According to Statistics Canada, in 2019, firearms were used in more than 40 percent of homicides in Canada. There were over 107,000 victims of police-reported intimate-partner violence in Canada in 2019; of 660 of them, a firearm was present. Women accounted for almost 8 out of 10 victims of all incidents and were more likely to be the victim in the 660 incidents where a firearm was present.
Communities across Canada have seen too many tragedies as a result of firearms. On February 16, 2021, the government introduced Bill C-21, legislation to amend the Criminal Code and Firearms Act to strengthen gun control in Canada, support handgun bans in our cities, and eliminate all legal use of prohibited military assault style firearms among other measures. Currently, Bill C-21 is at its second reading in the House of Commons.
This legislation ensures that the 1,500 assault-style weapons that we banned last year in May can’t be used or sold again. We are also moving forward with a buyback program in the coming months to remove these weapons from our communities for good, and we will be supporting municipalities in the banning of handguns through bylaws. The proposed legislation will also prevent self-harm and gender-based violence by creating laws that allow friends and family to come forward to the police if they think a violent individual should have their firearms confiscated.
The government is continuing this critical work to take every step necessary to combat gun violence and keep Canadians and communities safe.
Budget 2021 proposes to:
- Provide $312 million over five years, starting this year, and $41.4 million ongoing, to implement legislation to help protect Canadians from gun violence and to fight gun smuggling and trafficking. Funding will support the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency, and Public Safety Canada, and builds on investments made in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement. These measures will fight gun crime in our communities and keep Canadians safe.