Two years ago, the Liberal government banned more than 1,500 types of firearms.
The federal government’s Bill C-21 puts new measures in play, including a national freeze on handguns that prevents individuals from buying, selling, and transferring handguns within the country. Current owners would still be allowed to own them but could not transfer ownership except to a business or an individual who had an exception.
Additionally, the Government of Canada will require alteration to long-gun magazines so they can never hold more than five rounds. Large-capacity magazines will be banned under the Criminal Code.
“One Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier this week. “I’ve seen all too well the tragic cost that gun violence has in our communities across the country. Today, we’re proposing some of the strongest measures in Canadian history to keep guns out of our communities and build a safer future for everyone.”
Alberta’s UCP government says the new federal rules surrounding handguns target law-abiding firearms owners instead of criminals.
In a release issued to media Wednesday, the Government of Alberta says the new rules amount to a federal ban on handguns that puts a burden on owners instead of on violent criminals. Additionally, the UCP sees new magazine capacity limits for sporting rifles also target law-abiding firearms owners instead of those using guns to commit crimes.
“Federal Bill C-21 represents a major infringement on the property rights of law-abiding Albertans. It fails to address the substantive issues at the root of violent gun crime and does not take meaningful steps to help protect Canadians,” said Tyler Shandro, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. “The money being spent on this misstep could be used in so many better ways that could actually help keep Albertans safe.”
Shandro is not alone in his condemnation of the changes. Teri Bryant, Alberta’s chief firearms officer said the feds are once again targeting law-abiding firearms owners instead of going after the criminals who are the source of Canadians’ public safety concerns.
“We need to put more boots on the ground to ensure only those fit to possess a firearm responsibly are licenced and to stop the flow of illegal guns at our border,” Bryant said. “The federal approach does not reflect what Albertans want or need.”
Additional measures in Bill C-21 will take away firearm licences from those involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment, including stalking, and create a new red flag law that would enable courts to require that individuals considered a danger to themselves or others surrender their firearms to law enforcement.