The feds will accelerate the ban on the importation of firearms

The federal government plans to accelerate the ban on the importation of firearms into the country without parliament’s approval through a regulatory measure that will take effect in two weeks, Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino announced on Friday.

The change will last until a permanent freeze is passed in Parliament and comes into force.

The government introduced gun control legislation in May that includes a nationwide freeze on the import, purchase, sale and transfer of firearms in Canada.

That law was not passed before Parliament took its summer break and will be debated again when MPs return to Ottawa in the fall.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said she has the authority to ban any import or export permits in Canada.

He said that until now an import permit system was not required for owners and companies to buy firearms in other parts of the world and bring them to Canada.

“Working with Marco, we came up with the idea to create this new permit application system,” said Joly. “But in the meantime, we will deny any permission.”

When the prime minister first announced the proposed legislation in the spring, Canada saw a spike in gun sales, Joly said, and this temporary ban will prevent stores from stocking guns while the bill makes its way through the law. House of Commons and the Senate. .

Government trade data shows that Canada imported $26.4 million worth of pistols and revolvers between January and June, a 52 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

The temporary ban will prevent companies from importing firearms into Canada, with some exceptions that mirror those in the legislation introduced in May.

The government will use the regulation to ban imports of firearms in two weeks. #GunControl #Guns #CDNPoli #C21

“Since almost all of our small arms are imported, this means that we are bringing our national freeze on small arms even sooner,” Mendicino said. “From that point on, the number of firearms in Canada will only go down.”

Mendicino and Joly announced the change outside a Catholic elementary school in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke, as children kicked soccer balls on the field behind them.

The NDP says the government should have anticipated the “frenzy” of gun sales when it introduced the legislation and considered it earlier.

“Instead, they failed to implement the regulations sooner and allowed preventable tragedies to occur,” NDP public safety critic Alistair MacGregor said in a statement.

But PolySeSouvient, a group representing survivors and families of victims of gun violence, applauded the government’s approach to freezing imports in a statement released Friday.

“This is a significant and creative measure that will undoubtedly delay the expansion of the Canadian firearms market until Bill C-21 is adopted, hopefully this fall,” said Nathalie Provost, a survivor of the shooting at the École Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989.

Conservative public safety critic Raquel Dancho said the measure targets law-abiding citizens and businesses rather than illegal and contraband weapons.

“Instead of addressing the true source of gun crime in Canada, the Liberal government is unilaterally banning imports without the intervention of Parliament, affecting a multi-billion dollar industry and thousands of retailers and small businesses, with very little advance,” Dancho said in a statement. after the ad.

In the announcement, Mendicino accused the Official Opposition of obstructing the passage of the bill and other gun control measures. Dancho, meanwhile, said Conservatives support tackling illegal gun smuggling and accused Liberals of driving a wedge in gun control and making communities less safe.

Mendicino said he has been visiting land borders over the summer to make sure the government has the necessary personnel and technology to tackle illegally smuggled weapons as well.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 5, 2022.

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