Are Canadian Gun Laws Effective
In 2019, there were no federal laws banning semi-automatic assault weapons, military-style .50 caliber rifles, handguns, or high-capacity magazines. Between 1994 and 2004, there was a nationwide ban on high-capacity offensive weapons and magazines, but Congress authorized the expiration of these restrictions. In the days following the mass shooting in Las Vegas, some lawmakers expressed preliminary support for a nationwide ban on so-called shock fire stockpiles, devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at a speed closer to that of automatic weapons. Yet many experts insist that gun control laws are needed and sought in Canada. A May poll by the Angus Reid Institute found that 44 per cent of Canadians said the country`s gun laws were not strict enough, compared to 17 per cent who said gun laws were too strict. The proposed freeze on the sale of handguns would limit the number of legally acquired weapons circulating in Canada, “thus not contributing to the crimes committed by contraband weapons,” says Errol Mendes, a law professor at the University of Ottawa. Gun control is not a “complete answer” to solving gun smuggling and violence, but just a piece of the puzzle that must work with better border control and reduced gang activity, says Wayne Mackay, a law professor at Dalhousie University. Federal law forms the basis for gun regulation in the United States, but states and cities may impose other restrictions. Some states, such as Idaho, Alaska and Kansas, have passed various laws aimed at repealing federal gun legislation, but legal analysts say this is unconstitutional. This bill, an Act to amend certain firearms-related statutes and regulations (formerly Bill C-71), which received Royal Assent in 2019, provides practical, targeted and measured measures to keep Canadians safe. The legislation prioritizes public safety and the effectiveness of policing while respecting responsible gun owners.
Some measures included in a firearms strategy are aimed at combating certain types of gun abuse, such as suicide or domestic violence, and can therefore have very specific effects on a particular problem. To date, evaluation studies have focused on measuring the overall impact of a set of gun control measures as a whole and have not paid sufficient attention to the possibility of partial and differential effectiveness of individual measures (Stenning, 1996b:12). Researchers in the United States of America have noted for some time how important it is to recognize that “there are a variety of different control strategies and no reason to believe that all of them should be equally effective or ineffective” (Zimring, 1995:9; see also: Teret and Wintemute, 1993 and Roth, 1994). The U.S. context offers unique opportunities to compare the effectiveness of different approaches to gun control based on the breadth of approaches to gun control at the federal, state, and city levels. The fact that there are approximately 20,000 laws and regulations in the United States that aim to curb the use of firearms (Kwon et al., 1997) provides an opportunity to compare a highly regulated state to a relatively low level of regulation. On the other hand, it also seems clear that uneven regulation would make it easy to transport firearms across state borders, which could mitigate the impact of regulation. A gun-related tragedy in the Scottish town of Dunblane in 1996 led to the UK`s strictest gun laws to date. A man armed with four handguns shot and killed sixteen schoolchildren and an adult before committing suicide in the country`s worst mass shooting to date. The incident sparked a public campaign known as the Snowdrop Petition, which helped pass legislation banning handguns, with a few exceptions.
The government has also set up a temporary arms buyback program, which many credit with removing tens of thousands of illegal or unwanted weapons from supply. All evaluation studies relied on correlations between the rate of gun misuse and more restrictive gun laws. These correlations do not allow researchers to draw clear conclusions about causation (Gabor, 1994; 1995) and other factors unrelated to gun control. A comprehensive review of anti-firearms legislation revealed that studies on the impact of Bill C-51 of 1977 and Bill C-68 of 1995 on firearm-related homicide rates have reached different conclusions, but have generally found that Bill C-17 of 1991 is not associated with an overall reduction in firearm-related homicides.  A 2011 study found no significant link between Firearms Laws passed in Canada from 1974 to 2008 and rates of firearm-related homicide.  A 2020 study of laws passed from 1981 to 2016 found no significant changes in overall homicide or suicide rates as a result of legislative changes. In addition, it was also found that gun ownership by province was not correlated with overall suicide rates by province.  However, Australian gun control advocates have warned of relaxing gun laws in some states and territories, as well as an increase in gun sales. Australians now possess more weapons than before the Port Arthur massacre, although the increase is unevenly distributed. The turning point for modern gun control in Australia was the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, when a young man killed thirty-five people and injured nearly two dozen others. The rampage with a semi-automatic rifle was the worst mass shooting in the nation`s history. Less than two weeks later, the Conservative-led national government, in collaboration with the various states and territories that regulate firearms, imposed fundamental changes to the country`s gun laws.
Here is a summary of the history of gun control laws in Canada: Unlike the United States, the Canadian federal government does not have a national directory that tracks the origin of firearms on Canadian roads.