Will the Liberals’ ‘common sense’ gun law changes do anything to address the spike in gun violence?

Will the Liberals' 'common sense' gun law changes do anything to address the spike in gun violence?

Louis Andre Gregoire replaces a shotgun in the rack in a downtown Montreal outdoor store on May 16, 2006. Critics are asking whether the Liberal government’s new firearms law can help beat back a spike in urban gun violence. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press) As major Canadian cities face a spike in gun violence — Toronto has seen 10 people shot in just the last five days — local leaders are calling on the federal government to do more to help them grapple with a wave of gang-related crime. In response to these pleas, the federal Liberals are pointing to their multi-million dollar spending plan for a guns-and-gangs initiative, and new legislation Ottawa says will tighten the country’s firearms regime and keep more guns out of the hands of criminals. But will the bill slow the circulation of crime guns used to commit these increasingly brazen homicides ? Liberals have pitched the bill, C-71, as a collection of "common-sense measures that will crack down on illegal handguns and assault weapons, creating safer communities" while "protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners." The changes were explicitly promised in the last Liberal election platform as a way to reverse a decade’s worth of Conservative government changes to gun rules that the Trudeau government claims have bolstered gun-related crime. Critics maintain the bill is nothing more than a symbolic sop for gun control advocates that will penalize lawful gun owners by burdening them with unreasonable regulations. Advocates say troubling crime stats demand action. […]

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