Trudeau says gov­ern­ment will limit ac­cess to hand­guns, as­sault weapons

The Beacon Herald - - NATIONAL NEWS -

MON­TREAL — Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau says his gov­ern­ment plans to limit ac­cess to hand­guns and as­sault weapons to con­front gun vi­o­lence in the coun­try.

Speak­ing to Mon­treal ra­dio sta­tion 98.5 FM Thurs­day on the an­niver­sary of the 1989 Ecole Polytech­nique mas­sacre, Trudeau did not rule out a full ban when asked by the host.

“We are cur­rently re­flect­ing on how we are go­ing to do bet­ter to counter the vi­o­lence caused by hand­guns and as­sault weapons, yes,” Trudeau said. “What’s hap­pen­ing is un­ac­cept­able.”

The prime min­is­ter said the gov­ern­ment is look­ing at dif­fer­ent al­ter­na­tives to ad­dress the sit­u­a­tion. “But, yes, we want to limit the easy ac­cess that crim­i­nals un­for­tu­nately still have to hand­guns and as­sault weapons,” he said.

In 2015, Trudeau’s Lib­er­als cam­paigned on a prom­ise to “get hand­guns and as­sault weapons off our streets.”

In Oc­to­ber, as Ot­tawa held con­sul­ta­tions on a pos­si­ble ban of the weapons, groups rep­re­sent­ing sur­vivors and fam­i­lies of vic­tims of Que­bec mass shoot­ings ques­tioned the gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment. They said they feared re­forms would come too late in the gov­ern­ment’s man­date to be passed be­fore the next elec­tion, sched­uled for Oc­to­ber 2019.

Trudeau’s com­ments Thurs­day came as Mon­treal marked the 29th an­niver­sary of shoot­ings that killed 14 women at the Ecole Polytech­nique en­gi­neer­ing school.

In a state­ment, Trudeau noted the vic­tims were tar­geted be­cause they were women. “We re­mem­ber the vic­tims of this hate­ful act of vi­o­lence, and unite against the misog­yny at the root of this tragedy,” he said.

His state­ment did not men­tion firearms, but it called for ac­tion against vi­o­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion af­fect­ing women. “Sur­vivors and ad­vo­cates are lead­ing the fight for change, and their ex­am­ple in­spires all of us,” he said.

In a cer­e­mony Thurs­day morn­ing, flow­ers were laid at a Mon­treal mon­u­ment hon­our­ing the vic­tims: Genevieve Berg­eron, He­lene Col­gan, Nathalie Croteau, Bar­bara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Ed­ward, Maud Havier­nick, Maryse La­ganiere, Maryse Leclair, An­neMarie Le­may, So­nia Pel­letier, Michele Richard, An­nie St-Ar ne au lt, An­nie Tur­cotte and Bar­bara

Klucznik Wi­da­jew­icz.

In Que­bec City, the flag at the Na­tional As­sem­bly was at half­mast. “We have a duty to re­mem­ber Polytech­nique,” Premier Fran­cois Le­gault told the leg­is­la­ture. “The equal­ity be­tween men and women is part of the fun­da­men­tal val­ues of Que­bec, and we must never take a back­wards step.”

The Cana­dian Press

RYAN REMIORZ/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Four­teen lights shine sky­ward at a vigil hon­our­ing the vic­tims of the 1989 Ecole Polytech­nique at­tack, Thurs­day, in Mon­treal. On the 29th an­niver­sary of the mas­sacre, Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau told a Mon­treal ra­dio sta­tion the gov­ern­ment plans to limit ac­cess to hand­guns and as­sault weapons.

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