Trudeau addresses gun violence on École Polytechnique anniversary

Click to play video 'House of Commons observes moment of silence for Ecole Polytechnique' House of Commons observes moment of silence for Ecole Polytechnique
WATCH: The House of Commons observed a moment of silence on Thursday for victims of the École Polytechnique massacre – Dec 6, 2018

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government plans to limit access to handguns and assault weapons to confront gun violence in the country.

Speaking to Montreal radio station 98.5 FM Thursday on the anniversary of the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre, Trudeau did not rule out a full ban when asked by the host.

READ MORE: Quebec gun-control activists push for federal firearms bill

“We are currently reflecting on how we are going to do better to counter the violence caused by handguns and assault weapons, yes,” Trudeau said.

“What’s happening is unacceptable.”

The prime minister said the government is looking at different alternatives to address the situation. “But, yes, we want to limit the easy access that criminals unfortunately still have to handguns and assault weapons,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

WATCH BELOW: Order of the White Rose recipient talks École Polytechnique anniversary

Click to play video 'Order of the White Rose Recipient' Order of the White Rose Recipient
Order of the White Rose Recipient – Dec 6, 2018

In 2015, Trudeau’s Liberals campaigned on a promise to “get handguns and assault weapons off our streets.”

In October, as Ottawa held consultations on a possible ban of the weapons, groups representing survivors and families of victims of Quebec mass shootings questioned the government’s commitment. They said they feared reforms would come too late in the government’s mandate to be passed before the next election, scheduled for October 2019.

READ MORE: Polytechnique presents scholarship in honour of Montreal massacre victims

Trudeau’s comments Thursday came as Montreal marked the 29th anniversary of shootings that killed 14 women at the École Polytechnique engineering school.

In a statement, Trudeau noted the victims were targeted because they were women.

Story continues below advertisement

“We remember the victims of this hateful act of violence, and unite against the misogyny at the root of this tragedy,” he said.

His statement did not mention firearms, but it called for action against violence and discrimination affecting women.

“Survivors and advocates are leading the fight for change, and their example inspires all of us,” he said.

WATCH BELOW: Quebec groups call for tighter gun control

Click to play video 'Quebec groups call for tighter gun control' Quebec groups call for tighter gun control
Quebec groups call for tighter gun control – Oct 25, 2018

In a ceremony Thursday morning, flowers were laid at a Montreal monument honouring the victims: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte and Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz.

In Quebec City, the flag at the National Assembly was at half-mast.

Story continues below advertisement

“We have a duty to remember Polytechnique,” Premier François Legault told the legislature.

“The equality between men and women is part of the fundamental values of Quebec, and we must never take a backwards step.”

Trudeau is scheduled to join Legault and other political leaders at a memorial event on Mount Royal later Thursday.