Our communities should be safe and peaceful places to live and raise children, but American-style gun violence is rising. 2019 saw the rate of firearm-related offences rise for the fifth straight year, and the homicide rate was the highest in a decade, with 40% of homicides involving firearms. That is why, in May 2020, we took action to put a ban on the use, sale, or import of assault weapons most used in mass shootings and implement a buyback program for owners.
At the same time, we are investing in prevention efforts and are providing $250 million directly to municipalities and Indigenous communities to give at-risk youth the opportunity to be engaged in activities to stop the spread of gang activity.
Conservatives vowed to repeal this ban with the support of the gun lobby, which would resume the proliferation of assault-style firearms in Canada. Liberals believe even stronger action is needed to get weapons designed for mass casualties off our streets and out of our communities.
A re-elected Liberal government will:
- Toughen our laws on banned assault weapons by making it mandatory for owners to either sell the firearm back to the government for destruction and fair compensation or have it rendered fully and permanently inoperable at government expense.
- Crack down on high-capacity magazines and require that long gun magazines capable of holding more than 5 rounds be permanently altered so that they can never hold more than 5 rounds
- Ban the sale or transfer of magazines that could hold more than a legal number of bullets, regardless of how they were intended to be used by the manufacturer.
- Set aside a minimum of $1 billion to support provinces or territories who implement a ban on handguns across their jurisdiction, to keep our cities and communities safe.
We would also continue to combat gender-based violence and fight gun smuggling with measures we have introduced such as:
- Lifetime background checks to prevent those with a history of abuse against their spouse or partner from obtaining a firearms license.
- “Red flag” laws that would allow immediate removal of firearms if that person is a threat to themselves or others, particularly to their spouse or partner.
- Increased maximum penalties for firearms trafficking and smuggling from 10 to 14 years imprisonment.
- Enhancing the capacity of the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency to combat the illegal importation of firearms.
Conservatives do not support these reasonable and important measures and will weaken protections that currently keep Canadians safe.