Assault-Weapons Ban Exists In Canada Just One Year After Country’s Worst Ever Mass Shooting
Within weeks of Canada’s worst ever mass shooting, laws were put into place and have been enforced ever since, banning the use of a number of assault weapons and strengthening gun laws in the process.
‘One year ago, 22 Canadians were senselessly killed and three more were injured when a gunman went on a rampage in small towns across Nova Scotia,’ said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on the first anniversary of the country’s worst mass shooting in history.
On April 18, 2020, a gunman by the name of Gabriel Wortman murdered 22 people, some he knew and others he didn’t, before himself being shot dead by armed police. It was a moment that would change the nation forever.
The horrifying rampage that went on for hours resulted in Trudeau and his government opting to outright ban in excess of 1,500 various styles of assault weapons, meaning any and all sales and imports were illegal. The new law was implemented in a matter of days, which is in stark contrast to the neighbouring United States, where mass shootings see no change in legislation because of how they see firearms as a right written into their Constitution.
‘Even a year later I know there is no comfort for the anguish of having an adored parent or precious child torn away. I know there are no words for losing a beloved constable and teacher. For mourning respected nurses and corrections officers,’ Trudeau said in a recorded message to Canadians.
‘So all I can say is this: you are not alone. All Canadians stand with you and grieve with you today and always.’
His efforts to fulfil a 2019 party promise of stricter gun control, with the tragedy of Nova Scotia a heartbreaking reminder that not only is gun reform and tighter laws needed, but that they work, has been a noted success. Earlier this year, Trudeau also introduced further gun laws in order to tighten ownership and accessibility.
The findings of an ongoing report, investigated by the province of Nova Scotia, into why a gun massacre happened in one of the safest country’s on Earth isn’t due out for at least another year, according to CNN, but will no doubt refer back to how accessible and obtainable guns once were to the general public.
Nova Scotia RCMP commanding officer, Lee Bergerman, said:
We understand people have questions and want to know as much as possible about the incidents. Charges related to the investigation are currently before the courts and we are participating fully in the Mass Casualty Commission, which is underway. It is our hope that the Mass Casualty Commission will provide a full accounting of what happened for the families of the victims and the public.
Like the United Kingdom, Canada has a zero-tolerance and incredibly strict stance on guns, which results in far fewer deaths from firearms than, for example, the US, where total gun-related deaths outweigh any other nation by double.
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