Canada is a signatory to a number of treaties and protocols, both global and regional, to help stem the tide of illegal arms trafficking.
Canada was once viewed as a driving force behind global efforts to combat the illegal gun trade. This position reflects Canada’s concern over the role of the illegal gun trade in worsening conflicts around the world and fueling gun violence in Canada.
Bill C-19 Ending the Long-gun Registry Act passed in April 2012, which included the removal of important tools to trace firearms, has put Canada’s ability to meet its international obligations to stop arms trafficking at risk. Learn what experts have to say on Canada’s ability to contribute to stopping the illegal gun trade worldwide.
Canada and other UN member states have recognized that the illegal trade in small arms and light weapons is a widespread and persistent problem, one that supports other illegal activities such as drugs and human trafficking and feeds lethal violence worldwide. The importance of stopping the illegal flow of arms and the links between illegal trafficking and domestic controls is discussed here.
With the passage of Bill C-19, the federal government backtracked on international commitments to fight the illicit gun trade, while at the same time introducing many changes that police warn will facilitate illegal firearms trafficking in Canada. Learn more on how Bill C-19 makes it harder to get illegal guns off our streets.
To learn more about the recent legal changes and their impacts on Canada’s international obligations, read our illicit trafficking and illegal guns Handout.