Guns

Explanation: Are firearms illegal in Canada? Answers to key questions

May 31 (Reuters) – The Government of Canada introduced legislation on Monday to implement a nationwide freeze on the sale and purchase of handguns as part of a package of handgun controls. fire which would also limit the capabilities of magazines and ban certain gun-like toys. Read more

The new legislation comes just a week after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in their classroom in Uvalde, Texas.

Here are key details about Canada’s gun control laws:

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ARE FIREARMS ILLEGAL IN CANADA?

No. Canada has much stricter gun laws than the United States, but Canadians are allowed to own firearms as long as they have a license. Restricted or prohibited firearms, such as handguns, must also be registered.

Canadians must be over 18 and pass a firearms safety course to hold a licence, which is renewed every five years.

Children between the ages of 12 and 17 can obtain a minor’s permit, allowing them to borrow non-restricted firearms such as most rifles or shotguns for hunting or shooting competitions, and to purchase ammunition.

Exceptions can be made for children under 12, including Aboriginal children, who need to hunt to support themselves and their families.

Indigenous peoples who engage in traditional hunting practices may not need to take a firearms safety course if it is too remote or expensive. Instead, they can apply for an alternative certification based on a recommendation from a community elder confirming that they have the necessary firearms knowledge.

Canada banned the sale and use of approximately 1,500 models of assault weapons, such as the AR-15 rifle, two years ago following a mass shooting in Portapique, Nova Scotia. Scotland.

HOW MANY FIREARMS ARE THERE IN CANADA?

The number of registered handguns in Canada increased by 71% between 2010 and 2020, reaching about 1.1 million, according to the federal government.

A 2017 Small Arms Survey estimated that there were 12.7 million firearms in civilian possession in Canada, and there are approximately 34.7 firearms for every 100 people.

WHERE IS WEAPONS POSSESSION CONCENTRATED?

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, more than 2.2 million people held firearms licenses in 2020.

Most of them were in Ontario and Quebec, the two most densely populated provinces, followed by the western provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.

A 2019 Angus Reid survey found that most firearms in Canada are found in rural areas and are used for hunting and recreational shooting.

HOW MANY PEOPLE DIE FROM GUN VIOLENCE IN CANADA?

The firearm homicide rate in Canada is 0.5 per 100,000 population, compared to 4.12 in the United States, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington said in a 2021 analysis.

HOW MANY MASS DRAWS HAS CANADA RECENTLY HAD?

1989 – 14 female engineering students are killed in their classroom at École Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec.

1992 – four professors are shot dead by a colleague at Concordia University in Montreal.

2006 – a gunman kills a woman and injures 19 others in a shooting at Dawson College in Montreal.

2016 – a teenager killed four people in La Loche, Saskatchewan.

2017 – six Muslim men were killed in a shooting at a Quebec mosque.

2020 – a gunman driving a fake police car shot 13 people and killed nine others in a fire he started in Portapique, Nova Scotia.

IS THERE OPPOSITION TO STRONGER ARMS CONTROL?

A March 2021 poll by polling firm Leger found that 66% of respondents said there should be stricter gun control in Canada.

Gun rights advocates oppose the latest measures. The Canadian Coalition for Gun Rights called the new legislation “a massive punch”.

Alberta Firearms Chief Teri Bryant said the government’s proposed freeze on handgun sales would be a “huge intrusion” on property rights and privacy and called it of “signal of virtue” by the government.

She called for more firearms officers to be hired to provide faster and more thorough screening instead.

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Reporting by Nia Williams

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.