Provincial opposition won't deter federal action on municipal handgun bans, PM says

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled today the federal government won't let provincial opposition stand in the way of municipalities that want to work with Ottawa to ban handguns.

Trudeau says federal officials will have conversations with municipalities seeking handgun controls even if their provincial leaders oppose such bans.

Federal legislation tabled this week would allow municipalities to ban handguns through bylaws restricting their possession, storage and transportation.

The Liberal government says the measures would be backed up with serious penalties to enforce these bylaws, including jail time for people who violate municipal rules.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart is among the most enthusiastic backers of such an approach.

However, Saskatchewan passed legislation last year forbidding municipalities from banning handguns and Alberta recently expressed opposition to the idea.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 19, 2021.

The Canadian Press