Saskatchewan opposes handgun freeze, saying it will not reduce crime

Marco Mendicino speaks during a news conference, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022 in Ottawa. The federal government says measures to freeze the number of handguns in Canada are now in effect. ajw

On Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, a national freeze on handguns came into effect.

A social media announcement from Marco Mendicino, federal Public Safety Minister has restricted Canadians from buying, selling, importing, and transferring handguns; a measure taken to reduce nation-wide firearm violence.

Mendicino has stated, “The total universe of handguns has exploded and at the same time, we’ve seen handgun violence go through the roof. That is not a coincidence, there is a correlation between those two trends.

“The growth of the universe of handguns makes them more accessible to everyone, and that includes criminals.”

Earlier last week, provinces met to discuss the federal government’s plan to have police resources assist in confiscating nearly 1,500 styles of firearms, most of them owned by legal firearm users as part of a government buy-back program.

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Saskatchewan was one of four provinces that refused to offer RCMP and provincial funding to the federal government.

Christine Tell, minister of corrections, policing, and public safety for Saskatchewan, said that the province fully supports crime initiatives related to illegal and criminal firearm use but they will not support a law that impacts law-abiding firearm users.

As for the handgun freeze announcement, Saskatchewan feels the same.

“Saskatchewan is incredibly disappointed that the federal government decided to move forward with yet another measure that targets law-abiding gun owners,” said Tell.

“The freeze was enacted at 12:00 a.m. this morning, literally under the cover of darkness, without any consultation or discussion with the provinces or provincial firearm programs.

“We have been clear that we fully support initiatives that will legitimately reduce crime and violence and stop the smuggling and sale of illegal guns. This handgun freeze and other actions the government is pushing though Bill C-21 will do neither of those things and may actually make our province less safe by diverting provincially-funded RCMP resources from preventing and responding to crime.”

Tell is clear in explaining that the vast majority of criminals obtain their firearms illegally, and they most likely will not comply with this order.

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“Saskatchewan continues to look at every option available to address Bill C-21 and help reduce crime across Saskatchewan.”

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