Quebec City mosque co-founder decries lack of federal progress on curbing handguns

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OTTAWA — The co-founder of the Quebec City mosque where six people were killed and many others injured four years ago this week laments the lack of federal progress on handgun control in a new letter to the prime minister.

In the letter, Boufeldja Benabdallah of the city's Islamic Cultural Centre tells Justin Trudeau the same type of gun and magazine used in the fatal mosque shooting are still on the market.

The shooter began his January 2017 rampage with a rifle and two illegal 30-cartridge magazines, and when the rifle jammed on the first shot, he turned to a handgun and five 10-bullet magazines.

The Trudeau government says it plans to empower provinces and cities to take steps to manage the storage and use of handguns within their individual jurisdictions, given that they have different needs and concerns.

Benabdallah says the government could have, at minimum by now, instituted a moratorium on the importation and domestic manufacture of handguns.

The Liberal government outlawed a wide range of firearms by cabinet order in May, saying the guns were not designed for hunting or sport shooting — a move Benabdallah applauds.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press