Explainer: Is it illegal to possess guns in Canada? Key questions answered

Canada's government has introduced legislation Monday to ban the sale and purchase handguns.

Explainer: Is it illegal to possess guns in Canada? Key questions answered

Canada's government has introduced legislation Monday to ban the sale and purchase handguns. This is part of a gun control package. It also limits magazine capacity and bans toys that look like guns.

This legislation is just one week after a gunman shot and killed 19 children, two teachers, in their Uvalde classroom.

These are the key facts about Canada's gun control laws.

CAN GUNS BE ILLEGAL IN CANADA

No. No. Registering firearms that are restricted or prohibited, such as handguns, is also required.

To be eligible for a Canadian license, you must be at least 18 years old and have completed a firearms safety course. This licence is renewable every five years.

Children between 12 and 17 years old can apply for a minor's license, which allows them to buy ammunition, borrow firearms that are not restricted, or rifles or shotguns.

For children under 12 years old, and indigenous children, exceptions may be made.

If it is too expensive or far away, Indigenous hunters may not be required to complete a firearms safety class. They can request alternative certification through a recommendation of a community elder, which will confirm that they have the necessary firearms knowledge.

Two years ago, Canada banned the sale of approximately 1,500 assault weapons models, including the AR-15 rifle. This was in response to a mass shooting that occurred in Portapique (Nova Scotia) in 2012.

HOW MANY GUNS ARE CANADA'S?

According to the federal government, Canada's handgun registrations increased by 71% between 2010 and 2020, reaching an estimated 1.1 million.

According to a 2017 Small Arms Survey, there were 12.7 Million firearms in Canadian civilian possession. There are also 34.7 firearms for every 100 people.

WHERE IS GUN OWNERSHIP CONCENTRATED

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, more than 2.2 Million people had gun licenses in 2020.

The majority of them were in Ontario and Quebec which are the most populous provinces. Next came British Columbia and Alberta, which are the western provinces.

According to Angus Reid's 2019 survey, most guns in Canada can be found in rural areas. They are used for hunting and recreation shooting.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE SUICIDED BY GUN VIOLENCE IN CANADA

According to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Canada's firearm homicide rate is 0.5 per 100,000, while the United States has 4.12, according to a 2021 analysis.

HOW MANY MASS SHOOTINGS HAS CANADA HAD IN THE CURRENT?

1989 - 14 female engineering students were murdered in the classroom of the Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal, Quebec.

1992 - Four professors were killed and shot by a Concordia University colleague in Montreal.

2006: A gunman shot at Dawson College in Montreal and killed one woman, injuring 19 others.

2016 - Four teenagers killed in La Loche (Saskatchewan)

2017 - Six Muslim men were shot to death at a Quebec City mosque.

2020 - A gunman driving a fake cop car shot and killed 13 people, while setting ablaze a Portapique, Nova Scotia fire that he started.

IS THERE A OPPOSITION TO STRICTER GUNS CONTROL?

Leger polled 66% of respondents in March 2021 to determine if Canada should have stricter gun control.

The latest legislation is opposed by gun rights advocates. Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights called this new legislation "massive sucker punch".

Teri Bryant, Alberta's chief firearms officers, stated that the proposed government freeze on handgun sales would constitute an "enormous invasion" into private property rights. She called it "virtue signalsling" by government.

She called for more firearms officers to ensure that more thorough and prompt vetting takes place.

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