Presumed law-abiding gun owners shop at a gun show in Texas, where no records of sales are kept (Photo: M&R Glasgow Photography, Wikimedia Commons).

Scream as they might about the idea of a ban on handgun ownership by Canadians, it is interesting to note that the tactics used by advocates of wide-open ownership of firearms against the so-called long-gun registry combined with the legislative strategy pursued by their allies in the Conservative federal government during its decade in power opened the political space that now makes it possible to consider outright bans.

Last week it was reported that federal Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair had floated the idea of such a ban on handguns after a retreat by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet in Sherbrooke, Que.

Federal Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair (Photo:

In its coverage of Mr. Blair’s hint, the CBC reported that whatever he has come up with is based on several months of consultations about “ways to restrict access to firearms for gang members and other criminals” with stakeholders in all parts of Canada.

Of course, since there is no way to escape the potential for gun violence in a society that encourages widespread gun ownership and includes a fanatical cadre of advocates who see owning firearms as a fundamental right, we are all stakeholders whether we like it or not.

And even if we disagree about the best way to deal with the problem, it is hard not to concede that there is a problem with handgun possession and crime in Canada’s big cities. Fortunately, since Canada’s constitutional history is quite different from that of the United States, there are no constitutional barriers to finding effective solutions to the problem of gun violence.

Readers will recall that when the Liberal Government of prime minister Jean Chretien created the so-called long-gun registry in 1995, there were howls of protest and organized resistance from gun-ownership advocacy groups that modelled themselves on the U.S. National Rifle Association.

Despite a significant reduction in the number of deaths by rifles and shotguns in the years after the establishment of the registry, advocates of wide-open gun ownership portrayed it as an unjustified attack on law-abiding gun owners, a phrase used so often it has come to be abbreviated as LAGOs.

Many of these groups advocated tactics of foot-dragging, non-compliance and outright defiance of the registration requirements.

The Conservative Party of Canada under Stephen Harper seized on this as a good wedge issue in rural regions that might otherwise vote NDP, such as Northern Ontario, and suburban redoubts tempted to vote Liberal.

The Conservatives were abetted in this by the scandalous cost of the registry, about which the Liberals were rightly excoriated. However, that cost arguably made the waste worse when the Harper Government not only shut down the registry soon after it won a majority in the 2011 federal election but ordered, to the horror of most police forces including the one then led by Mr. Blair, that its records be destroyed.

Gun advocates celebrated what seemed to be a decisive victory for them.

St. Albert-Edmonton MP Michael Cooper (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Since then, advocates of unrestricted gun ownership continue to use the same tactics – for example, telling long-gun owners to delay registering their weapons with Quebec’s new provincial long-gun registry. And so do the Conservatives – just days ago I received a flyer from my St. Albert-Edmonton MP, Conservative Michael Cooper, complaining tautologically that “when it comes to gun crime, law-abiding firearms owners are not the problem.”

What the Conservatives and the gun advocates may not have yet noticed since their legislative victory in 2012, though, is that the times they are a’changin’, at least as far as gun-safety laws go. Since then – for whatever reasons, and naturally there is plenty of disagreement about that – gun violence particularly involving handguns has come to be perceived by the public as a serious problem in Canada’s big cities. There is an appetite for action.

And this is where the sad story of the long-gun registry – and particularly the vandalistic destruction by Mr. Harper’s government of the data collected in it, regardless of the cost of the database – becomes relevant to the question of how to solve the problem of violence perpetrated with handguns in Canada.

An argument could certainly be made that the problems associated with handgun ownership in big cities could be eased or even solved through more stringent regulation, better registries, regulated storage sites, and so on.

But we know from practical experience with the long-gun registry that some gun advocates will go to any length to undermine such laws, and they will be aided and abetted by the Conservative Party of Canada, which if elected again would undo whatever has been achieved in order to satisfy its Americanized, red-meat base.

This opens the door, thinking practically, to more radical solutions: to wit, an outright ban on handguns that will sweep up large numbers of such weapons, with penalties severe enough to make even defiant gun owners think twice about hiding them around their residences.

Even if a future Conservative government were to undo such a ban, short of a national program to give away pistols it would be hard for them to restore the numbers of handguns to the country that had been taken off the streets by such a powerful measure.

So the success of the wannabe NRAs of Canada and their allies in the Conservative Party could be their undoing if the Trudeau Government has the courage to follow through on a handgun ban – about which, as noted here earlier, I am pessimistic.

Gun advocates and Conservatives will argue that a ban is not the best of all possible solutions, and in an ideal world, that might be true.

But since their base position is wide-open ownership – which inevitably means more guns in the hands of criminals as well as LAGOs, and more LAGOs who instantly turn into criminals with the pull of a trigger – the best of all possible solutions, whatever it might be, is simply not possible.

The best solution to gun violence that is actually possible in Canada in 2019 is an outright ban on handguns. The longer it lasts, even if it is eventually undone, the more good it will do.

NOTE: For reasons previously discussed, the author reserves the right to restrict comments on this post to 300 words.

Join the Conversation


    1. I agree with you about following the rules, the problem is the gun crimes are committed by illegal guns by criminals and that will not change by bans legal hand guns. Just hurting the legal gun owners.

      1. “….the problem is the gun crimes are committed by illegal guns by criminals”
        First of all a portion of these crimes are domestic. i.e. killing someone you know with your “legal” gun.
        Second, the amount of gun violence is directly proportional to the availability of guns legal and otherwise.
        Third, a handgun has one major purpose, to kill humans. Who do you want to kill?

        1. Valid license holders account for roughly 0.1% of all homicides with firearm.

          Gun violence has actually been decreasing for decades (regardless of a long gun registry or not) while firearms ownership has increased dramatically.

          Handguns have no specific purpose, the individual in possession of the firearm determines its usage. There are a plethora of competitive shooting sports that use handguns exclusively.

          Your post is blatantly false, completely ignores the problem of gun smuggled into the country (only 9% of firearms linked to a violent crime trace back to a Canadian source) and is merely an attempt to garner support for a ban on something you do not understand.

          The statistics are out there for all to see and easily debunk your claims. Please research before commenting.

          1. Stipulate that 0.1% of homicide by firearm is cause by holders of valid licenses. Then
            a) What proportion of said homicides are caused by persons using handguns?
            b) Of these, how many of the handguns were has passed through the hands of a licensed owner?

            That is the statistic of interest. Where do the handguns used in homicides come from?

          2. Brad says “Valid license holders account for roughly 0.1% of all homicides with firearm.”

            Where does this come from? There are no national statistics for firearms homicides with a firearm after 2006. Gary Mauser, bigtime firearms advocate in BC, notes that of 18 homicides of police officers in 1997-2013, 3 were performed by licenced gun owners, a rate of 17%.

            The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians policy statement by Carolyn Snider from 2008 notes several statistics culled mostly from Ontario data, showing 26 of 61 firearms (42%) used in 76% of homicides in Toronto region were performed by the registered owners.

            “In 2006, police recovered 61 (36%) firearms that had been used in homicides.26 Of these, 18 (30%) were registered (i.e., 12 rifles or shotguns, 4 handguns and 2 sawed off rifles or shotguns). Police were able to determine ownership in 45 (74%) cases: 26 were owned by the accused, 2 by the victim and 17 by another person (10 of these were reported as stolen).”

            You’ll have to google “CAEP Position Statement on Gun Control” yourself on that one.

            The best source of statistics – StatsCan – does not even have these statistics from their 2012 survey, likely because their collection methodology was interfered with by the Harper Conservatives catering to its gun-owning base. This has made it awfully hard for you to prove your bogus statistics, so please do shut up until you can put up.

          3. Thank you for this, Zalm. I think most supporters of common-sense gun safety laws are overwhelmed by the reams of statistics inevitably spewed out by gun-ownership fanatics. One often suspects they are just made up, or at best spun beyond all recognition. But who has the time to research this stuff? It’s refreshing to see statistics from a credible source that make sense in light of what we all know about guns. DJC

        2. Point 1. Crimes are committed by criminals, hence the name. Domestic does not mean “someone you know”. A gun, or firearm, is an inanimate object. it can’t do ANYTHING by itself.

          Point 2. Violence is violence. Gun violence is a media made up name. If you’re more than 16 years old you’ve probably heard or read the expression “if it bleeds, it leads.” by the way, that’s the American media. we just copied it.

          Point 3. A handgun, or any firearm probably has the potential to kill. So does a sedan, truck, van, SUV, snow machine, kitchen knife, computer, food tray, pen, telephone,,,,,, you get the message. I hope. But I get the feeling I’m wasting my time.

          Here’s a rhetorical (that means I don’t expect an answer) multi part question: Have you EVER exceeded the posted speed limit whilst driving/riding a motor vehicle and/or have you EVER driven/rode a motor vehicle whilst impaired by ANY drug, including alcohol?

          Thought so.

          1. Most criminal use of firearms in Canada involves Illegal firearms. The majority of which are traced back to the United States.

    2. As I never tire of pointing out, most gun crime is gang crime, done by members with extensive arrests, plea bargains and short spells behind bars. Only a small fraction of criminals use guns. Identify them, apply the maximun sentences, and watch the statistics drop.
      Solving gun crime by taking guns away from non criminals is like solving impaired driving by taking cars away from sober drivers.
      Besides, murder by handgun is declining in Canada.

    3. My understanding is that because of the screening process , licensed owners are only a third as likely to commit any crime relative to the general public. I believe that’s lower than police officers. just saying.

    4. Recent increases in firearm homicides are largely due to criminal gangs using illegally possesed firearms. In no way does disarming legal firearm owners reduce the likely hood of gang members commiting homicides by any means. Legal firearms owners in Canada commit offenses at a lower rate than the rest of the population, so your postulate while emotionally convincing is factually untrue. The ridiculousness of the Liberal’ s plan to reduce firearm crime by disarming the people less likely to commit crimes cannot be overstated. They propose to ban legally owned”Assault rifles” ( already illegal in canada for many years) to combat gang violence using illegal handguns, -only 9% of all homicides are commited with rifles and shotguns, pretty much 0 for the rifles they want to confiscate. More homicides are commited with fists feet and knives than with all types of firearms , so why are they not banning karate clubs?

  1. I’d add a provision that anyone who ever so much as even hints or whispers at threatening gun violence should be banned from owning any gun, forever. Period. End of story.

    I am no doubt somewhat biased because I have a personal history of being 10 years old in rural AB and my mother screaming from the basement to me to call the RCMP because my drunken alcoholic stepfather was shouting about how he was going to shoot us all with his 30-06.

    And I did phone the RCMP. And then the RCMP in our small rural AB town came and took his gun and then the RCMP returned it to him about 6 weeks later. This was in 1970.

    But I still read too stories today about women and children across north America being shot and killed by their violent fathers to believe that much has changed.

    I still own rifles for hunting, FWIW. And have read the online hunting and gun ownership forums about guns and registries, intermittently, over the last 2 decades or so.

    And because I do this reading, on balance, if I was pressed into a black and white choice, I’d argue for a complete ban on guns and rifles. Aside from the risk of guns not secured properly getting into the hands of criminals, too many of my fellow gun owners are somewhat or a lot authoritarian/fascist in their thinking. IMHO, a segment of men with guns in AB/Canada/USA hold views similar to those of the men who formed the black and brown shirts in Europe in the 1930s, views that are just bubbling around waiting ready for activation by their modern day equivalent of Mussolini or Hitler.

    I am aware that my statement/characterizations will be viewed by some as inflammatory hyperbole. I can only say that you should take some time to read for yourself the views that are stated online. And then mull whether guns should be so easily available.

    Sam Gunsch

    1. I sympathize with your terrible experiences as a child. I was blessed with reasonable, sensible parents. My father was a target shooter and hunter who taught us to respect all people as well as the power of firearms. Firearms exist, period. That cannot be undone. The solution is not to ban them, but to control who has access.

      Do you know how difficult it is to get legal firearms in Canada? I bet you don’t appreciate the process given your history. Legal gun owners are the most law abiding of people. The stats show this. Your self-described hyperbole is no “solution” to societal ills will be wasted effort and money; wasted resources means the real issues will be left ignored, i.e. alcoholism. You are targetting the wrong people, because it’s not about the tools bad people use to hurt others. It’s about BAD people. Deal with them and leave your gun owning neighbours alone.

      I don’t have a fascist bone in my body, but I do ask that you leave me and my family alone. We are not and will not be hurting anyone. In fact, the opposite is true.

    2. I agree with your overall view Sam: However, as long as we have drugs prohibition we are going to have gun violence. So sure, ban handguns, but you will be working against two almost irresistible economic forces. One is the demand for drugs and the other is the need to regulate that drug trade by organized crime – the more effective the ban, the greater the economic counter-force. Conservative politicians support and enable prohibition for obvious reasons. Big business loves anything that discredits the credibility of government and tilting at windmills like long gun ownership plays right into their hands as well.

      With all due respect for the social harms associated with long guns, it is more sensible to simply leave the rural folk alone and ban handguns. Don’t waste the state’s collapsing credibility by tilting at windmills. Let’s have some real change to deal with the real crimes against our environment or the income inequality which produces so much unnecessary misery. This is just Ottawa diverting attention from greater to comparably smaller crimes.

      1. Yes I highly doubt we’ll ever see long guns banned. I’d posed the black or white choice scenario in part to reflect how strongly I feel about violence done with guns. And imho to expand on my take on the political views of a small, maybe very tiny slice of long gun owners political views, if our governance systems unravel in a reactionary direction toward authoritarianism/fascism including policing, there is a slice, perhaps a very small slice of long gun owners that will be lethal threats to the rest of us. My guess is they’d be overjoyed to operate under the leadership of extreme authoritarian/fascist type of political leaders… we’ve recently seen a bit of this cropping up under Brazil’s Bolsonaro for the latest real life scenario.

        1. Brazil has a total gun ban, yet gun crime is so bad their new president wants his people to be armed to protect themselves. You mention authoritarian regimes. They disarm their public first. Happened in 1930s Germany and recently Venezuela.

          Every country that has banned guns has seen a dramatic increase in gun violence. The UK and Australia specifically.

          Yet countries with high gun ownership, Switzerland, has very low gun crime.

          1. Fake news. Misinterpretation. Misleading stats. Typical of the gun nut crowd, which just makes stuff up. Germany did not disarm its population in the 1930s. The Wiemar Republic had strict gun control; the Nazis relaxed it. Hugo Chavez armed the barrios; the place is thick with Kalashnikovs as a result. Gun control in Australia resulted in dramatic decreases in crime. That’s why it’s so popular – 80-90% public support. Gun violence in the UK is so low thanks to strict gun control laws that any “big increase” means little in practical terms, likely simply to be a blip. Despite relatively high gun ownership, Switzerland has a mass of strict regulations about registration, restrictions, prohibited weapons etc., including a national long-gun registry. Speaking of high gun ownership, funny you don’t mention the United States. I know nothing about Brazil, but expect you’re significantly wrong about that too. Frankly, I don’t understand why our host tolerates the torrent of bullshit from people like you in his comments section. You should drop your antisocial activities and get yourself a life.

        2. Sam your observations about an authoritarian/fascist mentality are certainly accurate. However, that type of mentality comes right from the top. As any landowner confronting the theft and destruction of their farm or ranch land knows, there is little democracy or rule of law in rural Alberta, just the absolute impunity exercised by big business.

          There are no impartial regulatory tribunals, just ones owned and operated by big business. Appeals to the Courts are useless not only because of costs and time, but because the 44 years of industry captured government have changed the laws to tie the hands of Judges. That is fascism and it is no surprise rural people have little trust in government.

          The credibility of the state is collapsing because of “moderates” like Trudeau and Notley failing to change this. Just ask the BC natives who recently faced the machine gun toting agents of the pipeline company dressed up as police. Chris Hedges makes this observation better than I can here:

    3. Wow so you contend the rise of Hitler and the Nazis in Germany was because of gun owners? It had nothing to do with the hatred of Jews? Nothing to do with a leader who was bent on dominating the planet? Ban guns in the hands of citizens and you only open a free democratic society up to government, military and police abuse. People like you keep saying it could never happen here, history has proven you wrongmover and over again.

  2. David attacking responsible gun owners will never solve gun crimes. Almost all of the shootings in Canada are from illegal guns. You don’t stop drunk driving by banging cars. The massive cost to ban guns would be better spent on the root causes of the shootings.

    1. I’m tired of this old saw somehow comparing cars to guns.
      Cars are not manufactured with one purpose in mind… i.e. to kill.
      In the case of handguns the one purpose in mind is to kill people.

      1. You inane comment deserves a sarcastic but factual response.

        There are literally over 2 million licenced gun owners in Canada and that number is based on the current number of PAL licences and the defunct long gun registry. Due to the large degree of noncompliance when the registry was enacted, many experts place the number of Canadians owning firearms much higher. There are conservatively at least twice as many firearms owners as hockey players at all levels in Canada. Despite that, the number of fatalities directly attributable to licenced owners in 2016 (the latest years with available figures from Statistics Canada) was precisely 4.

        The atrocities being committed are being committed by CRIMINALS. Criminals, by their very definition, do not comply nor respect legislation. They are using weapons obtained illegally. Those same weapons are being smuggled into Canada by other criminals. Trying to legislate compliance does nothing to address the issue. Goodale has committed over $300 million to this anemic legislation which only punished those who are compliant with the law. It does nothing to address crime or anything to do with firearms being used illegally. That $300+ million would be far better spent actually giving police a better presence on the street.

        There are already numerous laws already on the books dealing with criminal acts involving firearms. Charging the Crown and the courts to actually enforce them would be a better utilization of resources.

        1. How you can say the number of directly attributable gun deaths due to licenced owners is 4 when StatsCan didn’t even collect that statistic is a puzzle. Here are the links to all the tables and interpretations. Missing, probably due to manipulation of StatsCan by Harper conservatives in past years, is any discussion of licencing.

          An earlier report by the Carolyn Snider of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians for 2006 shows Toronto had 26 homicides attributable to licenced gun owners alone, so I think your figures are quite wrong.

      2. You make a serious mistake in your arguments, a comprehensive registry on handguns has existed since the 70’s and handguns are the big problem. The registry has solved nothing so why were you hammering about the long gun registry, your comments make no sense. And the best part is the absolute confusion amongst anti gun folk when gun homicide from criminals does not change after legal owners have had their rights to own legal property trampled when gun owners commit less violent crimes then the average Canadian.

      3. Every parent better pull their kids out of karate or judo lessons then. I understand that they foster discipline and focus, but they were developed for the purpose of killing and maiming.

      4. On board aircraft radar was designed in WWII by the Germans for the sole purpose of killing, shooting down Allied bombers. I guess we should ban radar. Just because something was designed to do one job does not mean it cant be used for other reasons safely.

      5. I would argue that cars are made to kill people since many many more citizens die in and from cars in Canada than do from firearms, some even intentionally use a viechle to kill others. How about knives used in murders, very close in numbers to guns, maybe we should ban knives also? A gun is a tool and can do nothing on it’s own, in the hands of a criminal yes bad, in the hands of a law abiding citizen not bad and yet you and other ANTI GUN NUTS would remove them from everyone except the government enforcers and of course criminals.

    2. Actually, wouldn’t banning cars eliminate drunk driving? A drunk driver without a car is just a drunk. A gun is relatively easy to hide; a car not so much.

    1. When your argument against what a group of law-abiding individuals do as a hobby is so weak that you have to resort to slander, maybe it’s time to rethink that argument.

  3. Yes let’s ban firearms, because banning drugs worked so well, as did banning violence.

    Banning does not equal eradication.

    Stealing lawfully-owned property from 2.2 million Canadians does NOTHING to deter criminals who are causing the violence.

    If banning handguns seems a good idea, then you’re not thinking; you’re feeling. Examine the evidence — not the lies of the Lieberal-owned media, which they paid $600 million for with your tax dollars.

    1. Banning it will not solve the problem. Legal firearm ownership has been a part of our country since it’s foundation.

      In order to stop the illegal gun violence we have to give the police enough money to enforce the laws. End the failed wat on drugs that has been enriching the criminals that use the guns.

      Using your argument that banning guns because an extremely minority used them to call commit a crime is like the people calling for no muslim immigration because some of them are terrorists. It is wrong and won’t solve the problem.

  4. Guns have mostly been a very successful wedge issue for the right wing in Canada and the US so far. Calls of “they’re coming to take our guns” tend to result in an huge outpouring of political donations to the right parties that are against it and similarly mobilize the same people as political volunteers and voters for the same parties. Its why the Conservatives regularly raise this spectre in their fundraising letters to supporters, even when no real threat exists. Things are changing a bit in the US, where all the terrible school shootings are starting to weigh heavily on the public, but in Canada where we have more regulation and fewer high profile shootings, this issue hasn’t caught the attention of the public in the same way.

    Gun owners care about this issue – a lot, the rest of the public not as much. I suspect the Liberals, if they are seriously looking into this, have probably come to the conclusion that it might lose them more than it gains, particularly in a number of rural ridings they tenuously hold. Yes, it might gain them support in downtown Toronto, but that is not where they need to shore up their support at this time.

  5. I’m confused…
    Criminals/gang members are ALREADY prohibited from having handguns
    Licensed owners are proven statistically to not be criminals.
    All available evidence shows that the vast majority of handguns are smuggled from the US.
    Studies have been done that confirm that even if the very small numbers of Canadian sourced handguns disappear, they will simply be replaced by others from the US…

    Can you please just answer how banning handguns from the licensed users will affect anything at all?
    How is that Logical?

  6. This from an author who literally wrote a book advising politicians how to manipulate the media…

    Canada does not have a gun problem. Canada (and especially the GTA) has a GANG PROBLEM. Attacking legal laws abiding firearms owners who are statistically three times more compliant with Canadian laws is not the answer.

    We need to address the issues of radicalization, mental health, and gang violence! Instead, governments at both the civil and federal level have chosen to assault the most law abiding segment of society.

    These attacks were committed by two classes of individuals: radicalized fanatics or gang members with criminal histories using illegally acquired firearms! Yet Mayor John Tory went on NewsRadio 1010 on August 7, 2018, and suggested that over 100,000 legal RPAL licence holders leave his city!!! There was no mention of the gangbangers – the people responsible for all the shootings and violence in the GTA – being held to account for their actions. Even the Toronto Police service recognizes that a handgun ban will do nothing to stop this violence. On Sept 3, 2018, The VP of the Toronto Police Association went on record with the CBC by stating “…There’s no way in my world or any world I know that this would have an impact on somebody who’s going to go out and buy an illegal gun and use it to kill another person or shoot another person…”. Now, we have Montreal politicians following the same inept path.

    The recent claims that 50% of firearms used in crime has been proven false. An ATIP request made of the RCMP showed that, in fact, the number was drastically lower Further examination of that report showed that the RCMP automatically classify any firearm that they cannot immediately identify as “domestic”. For example, a firearm with the serial number removed is classified as domestic. A gun recovered from a watershed where identification marks have rusted away is classified as “domestic”. They even went so far as to include paintball and airsoft guns in their report as “domestic”.

    Here is the history of firearms legislation in Canada.

  7. Except that the CBC and ATIPs confirm we have a gang problem with ‘smuggled from the US guns’ not a domestically sourced problem with. Guns so ban everything and gang violence with guns will continue and, undoubtedly, get worse.
    An outright ban is smoke and mirrors and motivated by nothing related to actual crime or saving babies.
    It will create 2.2 million furious Canadians plus their friends plus their families and the political fallout for the Liberals will last generations. Much as what happened when Riel was unjustly hung. That storm raged for 100 years.
    Canadian don’t like being lied to and they don’t like injustice.
    Cars kill far more. Preventable medical error kills 20,000 a year, fentanyl is off the charts. Kicking sports shooters and duck hunters because if gangs with smuggled guns is convenient politicking that will backfire.
    Perhaps for a 100 years, like it did after the injustice of Riel.

  8. An Outright Banning of Handguns will Stop Gun Violence… That statement alone tells the informed the individual does not understand the problem. There is nothing in the world more dangerous than entrenched ideology sustained by sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity…

    1. Your lying misrepresentation of the claims being made is duly noted.

      Reducing the availability of handguns will reduce the frequency of injury and death caused by handguns. That is the claim, and only a liar or a deluded fantasist could deny it.

  9. Absolute NONSENSE. The average murder rate among Canadians is 1.8 per 100,000; when you run the calculation for those who have a firearms possession and acquisition licence (PAL or RPAL), that murder rate drops to only 0.6 per 100,000, the same as Switzerland or the Netherlands, and LOWER than the murder rate in the UK. The people committing murders in Canada are ALREADY prohibited from owning guns, just as they’re prohibited from possessing street drugs.

    1. Valued commenter ZALM has posted at least two comments in the very thread that show you to be wrong. It’s not the case that illegal gun violence is committed only by “criminals”, by which I take it you mean black kids in Toronto. You need to update your beliefs, even if they are precious to you for some reason.

  10. I get all our friends from the gotta have a rig crowd! I say? Tool up! Zip-guns for law abiding [email protected] losers! Oh and by the way! Don’t park your f$cking crap shyte quads in grass! That’s what burnt FMcM or don’t you get it by now!

  11. People writing these articles must not know how the current laws in canada work. In order to legally own a handgun you must pass a training course on the safe handling of one. You then need to apply and go through an extensive background check and have reference checks. Then you need to be an active member of a range or shooting club to have a legitimate reasob to own one. You also need another separate license to transport the firearm. The firearm must be double locked and unloaded and can only legally be shot at an approved range. All restricted firearms are registered and the owners can be subjected to searches. Their names are also run through q criminal record check daily. If anything comes up the police have the right to confiscate all firearms.

    So knowing this is already in place what makes you think any more laws will do to curb gang shootings? Need i remind you that shooting at someone is already illegal. Making it double super illegal isn’t going to stop anyone.
    We live next to the most gun happy country in the world. Guns are being smuggled in. Criminals already don’t follow laws. Its like how banning drugs did little to stem the flow, it just moved it underground. If someone wants to kill another person there are many ways they can go about doing it. Banning all guns won’t magically make crime and violence disappear. The only thing that might help is actually going after the criminals.

    If your neighbor likes mowing his lawn at 4am you dont go banning lawn mowers. You go and deal with him directly. Why is this any different?

  12. I think you don’t understand the laws here. LEGAL HANDGUNS ARE NOT ON THE STREETS. They must be LOCKED up at ALL times except when they’re at a gunsmith or the shooting range or if you’re cleaning it. In a car if you must stop they have to be locked in a lock box with a trigger lock, locked in the trunk of the car. In a pickup truck, if you must stop they have to be locked in a lock box, with a trigger lock, hidden out of sight and the vehicle locked. They also must take the most direct route to and from the destination, for which an authorization to transport has to be obtained, after recieving your RPAL, after recieving your PAL, both of which require background checks, waiting periods and reference checks. On top of all that they hit us with daily criminal checks. The author of this piece makes it sound like we are roaming the streets with handguns and are a pull of a trigger away from being criminals. If there’s something in the law that needs to be tightened up then let’s fix the problem, but this idea that a gun ban is going to solve anything is naive.

  13. What does the failed long gun registry have to do with pistols?
    Does this guy not know that all restricted firearms (such as handguns) are already registered with the CFO and RCMP?
    And how, exactly, would a handgun ban lesson firearm crime? It’s been proven (actual documentation) that a very very high number of firearms used in crimes have been smuggled in from the states. NOT domestically used, like that moron cop from Toronto claims.
    Lol, just more misinformation.

  14. nobody what always amazes me is that none of you antis seem to be scared of being killed by a car because it wasnt made to kill but the chances of it happening are still tenfold does it really matter what hurts or kill you im a lot more scared of being killed in a car accident than someone with a gun.

  15. So much false and misleading statements.
    Attact with all your might gang violence, gun smuggling and poverty. Do you really think that taking all the gun from legal owners will change anything? I just don’t see gang members and other criminals lining up to turn in their guns.

  16. Good luck with that.

    Some of us aren’t going to just lay down and give up our property.

    “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘ an unjust law is no law at all.” MLK

    1. Brave words.

      If this is the hill you want to die on, that might be arranged. Police authorities are pretty well able to deal with the 101st Chairborne.

      This is why I have no patience with firearms enthusiasts. It’s never really about the actual use of weapons, it’s about fevered fantasies and cruel fetishes.

  17. You keep bringing up the long gun registry which is unrelated to handguns, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this but EVERY legally purchased handgun in Canada is registered and tracked with automatic daily background checks on the owner. Nobody is going to sell a gun registered in their name, to gangs , for the same price that they bought it for. If someone was stupid enough to sell their registered handgun to a criminal, guess what? We’ll know who did it thanks to the restricted firearms registry. 98% of the guns I am seeing in police seizure news articles and pictures have a barrel lengths less than 105mm, Which is a prohibited firearm in Canada and means that it came from over the border, however the media tries to use it to push a legal handgun ban. It’s frustrating for me because I want to feel safe when I’m out and about with my family but all the liberal government wants to do is take MY GUN OUT OF MY SAFE, while the criminals who obtained them from over the border are still able to tuck compact pistols under their shirts and walk around wal-mart, festivals, hospitals ETC… All I’m asking is to think and observe the handguns from police busts before posting another gun ban article please. We all want safety for our families.

    1. Lyle: I “keep bringing up” the long-gun registry because it is related to the entire issue of gun-safety laws, including the idea of a handgun ban, for the reasons stated explicitly and clearly in the post. The point, at the risk of being pedantic and repetitive, was and is that by adopting the tactics they did against the long-gun registry, gun-ownership advocates created political conditions under which discussion of total gun bans became acceptable and had a realistic chance of succeeding in the court of public opinion. This argument is not too complicated and does not depend on either the long-gun registry being just for rifles, shotguns and the like, which is acknowledged here, or on the fact handguns already are required to be registered, which is also acknowledged. Readers are certainly welcome to dispute this opinion. It’s interesting, though, that everyone taking issue with this post hasn’t addressed its key argument and seems to have missed it entirely. One can only hope their marksmanship is better than their rhetorical skills! The fact gun-advocates constantly claim incorrectly that I am confusing long guns and handguns or not acknowledging the current registration laws suggests either that they are in such a hurry to get to the gun range that they do not read very carefully, or that they always retreat to the same arguments (which in my opinion are not very persuasive) so they can trot out reams of statistics and bore their opponents into silence. DJC

      1. Fact sir…handguns registered and restricted since 1934 has not stopped them from Being used to commit crimes or murder or served to keep them out of the hands of criminals.
        Fact sir…. dispite your assertion that the long gun registry somehow reduced gun crime it did not, it only served to show how inept the government was setting up a hugely expensive, wildly inaccurate and totally inefficient bureaucracy. Most guns used by criminals are handguns not long guns, mainly because it’s hard to hide a rifle or in modified shotgun, and by the way modifying a shotgun tomsawed off is illegal in this country along with fully automatic machine guns.
        Fact sir…… attacking and regulating and confiscating the property of law abiding citizens will never make society safer despite your contentions.
        Fact sir…..just keep ignore the statistics and the facts and you will only make society less safe for it’s citizens.

  18. I’m waiting for 2022 when StatsCan will do another survey that includes crime and THIS TIME will be permitted to find out how many licenced owners are involved in crime. The last one in 2012 was made nearly useless because the Harper Conservatives interfered with the survey to suit their base so the question never got asked.

    Various city and provincial police forces have data published in a variety of spotty surveys, but there is nothing national. In these cases the local data seems to indicate that licenced owners were involved in 20-40% of homicides. Given the very high rate of gun ownership in the Territories and Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta as well as the very high rate of intimate partner homicide (a statistic StatsCan was permitted to track in 2012 and 2016) I’m expecting to see that rate increase significantly.

    Gang guns are just a red herring that distract from the real causes of violence that affect the majority of Canadians every day.

  19. I don’t think our late friend and neighbour Bill Carmichael would have minded that I cite him posthumously here: a retired professor of mycology at an Alberta university, he and his wife Carole lived on a rural acreage on that relatively undeveloped stretch along the east slope of the Beaufort Range on Van Isle between Qualicum and Royston. Like all rural people we discussed the long-gun registration—not whether it was a good thing, he and I pretty much agreeing it was—but rather about how this issue had effectively turned unionized forest workers who used to be reliable NDP voters into Reform voters.

    I was still working out of logging camps in those days and was amazed at how thoroughly the toilet stalls had been equipped with Alberta Report and its spawn BC Report, the Byfield brothers’ right-wing publications which compiled condemnations of the long-gun registry (which I think actually incited the BC version) and, believe it or not, passed for highbrow literature in these stinky study carrels which otherwise featured more pictorial “reading.” For Bill and his immediate neighbours the issue involved protecting themselves from cougars, young males annually chased downhill into human settlements where they’d prey on house cats and family dogs. The long-gun registry was unavoidably related to the overbearing, bureaucratic process that’s supposed to follow the shooting of one of the big cats, they being supposed by urbanites as regally natural and naturally endangered. The actual abundance of cougars in this region and the nudge-wink-knowing-nod amongst neighbours that avoided the severe, reverse-onus approach of wildlife officials (who’re suppose to be advised whenever wildlife is shot without a permit) were easily wedded to the long-gun controversy. Nevertheless, Bill was one of the most pacific, law-abiding persons I ever met. When the conversation inevitably encompassed handguns, his only comment was typically as wise as it was simple: “Everyone should understand if you get caught with a handgun, you’re going to do time.”

    Having taken in every conceivable aspect of gun ownership, from putting down injured domestic animals to equipping timber cruisers against bear attacks, and in every kind of arena, I haven’t heard a more succinct suggestion than Bill’s. Sadly he’s gone, now, but I think his maxim’s still good.

  20. I think a lot of the posts miss the point of the article. It is not about whether gun violence is causing violent crime, or about whether banning hand guns will actually reduce crime. It is simply that by calling for relaxed gun laws, the hard core gun lobbies in Canada, are likely to cause a backlash. Gun owners numbered 2.2 million in 2018. The voting population is closer to 30 million. Even if every gun owner had a non-owner spouse…which is unlikely, the total amount of people supporting gun rights is still vastly outnumbered by people who often see guns as pointless. And when there are a lot of people who like myself, hold licences, and hunt, but feel semi-automatic and hand guns should be banned outright…the chances are a liberal government, with the support of any party but the conservatives could easily pass a ban, and make it stick. No court would do anything about it, as there are no “gun rights” in canada, never were..In British law, it has always been a privilege granted by the crown. A vocal few are going to screw it up for the rest of us, and then I wont be able to teach my kids or grandkids to hunt…all because someone want to sports shoot.

    1. I submit that Hunting IS “sport shooting” …
      And who will YOU complain to when they come for your bolt action “hunting rifle” , or your semi auto “duck gun” , because , you know, no one “NEEDS a gun of any sort “ ….
      And if they successfully banned handgun ownership, and the shootings continued, because the gangbangers were still in illegal possession of illegal guns smuggled illegally into the country from the states, what will the anti gun fanatics say then ?
      Oops ? Guess we were wrong ??
      If you really own guns , turn them in now. It’ll save the police the trouble of booting in your door .
      Take up something non violent … maybe , I don’t know , knitting ?
      Leave the fight to those of us who actually give a damn.

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