Canadians are concerned about rising firearm-related violence. Provinces and territories – as well as some large urban centres and First Nations communities – have identified firearm-related violence as a significant public safety issue in Canada. Some municipalities have raised risks posed by handguns and assault-style firearms.
The Canadian government has therefore introduced new firearms legislation to keep Canadians safe and guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
Through legislation and other actions the government will:
- Combat intimate partner and gender-based violence, and self-harm involving firearms by creating “red flag” and “yellow flag” laws. These laws would allow people, such as concerned friends or relatives, to apply to the courts for the immediate removal of an individual’s firearms, or to ask a Chief Firearms Officer to suspend and review an individual’s licence to own firearms.
- Fight gun smuggling and trafficking by increasing criminal penalties, and by enhancing the capacity of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency to combat the illegal importation of firearms.
- Help create safer communities by supporting municipalities that ban handguns through bylaws restricting storage and transportation in their jurisdictions. Individuals who violate these municipal by-laws would be subject to federal penalties, including licence revocation and criminal sanctions.
- Give young people the opportunities and resources they need to avoid criminal behavior by providing funding to municipalities and Indigenous communities to support youth programs.
- Protect citizens from gun violence by creating new offenses 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.
- Complete the prohibition of assault-style firearms to ensure these weapons cannot be legally used, transported, sold, transferred, or bequeathed by individuals in Canada. The government also intends to move forward with a buyback program in the coming months to support the safe removal of these firearms from communities.
This legislation builds on previous measures to keep guns out of communities, including prohibiting assault-style firearms and providing $327.6 million through the Initiative To Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence to support provincial, territorial and community-level prevention and enforcement efforts to tackle the increase in gun-related violence and gang activity.