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EDITORIAL – New federal bill has a good shot at reducing handgun crime

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 mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8956 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on EDITORIAL – New federal bill has a good shot at reducing handgun crime

    • Ken McClelland // June 4, 2022 at 8:08 AM // Reply

      Comparing Canada to the US in this context is not valid. The US allows states to control firearms laws, in Canada firearms laws are national. In Canada you are required to take training including extra training for restricted firearms, extensive background and criminal record checks are performed, your domestic partner must sign off on being ok with you having a restricted firearm, and you must belong to a registered sporting or gun club, all prior to being allowed to legally buy a restricted firearm. You are then only permitted to use it at a registered sporting club, transporting the firearm directly to and from, in a locked case, with ammunition kept separate from the firearm. You are also subjected to a daily criminal record check. Criminals, on the other hand, don’t pay the slightest attention to any of this, using smuggled unregistered and illegal firearms to commit crimes, usually on each other, thankfully. A good gangster is a dead gangster. How does this freeze change any of that? It only affects those that obey the law in the first place, and they’re not the ones committing handgun crimes.

  1. Ken is right in all of his points I have always had an interest in firearms of what is loosely known as the old west, but do not consider myself a ” gun nut”. One must also come to the reality that you cannot uninvent the wheel. Political zealots in the past have made attempts to destroy minds and done a great deal of damage but have never succeeded. We in this country are being constantly fed false information and actual history is being buried.

  2. Ken McClelland // June 2, 2022 at 5:00 AM // Reply

    Disagree. This is just another in a long line of virtue-signalling exercises by this government that will appeal to their urban voter base, cost a lot of money, look good on the surface, but achieve nothing. The government has pretty much completely ignored the fact that almost all handgun crime in this country is committed by gangsters, on rival gangsters, a self-iregulating situation if ever there was one, using unregistered/illegal/smuggled firearms. Unless and until the flow of guns across the border is stopped, that will not change. The token underfunded nod they have given to that issue will change nothing. Trained, legal and registered owners that are subjected to a daily criminal record check are not the issue, however they and the legal businesses they support are the ones penalized by this proposed legislation. Give the law some teeth instead of removing mandatory minimum sentences. Give the CBSA, police, and judiciary the necessary tools to do something serious about gangs and drug crime. Get rid of the revolving door in our courtrooms, and much of this perceived problem that has NOT been caused by law-abiding citizens and businesses will go away.

    • John Noakes // June 2, 2022 at 7:57 AM // Reply

      Agreed, Ken.
      The majority of people who use handguns to kill other people generally have no regard for the law already.
      Address the problem of gangs and illicit drugs (which kill far more people than guns but MORE illicit drugs are to be allowed for personal use.)

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