Written by By Carley Porter, CNN
Ottawa is forging ahead with legislation to remove certain handguns from sale and province to province, targeting handguns that “pose a threat to public safety.”
The move comes less than a month after at least three people were killed in a mass shooting at Toronto’s Greektown entertainment district. The assailant was killed by police.
Shortly after the Feb. 14 attack, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale spoke at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa about the need to deal with handguns and other weapons.
“All Canadians, after the tragic events of a week ago, understand it is urgent that we deal with this. It is urgent,” Goodale said, adding that there has been a nine-year decline in handgun related crime in Canada, but that there has been a resurgence of gun violence in Toronto in particular, according to officials in Canada’s capital.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier on Friday said the government will move ahead with the legislation “as soon as possible,” without specifying an exact date. He made the remarks as he arrived to host his G7 counterparts in Charlevoix, Quebec.
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his desire to reduce the use of semi-automatic weapons in the U.S.
“No more guns! Nice!” Trump tweeted.
The president earlier made similar remarks at the Conservative Party Leadership Convention, tweeting: “Thank you to a man that is totally focused on the safety and security of our United States. Thank you, Mike B.,” in reference to former Conservative Party leadership candidate and Toronto Mayor John Tory.
Both Canada and the U.S. are the world’s largest market for firearms, according to a January report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, although they account for only 15% of the world’s total firearm production. The report also pointed out that international trade in firearms is concentrated in countries with large markets for firearms, particularly the U.S. and China.
Canada’s last attempt to implement a national ban on handguns came in 1995, after the country lost 14 of its athletes to a separatist separatist group called the FLQ in a gun battle near Montreal.