June 17, 2024
Liberals and even the Toronto Star admit handgun bans miss the mark
Bill Blair's recent admissions are especially interesting because a ban would almost certainly be good politics for the Liberals, even if not good policy.
Bill Blair’s recent admissions are especially interesting because a ban would almost certainly be good politics for the Liberals, even if not good policy.

You may not have noticed amid all the other news, but the cause of banning handguns in Canada took two serious body blows in recent days. Good.

The first and most important was an announcement by Bill Blair, the federal Liberals’ minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction. Blair has been looking into cracking down on legal gun ownership in Canada for months, as part of a government promise to investigate whether Canada’s gun control laws are sufficient in the wake of some high-profile shootings. Though Blair concluded Canada can do more, and rumours continue to swirl about a possible ban of the AR-15 rifle (and perhaps other semi-automatic rifles), Blair said he had concluded that a handgun ban wasn’t necessary. Instead, he says a re-elected Liberal government would work with municipalities to consider whether the laws governing how firearms are stored need to be strengthened.

It’s hard to know exactly what to make of that — it could be relatively benign, or it could be some silly and logistically impossible plan to require central storage of privately owned firearms. (Good luck finding a building that can safely hold thousands of firearms while also being accessible and convenient for legitimate sports shooters.) I’ll set that matter to the side for a moment, and save it for a future column once more information is known. What’s worth discussing now is something else Blair said.

In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Blair explained why the government had decided against banning handguns. “I believe that would be potentially a very expensive proposition,” Blair said, referring to the potential costs of a massive buyback of almost a million lawfully owned guns and their related accessories. “But just as importantly,” he told the Globe, “it would not in my opinion be perhaps the most effective measure in restricting the access that criminals would have to such weapons, because we’d still have a problem with them being smuggled across the border.”

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See Also:

(1) The Trudeau Liberals are wrong to duck a handgun ban

(2) Mentally-ill attacker who targeted Canadian soldiers a terrorist — Crown

(3) Some changes made to Canadian fighter jet requirements as new document sent to companies

(4) Elections Canada and the social media mess up

(5) Military allows F-35 to be promoted at fighter jet base in midst of $19B competition

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