The Trudeau government’s gun control lawwhich notably provides for a freeze on sales and purchases of handguns, is generally seen as a step in the right direction, although not enough.
The Mayor of Montreal, who has repeatedly demanded that Ottawa legislate to better restrict access to firearms, is one of the satisfied politicians, up to a point.
“For me, this is a strong and important gesture that sends a signal that we must control the situation regarding firearms,” said Valérie Plante in a press scrum on Tuesday.
“It’s a strong gesture, but I will continue to ask for it to be a banishment [des armes de poing] forever”, she however tempered afterwards.
At the very least, the federal bill responds to a concern of cities, which had strongly criticized Ottawa in the past when the Trudeau government entrusted them with the responsibility of banning weapons on their territory.
“When a municipality decides on something and the municipality next door decides on something else, it is impossible to have an interesting control”, underlined the mayor of Quebec, Bruno Marchand.
“From the country’s point of view, if we do not act to restrict the entry of weapons, to control access to these weapons which are deadly and useless, Quebec will one day experience what Montreal is experiencing”, however, recalled the elected municipal official who hopes that Ottawa will continue its efforts.
A point of view shared by the leader of the Bloc Québécois, who proposed the creation of a police squad made up of Canadian and American agents to better monitor the smuggling of weapons.
“Preventing, by legal means, 50,000 weapons per year from entering the territory, it is a very good thing. It’s just that it’s not enough to guarantee the safety of our people, ”lamented Yves-François Blanchet.
“Weapons that are used almost every week in attempted homicides on the streets of Montreal are smuggled. Of course, the law does absolutely nothing about smuggling, except to increase the penalties [pour possession d’arme]added the Bloc leader.
The Minister of Public Security of Quebec, Geneviève Guilbault, for her part welcomed a step in the right direction from the federal government.
“I think it’s a good thing. We have been asking for a long time, both the government, the mayor of Montreal, and the government [fédéral] act more firmly on gun control. […] They are the ones who manage the borders,” she said.
Trudeau’s bill has also drawn attention south of the border, where Americans are once again embroiled in a debate over the place of guns in their society, following the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde who claimed the lives of 21 people, including 19 children, in Texas last week.
Various Republican lawmakers have criticized the bill, with some worrying about the influence it might have at home. “The dystopian future that Trudeau is demonstrating in Canada is coming to America if the citizens of the United States do not get involved,” said Thomas Massie, a congressman representing Kentucky.
Former New York City Police Commissioner Denard B. Kerik bluntly called the bill “Trudeau’s Canada’s final push toward communism.”