The liberal government’s plan to tighten firearms laws by freezing handguns is backed by limited data on the measure’s potential impact on reducing crime, the House Public Safety Committee said Oct. 4. was interviewed.
“We cannot say exactly what impact it will have,” Deputy Minister of Public Security Talal Dakarbab told the commission.
Dakarbab was answering questions from Conservative MP Dane Lloyd.
“Canadian people will want to know that we’ve done research that results will lead to enhanced public safety,” Lloyd said.
“Has the department conducted such research or analysis that indicates that these programs improve public safety?”
Dakarbab shared some of the data available to his department regarding the rise in handgun ownership in the country, indicating that no investigations have been conducted.
He said handgun ownership has increased by 50% over the past decade, and reports of handgun thefts have increased in his department.
Dakarbab said the freeze on handgun transfers is to address not only gang violence, but also domestic violence and suicide.
“We have data on how gun suicides and suicide attempts are significantly increased.”
Liberals are seeking to address the country’s growing gun violence through Bill C-21, which freezes handgun transfers. The bill passed his second reading in the House in June.
As a temporary measure before the bill is passed, the government banned the import of handguns in mid-August.
Bill C-21 also includes a “red flag” provision to confiscate firearms from individuals who are considered a danger to themselves or others, increasing penalties for some firearm crimes. increase.
At the same time, liberals are pushing for a bill to remove the mandatory minimum sentence for some firearm crimes to act as an “anti-racist” measure to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous and black adults in prisons. We would like to pass C-5.
Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino also attended the committee meeting and was asked whether an investigation had been commissioned into another issue of the federal buyback program for “assault-style” firearms. did not.
“You are about to embark on a program that could reach billions of dollars. Did you ask for an investigation to show that you were doing that?” Lloyd asked.
“I have spoken to the victims,” Mendicino replied before being cut off.
“Have you commissioned a study to prove this?” said Lloyd.
“Of course we are very careful about the cost, and we are still looking into it,” Mendicino replied, referring to the cost of the program but not its effectiveness.
Last year, the Congressional Budget Officer Estimate A repurchase price of over $750 million without administration fees.
Lloyd proposed an engagement paper Titled “Reducing Violent Crime: A Dialogue on Handguns and Assault Weapons” created by Mendicino’s division in 2018.
He quoted the statement, “Data do not conclusively show that banning these handguns or assault weapons has led to a reduction in gun violence in all cases.”
The paper cites examples of handgun policies in Australia and the UK, as well as the US ban on “assault weapons” that expired in 2004.
Some states have recently said they won’t cooperate with buybacks, which they call “forfeitures.”
Alberta announced on Sept. 26 that it would not cooperate with the federal buyback program, asking it to follow suit with the province’s RCMP.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba have since joined Alberta, saying the program is aimed at law-abiding citizens and that police resources should be directed at criminals.