Calling it a “last resort,” Prime Minister Trudeau wants to ban all handguns in his country.
That’s right – handguns. “There is a robust debate about taking action [on handguns] from coast-to-coast,” a Canadian government insider said.
Just like in the United States, new gun control on law-abiding citizens won’t solve Canada’s crime crisis. Prime Minister Trudeau, however, is taking civilian disarmament to the next level.
This won’t be the first gun grab Prime Minister Trudeau has tried but would be the most extreme. During the announcement of his taxpayer-funded modern sporting rifle (MSR) confiscation, he forecasted this was coming.
“We know there is more to do on strengthening gun control in this country which is why we’re going to measures around safe storage,” Prime Minister Trudeau said. “Measures around handguns to permit municipalities to ban handguns within their city limits.”
Legislation introduced in the Canadian Parliament’s last session would have allowed Canadian municipalities the option of enacting their own local laws to ban handguns, as well as implement a myriad of other antigun measures. That included creating a “red flag” law enforcement patrol to remove firearms from people deemed to pose a danger to the public – without any due process protections like in the United States. Fortunately, that bill died without serious consideration.
Now, the restriction has been resuscitated and the handgun ban bill is likely to come back and give big city provincial governments the ability to impose them. Similar to major U.S. cities where strict gun control is common and crime is rampant, major Canadian provinces like Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto approve of the handgun bans while rural provinces like Ontario and Quebec shun them.
Ontario’s Liberal leader Stephen Del Duca campaigned on the handgun ban, stating he’ll introduce a handgun ban as well as strict requirements for firearm storage and transportation. Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford scoffed at the idea. He complained about soft-on-crime prosecutors and said he’s focused on funding police and law enforcement efforts to combat criminals, saying 80 percent of the firearms used in crimes there are obtained illegally and half of deaths attributed to firearms are gang-related.
Canadians recognize the ruse as well. Banning handguns and allowing different municipalities the ability institute a patchwork of different laws is problematic. Matt DeMille of Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, told the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, “Adopting measures across the province in a patchwork is going to be very difficult for people to understand.” Public safety critic Shannon Stubbs added, “This part of the bill doesn’t address the major problem, which is the illicit use of illegal guns in crime.”
Billion Dollar Bungle
Canadians have known for a while that Prime Minister Trudeau was coming for their handguns. The prime minister announced two years ago that Canada would institute a mandatory taxpayer-funded gun “buyback” that would include, “over 1,500 models and variants” of so called “assault-style” firearms. Prime Minister Trudeau’s unilateral action – not a law passed by the Canadian Parliament – called for a two-year amnesty period, during which law-abiding gun owners would be compensated for forfeiting their privately-purchased firearms. That would include approximately 200,000 firearms.
At that time, Prime Minister Trudeau attempted to sell his order as a $250 million national “buyback,” paying Canadians with taxpayer funds for the firearms they already legally purchased with their own money. Previous similar Canadian government gun grab attempts, however, put the price tag closer to $600 million, and doubters admitted the real cost could be closer to $2.7 billion. The deadlines have been punted and delayed, with only a fraction of a percent of Canadians obliging. In fact, The Reload reported on the program’s bloated cost and ineffective rollout.
“Gun owners have been hesitant to turn in their newly prohibited firearms, and Canadian gun rights groups have mobilized against the confiscation plan,” Stephen Gutowski reported. “The announcement is another setback in the Canadian government’s confiscation effort. Its plan to collect the affected weapons has been rife with problems since it was announced.”
Prime Minister Trudeau’s handgun ban ambitions are a Canadian canary in a coal mine. Here at home, President Joe Biden has tiptoed around the idea, alluding to a handgun ban in his wider, broader gun control agenda remarks.
President Biden said a handgun – illegally stolen and used by a criminal to commit murder – was a “weapon of war” when he spoke at a gun control press conference with Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. “But I don’t see any rationale to why there should be such a weapon able to be purchased,” President Biden said. “It doesn’t violate anybody’s Second Amendment rights to deny that.”
Except it does.
It may be Prime Minister Trudeau pushing a ban on handguns now, but with the gun control agenda publicly repeated again and again by President Biden, Americans should take him at his word when he says he is coming for their guns.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.