New poll suggests many Canadians would support handgun ban
Published Friday, May 24, 2019 5:31PM CST Last Updated Tuesday, June 25, 2019 5:29PM CST
A new poll from Angus Reid suggests a majority of Canadians would support an outright ban on handguns.
The numbers released on Friday show 61 per cent of respondents would support an outright ban on civilian possession of handguns.
Respondents were also asked if gun violence has been increasing, decreasing or staying the same in their province. Fifty-two per cent of Manitobans said they felt gun violence was increasing in their province, with 41 per cent saying they felt it had stayed the same. Ontario and British Columbia were the only other provinces that saw a majority of respondents saying they felt there was increase in gun violence.
On Sunday, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair said he would not rule out issuing a federal order to implement a potential national handgun ban
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman said he wasn’t surprised by the results of the poll, saying gun control legislation matters to Canadians in general.
‘We’re waiting to see what the federal government and our provincial governments look to do,” Bowman said.
Insp. Max Waddell with the Winnipeg Police Service’s organized crime unit stressed that officers in Winnipeg are seizing more and more weapons.
“If you even go back three years we were in around 775 guns that the Winnipeg Police service took in. Three years later and we’re at 1747 guns, so you can see the massive and dramatic increase,” Waddell said.
Waddell went on to say while a ban on all guns might seem like a common sense approach, banning guns wouldn’t necessarily stop gun violence.
“I’ll draw a parallel. Illicit drugs are also banned. Yet we see dramatic increases and challenges around methamphetamine,” Waddell said.
“Because it’s that supply and demand force that causes individuals to obtain these firearms whether it’s to protect their drug trade, prevent harm, to use it for extortion. Whatever the criminal element is needing these guns for.”
Waddell also spoke about initiatives being implemented to better track crime guns, and a need for education, pointing to funding from the federal government that would go towards the Winnipeg Police Service’s new guns and gangs initiative.
Winnipeg Revolver and Pistol Association’s Brenden Roemich said owning a handgun already comes with strict rules and told CTV News he felt an outright ban would punish law abiding gun owners and do little to curb criminal activity.
“As sports shooters we use them in our sport. And taking them away from us, it takes them away from people that aren’t actually the issue” Roemich said.