Bill C-21 prompts licensed gun owners to buy handguns at unprecedented rates to protest new federal gun control measures
National Range Day has a different meaning for gun owners and enthusiasts alike this year.
With the introduction of Bill C-21, some gun owners feel as though they are being unfairly targeted for issues they do not contribute.
When you enter 519 Range in Cambridge and select Shooting Supplies, you can hear the sound of muffled pops in the firing range down the hall. Guns, targets and ammunition neatly line the shelves and fill the display cases.
Ryan Simper is a gun owner and business developer for Select Shooting Supplies. They think the new law and banning the sale of handguns to licensed individuals is targeting the wrong people.
“A lot of my clients who are coming in this week are feeling very down and disappointed, because the government is blaming them for social issues instead of dealing with the real problems,” Simper said.
Earlier this week Prime Minister Trudeau introduced legislation that would put a national moratorium on the sale and transfer of handguns in an effort to combat gun violence.
“This means that it will not be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada,” Trudeau said in a press conference on Monday.
As of Saturday, all of Select Shooting’s handgun cabinets were completely empty.
According to owner Dean Carr, customers are buying the soon-to-be-banned guns at an unprecedented rate.
“All of our customers are coming out and really speaking with their wallets about what the government is trying to do for their sports, their hobbies, and their personal wealth,” Simper said.
Simper said he is in favor of common-sense gun laws that help keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have guns.
He points to the fact that Canada already has strict gun laws such as extensive lifetime background checks that monitor gun owners’ police interactions every 24 hours. There are also complaint lines for the police to monitor potentially dangerous individuals that own firearms.
“If you get on this list, they will come and take your guns from you,” he said.
He thinks these guns are good for the community because they help keep people safe, but wants to make sure that if these measures are in place they are actually being used by law enforcement.
“One thing people need to know when they talk about these new red flag laws is that these red flag laws already exist,” Simper said. “That being said, that system has been used. It was used on a Nova Scotia shooter years ago and the RCMP never followed suit. 22 people have died because of it, so if we have to install these systems So we really need to use them.”
Recent and ongoing gun violence in the United States has put gun ownership and gun reform in the spotlight across Canada. Asked why he thinks mass shootings don’t happen often in Canada, Simper said it’s a cultural difference.
“I was raised that firearms are for competition, entertainment, sport and the purpose of keeping food on the table,” he said. “The cultural difference in the United States is that you are raised to believe that you need a gun to defend yourself. We don’t have that in Canada, it’s a different society. We don’t have that,’ I need a gun because someone is out to pick me up.'”
The Canadian government is fighting to stop illegal guns from crossing the border with the United States. They have provided more than $312 million in new funding to increase firearms detection capability and implement stronger border control measures to fight gun smuggling and smuggling.
The Canadian government claims that in 2021, law enforcement agencies confiscated more than twice as many firearms at the border than in 2020, making it one of the top years in decades for firearms seizures.
Simper wants to see more border security to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
“We’re next to the biggest gun stores in the world,” Simper said. “Canadian Border Services said they cannot possibly inspect every train car crossing the border and this is unacceptable.”
Gun control advocates across the country are lauding the government for taking a stand against gun violence and making it harder for criminals to acquire guns.
The Coalition for Gun Control was founded in 1989 after the massacre at Montreal’s cole Polytechnique, in which 14 women were killed.
In a media release, the proposed legislation would strengthen screening processes for gun licenses, with a specific focus on risk factors associated with domestic violence, suicide and hate crimes, Coalition President Wendy Culkier said.
“The game changer is a proposed national ban on the sale and import of handguns that would stop the flow of these guns,” Cukier said. “Legal handguns are a significant source of handguns used in crime and these are the guns most often used in mass shootings. Canadians want them banned!”
Ken Price, father of 2018 Danforth Avenue shooting survivor Samantha Price, is relieved that the government is listening to the voices of the victims.
“For too long, and especially since 2015, the number of handguns in private hands has increased, and many of these have been stolen or diverted or used by license holders, leading to death and injury,” Price said. “This legislation will stop that part of the problem, and along with the other measures announced, will give Danforth families a feeling that public safety is being addressed.”
The new bill C-21 which was introduced recently is an updated version of a similar bill introduced in 2021 with the same name.
New modifications include:
- Implementing a national freeze on handguns to prevent individuals from bringing newly acquired handguns into Canada and buying, selling and relocating handguns within the country.
- Obtaining firearms licenses from people involved in acts of criminal harassment such as domestic violence or stalking.
- Fighting gun smuggling and smuggling by increasing criminal penalties, providing more tools for law enforcement to investigate firearms crimes, and strengthening border security measures.
- Addressing intimate partner violence, gender-based violence, and self-harm involving firearms by enacting a new “red flag” law that would enable courts to require that individuals perceived as a threat to themselves Or have others surrender their firearms to law enforcement, while protecting the person applying in a red flag process, which includes protecting their identity. In addition, the government will invest $6.6 million to help raise awareness of the new law and provide support to vulnerable and marginalized groups to navigate the provisions.
- In addition to this new law, the Canadian government would require the long-gun magazines to be permanently replaced so that they never held more than five rounds, and the criminal code prohibited the sale and transfer of large-capacity magazines. Give.
The bill has been read for the first time and is currently in the second reading in the House of Commons.