Reducing violent crime: a dialogue on handguns and assault-style firearms report released
April 11, 2019
Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our communities. Canadians must feel safe in their neighbourhoods and it is the responsibility of any government to ensure the safety and security of its citizens.
As part of its commitment to keep communities safe, the Government of Canada launched an engagement process in October 2018 to help inform policy, regulations and legislation to reduce violent crime involving firearms. Today, after hearing from Canadians across a range of issues, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, released the engagement summary report: Reducing Violent Crime: A Dialogue on Handguns and Assault-Style Firearms.
Throughout this engagement process, which included in-person roundtables, an online questionnaire, and written submissions, the government heard from stakeholders with a wide-range of viewpoints and experience.
The feedback received will assist the government in determining next steps as to any possible changes to firearms legislation and/or the Criminal Code, while not impeding the lawful use of firearms by Canadians.
The content of the report is a summary of what was expressed by Canadians through all forms of engagement. All conversations, submissions and online engagement were not a survey on the issue of reducing violent crime, but rather informed discussions in establishing a path forward in keeping Canadians safe.
“This summary report reflects what we heard and we appreciate the frank and open discussions that were had with Canadians during the roundtable sessions and bilateral meetings. Our government is committed to building on these discussions to help inform future measures to reduce violent crime in Canada, while respecting the lawful use of firearms by Canadians. We want to take this opportunity to thank all those that participated through roundtables, written submissions, online or in town hall meetings.”
- The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
Approximately 1,200 submissions were received by email, mail and fax, and 135,000 responses were recorded through the online questionnaire.
Eight bilingual roundtables were held in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Moncton; and Minister Blair hosted a series of bilateral meetings in communities across Canada.
The Government of Canada invested $327.6 million over five years to help support a variety of initiatives to reduce gun crime and criminal gang activities under the Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence.
While gun and gang violence is a priority, violent use of firearms in other situations including suicides and intimate partner violence remains of the utmost concern.
The Government introduced Bill C-71, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms, in March 2018 to strengthen Canada’s gun laws in a common-sense, focused and effective way. The Bill proposes to prioritize public safety and effective police work, while respecting law-abiding firearms owners.
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
Public Safety Canada
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