With Minister Bill Blair openly musing about a potential handgun ban, would such a policy be an effective way to reduce gun violence in Canada? MLI Munk Senior Fellow Christian Leuprecht sat down with CTV News to examine this topic.
“Canada has a land border with the largest weapons market it the world,” explains Leuprecht. “There will always be a way for people to obtain firearms.”
“It’s not that I’m for or against one particular approach or another with regards to banning or not banning handguns, but we need to think about what it is we’re trying to achieve.”
According to Leuprecht, the available data suggests that banning handguns on a regional basis has not actually led to a reduction in violent gun crimes in those regions.
“There may be moral or other good reasons to ban handguns,” Leuprecht explains. That being said, he cautions that if the objective is to reduce gang-related shootings, a handgun would likely have very little impact.
Instead, Leuprecht argues that policies such as stricter punishments for people who illegally or improperly sell or store firearms may be more effective. Perhaps most importantly, Leuprecht suggests that to reduce violence from handguns, gangs ought to be the focus of politicians’ efforts.
“We need better data, and we need effective laws and intelligence to be able to dismantle gang networks that, on one hand, traffic guns into the country and on the other [transfer guns] into the hands of who couldn’t obtain a firearm legally.”