Doug Ford takes aim at Trudeau government’s gun control measures

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OTTAWA — Ontario Premier Doug Ford is taking aim at the federal government’s new gun control measures, saying he believes the feds should focus on smuggling of illegal weapons at the border and strengthening jail sentences for gun crimes rather than targeting legal gun owners.

On Friday, the Trudeau government outlawed a wide range of assault-style rifles, saying the guns were designed for the battlefield, not for hunting or sport shooting.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also promised a buyback program for all legally purchased rifles that would fall under the new ban, with owners offered fair market prices for their guns — a program expected to cost up to $600 million.

Ford was animated when asked about the new measures Saturday during his daily COVID-19 press conference.

He said he would rather see the millions planned for the gun buyback program go instead toward beefing up border security to stop guns from being illegally smuggled into Canada.

“I can’t help but think that money could be put at a much better use hunting down the violent criminals and stopping the illegal guns at our borders,” he said.

Ottawa’s priority should be strengthening bail conditions and jail sentences for criminals and gang members who commit gun crimes, he added. Ford said he finds it “frustrating” that weapons offenders are often back on the streets within a few days of being arrested and that some receive sentences of only a year or two.

“The problem is not the legal gun owners, we need to target the smugglers and we need to throw the book at these gangsters out there terrorizing our streets,” he said.

“Throw the key away with these people if they get caught with guns, don’t give them a slap on the wrist and then try to point the finger at legal, law abiding gun owners.”

Ford’s comments mark a departure from the approach the Ontario premier has taken with the federal Liberals since the COVID-19 pandemic began infecting Canadians and wreaking havoc in Ontario’s long-term care centres.

The once highly vocal opponent of Trudeau and his policies has been working collaboratively with the Liberal government in Ottawa, striking a particularly close working friendship with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. She told the Toronto Star she speaks with Ford often and that they “describe one another as each other’s therapists.”

Ford didn’t target any specific criticisms at Trudeau or the federal government in his remarks Saturday, and did say he would be willing to work in partnership with the federal government on measures to stop illegal gun smuggling.

However, he did question the federal plan to spend “hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars of hardworking taxpayers’ money.”

“For what?” he questioned.

“You think gun violence is going to go down in Toronto? I don’t believe gun violence is going to go down in Toronto based on taking guns off legal gun owners.”

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

18 COMMENTS

  1. REALLY!?
    IS BS gun control legislation really top priority right now!?
    How about off peek hydro rates until our lives are back to normal!?
    How about worrying about getting our lives back to normal! I am getting sick and tired of not being able to see my family and friends!
    Trudeau’s gun control legislation isnt going to do Jack s**t to get illegal guns off the street, just like making drugs illegal didn’t get them off the street!
    What a joke!

  2. Imagine a politician with a brain, mr Ford you are correct, it is not law abiding gun owners doing these crimes, it is the gangs and thugs that are, they get a slap on the wrist when charged with gun crimes, if they made their sentences stiffer there would be less crime. When this lib Gov’t bans handguns, as they have already said, criminals will rejoice because the price of their illegal smuggled guns will have a higher price!!!!

    • Ford is using talking points from the gun lobby.

      The guns that are used in crimes in Canada are stolen from law bidding Canadians that purchased then legally and have a permit.

      Therefore ban military style weapons from purchases in Canada give criminals less access to them!

  3. Justin, and Doug….Why can’t we do both?
    Protect our boarders and make assault rifles illegal moving forward. AND… is there really $300 million dollars worth of legally owned assault rifles locked up, and stored safely in Canada, because if not, then this pot of money can be shared and some can go towards boarder control.

  4. War veterans…”we need more support and money to survive”

    Trudeau..”you are asking for more than we can give”.

    Trudeau…”we just miraculously found 600 million dollars to buy back guns from law abiding citizens.”

  5. “he believes the feds should focus on smuggling of illegal weapons at the border and strengthening jail sentences for gun crimes rather than targeting legal gun owners.” I actually agree with this. I do not own any firearms, nor do i need to. That being said I am not against them, I have several family and friends that hunt and another friend who is a collector. Changing the law only makes law abiding citizens criminals. If you are going to change give them a grandfather clause at the min.

  6. Sorry Doug, but unless you at war, nobody needs a rapid fire assault weapon… Actually , even hunters should only be allowed single shot, bolt action rifles.. Give the animals a fair chance….

    • You are right and that’s why they are banned. You’ll notice that every article says “military style “ or “assault like” because military assault weapons are banned. These rifles do not have automatic function and magazines for these rifles over 5 rounds are banned. This was done side stepping parliament and without democratic process. Guns accounted for 21% of homicides with 58% of those being hand guns. Most rifles used were illegally obtained. Cracking down on licensed fire arm owners with registered weapons will not reduce gun violence or make things safer. The $600m they intend to spend on the buy back program wood be better used cracking down on gang violence, mental illness and smuggled weapons. Also I do not own guns or hunt.

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