THUNDER BAY – Politics – Patty Hajdu, MP for Thunder Bay—Superior North has welcomed the federal government’s newly-tabled Bill C-21, which would, amongst other measures, implement a national freeze on handguns, enact new measures to combat smuggling and trafficking, and provide greater protection to victims of intimate partner and gender-based violence.
The MP in a statement to media says, “This historic legislation builds on the government’s previous work to end gun violence and keep Canadian communities safe. It also addresses many concerns that survivors of gun violence, experts, advocates, and chiefs of police have raised”.
“Gun smuggling and trafficking contributes to gun violence, such as gang-related shootings. This new legislation further strengthens border control measures by increasing penalties for trafficking offenses, and providing law enforcement with better tools to investigate gun crimes”.
“Getting handguns by illegal means is only one part of this proposed legislation,” adds Hajdu. “But in the case of intimate partner violence, the weapon used to threaten and control women often involves a legally acquired, registered, and licenced firearm. Women’s advocates have, for many years, asked for changes to systems that legally allow an offender to retain weapons after warning signs of violence, including charges, that are recorded in police databases. These are the stories about how the law, as it stands, fails women and victims of intimate partner violence. This legislation proposes to make changes that keep women safe in their homes and communities”.
“Many studies have shown that having a firearm in one’s home, even legally obtained, increases the likelihood of suicide, and that victims of intimate partner violence are five times as likely to be killed if a firearm is present in the home. This is why new measures such as a freeze on handguns and “red flag” laws are so important”.
The MP says that, “In our riding of Thunder Bay Superior North, many people own firearms for hunting and sport shooting. The legislation currently before the House, does not propose changes to the laws that would restrict guns used for these purposes”.
“I will never hesitate to support actions that will improve the safety our communities, and I look forward to working with my colleagues from all parties to ensure that this legislation reflects the needs and expectations of Canadians in Thunder Bay—Superior North and across Canada.”