control laws too often target law-abiding gun owners and not the criminals, the bill includes measures against gun smuggling.
It won’t please those who believe a total ban is in order, but this new bill has a good shot — if you’ll excuse the expression — at reducing handgun crime.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.