Gun Control Laws In Canada

1495 Words 6 Pages
Across North America, the use of guns and firearms were very controversial and still are till this day. Many Canadian politicians and citizens have looked down on the United States their gun control laws. On December 6th, 1989, an eye-opening tragedy for occurred. Twenty-five year old Marc Lepine walked into the University of Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique, murdered 13 female engineering students, a woman staff member and killed himself. The massacre left the victims’ family in devastation and made many Canadians question how safe the nation was from firearms. Since Lepine was mentally unstable, it gave the excuse that it was not the guns that were killing people. This sparked protests and petitions urging the federal government to ban dangerous …show more content…
The extremely lax gun control laws set in 1978 had no relation to whether or not the government thought Canada was ‘safe enough’, that it did not need strict laws. After the massacre, many red flags got put in front of many Canadians’ eyes. Marc Lepine was clearly not a mentally stable man and some how he was capable of legally getting his hands on a .223-calibre Ruger Mini 14 semi-automatic rifle at a Montreal sports shop (Burke, 14). This urged “more than 500 thousand Canadians [to sign] petitions urging the federal government to ban these weapons” (Burke, 14). In May of 1990, Justice Minister Kim Campbell introduced Bill C-80, which offered some improvements including: FAC screening process, defining safe storage, ban on some military weapons and large-capacity magazines. However, it did not ban semi-automatic weapons, such as the Ruger Lepine used to kill the fourteen women and himself. The bill leaned in the favour of gun lobbyists, “[prohibiting] gun ownership only for people convicted of an indictable offence involving violence and carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years or more” (Rathjen and Montpetit, 72). However, crimes just as serious such as the most violent assaults, wife beating or the most serious drug offences, like trafficking were not included and should have been (72). The increasing amount of deaths at homes, communities and cities are due to the lack of in-depth history of gun owners who may commit crimes secretly without being caught, like assault and wife beating. Another surprising thing was that sixteen was the minimum age to purchase a gun, which did not make any sense because someone “who cannot drink or vote should not be allowed to purchase a gun”. An improvement was made to make eighteen years of age the minimum to purchase a gun (72). The previous gun control law allowed anyone to easily purchase a gun, and all it

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