Everyone knows about how the NRA has hijacked the agenda and the nation-wide conversation about gun control in the United States. But few know how influential the Canadian gun lobby has been. The Canadian gun lobby is organized, well-funded and has ties to the NRA. Canada is one of only a few nations in the world to have moved backwards with our gun reform. Few Canadians know that the AR 15, a military weapon used in many mass shootings, was sold to civilians in Canada until recently. Many Canadians think handguns are virtually banned – there are now almost one million legally owned handguns in Canada. We have seen a staggering rise in gun violence and shooting deaths in the last five years. And for the first time in decades half of the crime guns that have been traced have been traced to Canadian owners.
The federal government is currently conducting a national consultation on banning handguns and military assault weapons. We have a small window of opportunity.
Both the cities of Toronto and Montreal have passed resolutions calling for a national ban on handguns and military assault weapons. But support for a ban is also strong in rural areas and among many gun owners – these guns are not used for hunting.