Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante says he welcomes the “strong signal” sent today by the federal government to the new gun control law.
“National tools for combating armed and domestic violence are a boon to Montreal and all cities in the country,” he said in a statement.
“We hope that the action taken by the Canadian government today will lead us to a complete ban on handguns in our territory and to a place where young people do not have access.”
Blande has long argued for a federal ban on handguns, and while the new bill would be less than a complete ban, it would effectively limit their numbers in Canada.
“In other words, we control the market for handguns,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference on Monday.
“We see gun violence on the rise, and it is our duty to take action.”
Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino introduced the C-21 bill in the House of Commons on Monday.
“The bill we have just tabled represents a milestone in the midst of a long and difficult war that takes place on our streets every day,” Mendicino later told reporters.
“This is a war that has claimed many lives, with empty chairs at the dining table and empty tables in our classrooms.”
Natalie Provost, who was hit by four bullets in a polytechnic shooting in 1989, said the new law would help prevent an increase in Canadian gun violence.
“We need to do more to reduce it,” he said. “We have to do something strong. I think this is a strong decision taken today.”
Provost praised the Liberal government’s efforts to consult the public, and said he was “very happy” that lawmakers had not rejected federal control over handguns. Freezing a gun is a good first step, he said.
Michael Ferguson, director of the Montreal organization’s Youth in Motion, said gun control laws were good, but now the issue was how the bill would be used.
“You have to believe that Canadians will cooperate,” Ferguson said. “There are responsibilities on both sides. I think the government is doing the right thing by proposing this bill.”
The guns are already in Montreal, hidden and used from time to time, Farkas said. The bill will not make those guns disappear or have an immediate impact on what’s happening in Montreal, but it does send a strong message that guns are not tolerated and “it must be stopped.”
Ferguson says that as far as he knows, the use of firearms on the streets of Montreal is largely illegal, but that message is still important.
“I still think education is the best tool for educating young people, children and our people – guns are of no use in modern society,” Ferguson said.