OTTAWA — The union representing the RCMP says the Liberal government’s firearms ban is unlikely to curb gun violence in Canada, and is calling on Ottawa to instead introduce “evidence-based” measures to ensure public safety.
The National Police Federation, representing 20,000 RCMP members, issued a statement Monday expressing concern over the rising levels of gun violence in Canada in recent years. The group is seeking increased funding commitments from the federal government, largely to bolster protection measures along the Canada-U.S. border as a way to stem the smuggling of firearms into Canada.
Brian Sauvé, president of the National Police Federation, said policies like the firearms ban introduced by Public Safety Minister Bill Blair earlier this year tend to be politically popular, but fail to address the root cause of gun violence. Blair in May introduced a sweeping prohibition on 1,500 “military-style” gun variants, effectively giving gun owners two years to turn in their now-illegal firearms.
“The narrative is that we need to restrict gun ownership because that will curtail crime, when really the evidence is that illegal gun trafficking leads to criminals owning guns, which leads to crimes with firearms,” Sauvé said. “So really, we need to look at the source of the problem.”