New gun control bill is the most significant in a generation, Windsor—Tecumseh MP says

·2 min read
Five people were shot at Super Bowl Lanes in Windsor earlier this year. On Tuesday, a local Liberal MP used the business as a backdrop to talk about new federal gun control measures. (Super Bowl Lanes - image credit)
Five people were shot at Super Bowl Lanes in Windsor earlier this year. On Tuesday, a local Liberal MP used the business as a backdrop to talk about new federal gun control measures. (Super Bowl Lanes - image credit)

Windsor—Tecumseh Liberal MP Irek Kusmierczyk stood outside a Windsor bowling alley where five people were shot earlier this spring to promote the Liberals' new plan to crack down on handguns — one he called the most significant in a generation.

"Canadians want to see guns off their streets," he said on Tuesday. "Canadians want to see guns out of their neighbourhoods."

The legislation the federal government tabled Monday — nearly a week after a Texas school shooter killed 21 people — includes a national freeze on the purchase, sale, importation and transfer of handguns in Canada.

While Bill C-21 falls short of a full ban on handguns, it would effectively limit their number in Canada.

The government is also pledging to start buying back thousands of banned assault-style weapons before the end of the year.

Kusmierczyk called Bill C-21 the most significant piece of legislation on gun control within this generation.

He said it was part of a broader strategy that includes investments to tackle root causes of gun and gang violence and stronger measures at the border to fight the smuggling of firearms.

Jacob Barker/CBC
Jacob Barker/CBC

In the case of the April 9 shooting outside Super Bowl Lanes in Forest Glade, it's not clear whether the gun involved was legally owned or not.

Police said last week that the firearm has not been recovered.

Shots were fired into a crowd of about 20 to 25 people, and five people suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Four people have been charged with five counts of attempted murder.

Mike Jenner, a long gun owner, doesn't agree with the new legislation on handguns. He described it as "good old fashioned fear-mongering politics."

Jacob Barker/CBC
Jacob Barker/CBC

He said it's unfair to paint law-abiding gun owners with the same brush as criminals. He wants to see action that focuses on the offenders themselves, he said, rather than the tool of their crimes.

"Let's talk about spending money on bullying or mental health. And here's where I really think we could make a difference: Let's triple-down on our cyber cops. A lot of these individuals, they leave a footprint. They use social media."

Lisa Valente, the head of Windsorites Against Violent Crimes Everywhere, said she believes guns are going to get into the hands of the wrong people regardless of the status of the law.

She would like to see significant investments focusing on programming and education for youth and first-time offenders.

"It's not a gun problem," she said. "It's a youth problem right now."

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