Sault gunshop owner says new gun legislation won't stop gun violence in Canada
SAULT STE. MARIE -- Gun owners in Sault Ste. Marie are worried Canada's proposed legislation, which could see the ban of 1500 weapons in the country, is a major oversight.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Bill C-21, which includes provisions that allow municipalities to ban handguns, increases penalties for gun smuggling and would allow for courts to immediately remove someone's firearm without a warrant.
"The ban of 1500 weapons is being billed as a ban on Military grade, assault weapons," said Reg Perry, owner of Perry's Great Northern Gun and Bow Shop.
"Every semi-automatic, centre-fire rifle and shotgun in Canada, are limited to a capacity of five shots. That is by no means the definition of an assault rifle, where they say it's going to kill the most amount of people, in the least amount of time."
Provisions also include a buyback program for the list of guns, which Perry said is far too vague for comfort.
"They haven't even said if you're going to get a cheque or a tax deduction," he said.
"Not to mention, there's no information on how much they're going to offer for these guns, it's confiscation with victim compensation."
Perry also believes giving municipalities the power to control their own gun laws is major oversight, on the part of the federal government.
"Gangs, criminals, they don't respect the law of municipal boundaries," he added.
In terms of the provision that allows for courts to immediately remove someone's firearm, that would be done so through the use of "yellow" and "red" flags.
That allows for a concerned person to apply to the courts for the removal of that firearm, whether a warrant is obtained or not.
"Its purpose is to stop self-harm intimate partner violence, as well as targeted hatred to minorities," said Sault M.P., Terry Sheehan.
"This is about making Canada a safer place and reducing gun violence across the nation."
Detractors of the bill point to it unfairly targeting legal gun owners, when its purpose is to get illegally obtained guns off the streets.
However, Sheehan said that's not the case.
"We know since 2009 weapons that have been stolen from legitimate gun owners, are up 300 percent," he said.
"In speaking with police services across the country, we know many of these guns are being obtained in their investigations as well."
The legislation, which is widely expected to be passed, also promises investments at the border to stop the smuggling of weapons into Canada.
According to Perry, that's where the majority of efforts should be put towards anyway.