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What Will Trudeau's Draconian Handgun Ban Actually Accomplish?

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday a sweeping gun control measure that bars law-abiding citizens from buying, selling, or transferring handguns within the country or bringing newly purchased ones into it.   


The handgun freeze was first announced in May as Bill C-21 was introduced, but the Trudeau government grew impatient waiting on Parliament and decided to take immediate action “through regulations to keep Canadians safe.”


The national handgun freeze is part of the government’s comprehensive plan to tackle gun violence. We have already banned over 1,500 types of assault-style firearms and have strengthened our gun control laws to expand background checks. Bill C-21 proposes further measures to keep guns out of the wrong hands like revoking the firearms licences of those involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment, continuing to fight gun smuggling and trafficking, and providing law enforcement more tools to investigate firearms crimes.


Critics say the move is completely unjustified as even Canadian statistics show that violent crime involving firearms accounts for just 2.8 percent of all violent crime reported by police in 2020.

The Canadian government has also acknowledged in recent years that the “vast majority of owners of handguns and of other firearms in Canada lawfully abide by requirements, and most gun crimes are not committed with legally-owned firearms.”

But Trudeau has nevertheless figured “fewer guns mean safer communities” – even though Canada is already pretty darn safe.


The top Canadian city on the list of the world’s most murderous cities was Thunder Bay with 6.35 murders per 100,000 (by all types of weapons). That might sound like a lot, but Thunder Bay’s murder rate would make the northern Ontario city just 59th-worst in the U.S. 

We sometimes hear scary phrases and headlines, such as “Summer of the Gun” and “raging gun violence.” Yet homicide rates (all weapons) in Canada’s 10 largest cities wouldn’t even get one of them into the top 100 in the US.

The four Canadian cities where pollsters find the greatest support for gun control – Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver – have not only among the lowest homicide rates in the country, they have among the lowest homicide rates in the world.

For instance, Toronto had 1.62 murders per 100,000 population last year. St. Louis (No. 1 for murder in the U.S.) had nearly 70 murders per 100,000 – 43 times the rate in T.O. Montreal and Vancouver had murder rates below 1.0 per 100,000.

As a country, we’re 10th on the Global Peace Index, the Americans are 128th. I’m not sure we could design a gun control program that would make us much safer. (Toronto Sun)

In sum, Trudeau’s draconian move will do next to nothing to reduce gun crime in Canada, as one of the main issues is that most guns used in crimes are being illegally smuggled in from the U.S. So, much like gun control efforts in America, the biggest losers are law-abiding citizens. 


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