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Gun control amendment a must, says Trudeau

Trudeau reiterated that assault-style weapons have no place in Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, center, greets workers of the Vital Metals processing plant.

SASKATOON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remained firm on the amendments made by the Liberal-led government banning handguns and other munitions, including those used for hunting during his visit to Sasktoon this week.

The amendment to Bill C-21, which purports to prevent gun violence and improve laws that involve firearms, proposes to ban a wide range of rifles, shotguns and other long guns.

Bill C-21’s amendment also aims to regulate and impose a federal freeze on handguns and other firearms.

The regulations on the national freeze on handguns, according to Public Safety Canada, came into effect on Oct. 21, 2022.

The amendment will also change the Criminal Code’s meaning of a banned firearm, which now includes rifles and shotguns that can discharge “centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner.”

A firearm “that is designed to accept a detachable cartridge magazine with a capacity greater than five cartridges of the type for which the firearm was originally designed,” the amendment continues.

During his visit to Saskatoon on Monday (Jan. 16), Trudeau addressed the issue after touring the Vital Metals rare earth minerals processing facility with city Mayor Charlie Clark.

He said  people have the right to defend and protect themselves, hunt and fish, but munitions deemed too dangerous must not be allowed in the country.

“As we've said, for a long time, there is no place for assault-style weapons designed to kill as many people as possible [and] as rapidly as possible anywhere in this country,” said Trudeau.

“We understand and respectably defend people's rights to hunt, fish, and protect, and you know, for farmers who are protecting their properties. But the reality is, some guns are too dangerous and shouldn't be anywhere in Canada.”

He added that the federal government is moving forward despite some sectors raising concerns about the bill and how it was rolled out.

“We're working with Canadians across the country with various organizations and groups to make sure that people understand that we're not going after [the] people's right to hunt, particularly non-Indigenous peoples, but we are ensuring that our communities are as safe as possible moving forward,” Trudeau said.