"We are not targeting law-abiding citizens who own guns to go hunting or for sport shooting.The measures we're proposing are concrete and practical", Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa. "We all know there will be plenty of politics, but let's not forget what this is about, saving lives".
Data from Statistics Canada shows firearms were involved in 49 per cent of all homicides nationwide in 2019.
The Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights, a group that represents gun owners, said last week that it would oppose any measures that lead to the "confiscation of legal guns from RCMP-vetted gun owners". "We rely on the rule of law, not the end of a gun, for our safety", Blair added.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government looked very carefully at buyback programs elsewhere, including in New Zealand and Australia, where stiff penalties occur for not turning weapons in, and determined an optional model was "most effective". They would have to agree not to use the weapons, to import or acquire any more of them or to bequeath them to anyone else. During the 2019 federal election campaign, the Liberals pegged the cost of the program at between $400 million and $600 million.
The buy-back program will be in place until April 30, 2022.
Additional measures to protect Canadians from gun violence include the creation of new offences for altering the cartridge magazine component of a firearm and depicting violence in firearms advertising, introducing tighter restrictions on imports of ammunition, and ensuring the prohibition of imports, exports, sales, and transfers of all replica firearms. Police and border guards will have greater powers to prevent smuggling across borders.
"We are backing up the cities with serious federal and criminal penalties to enforce these bylaws, including jail time for people who violate these municipal rules", said Trudeau.
Helping police trace guns used in crimes by requiring businesses to keep point-of-sale records for non-restricted firearms.
"The tragedies we have seen in Ste-Foy and Portapique, and more recently in Toronto and Montréal, should never happen".
There were over 99,000 victims of intimate partner violence in Canada in 2018, and firearms were present in over 500 of these incidents. Firearms played a role in over 500 of those incidents, and victim advocates across Canada and the US have called on governments to enact "red flag" laws to have guns removed from the homes of those deemed at risk of committing violence. Under Bill C-21, they will get their wish. This is coupled with a buyback program for the banned weapons that were purchased legally before their sale was outlawed and red flag laws. Those who promote hate could also have their guns seized, along with those at risk of harming themselves.
"Too many Canadians have been killed or injured because of gun violence, and we need to take every reasonable step to stop more Canadians from suffering the same fate".
Give young people the opportunities and resources they need to avoid criminal behaviour by providing funding to municipalities and Indigenous communities to support youth programs.