/Liberal gun-control bill passes in the Senate, set to become law

Liberal gun-control bill passes in the Senate, set to become law

The Liberal government’s gun-control bill passed a final vote in the Senate on Thursday, clearing the way for it to become law.

Bill C-21 will cement a freeze on handgun sales, increase penalties for firearm trafficking and try to curb homemade “ghost” guns.

The bill also seeks to ban assault-style firearms that fall under a new technical definition.

The government dropped a number of amendments to the bill in February after facing backlash from opposition parties and some firearms rights groups.

Those amendments would have banned assault style weapons under the Criminal Code, rather than through regulation, and would have included any rifle or shotgun that could accept a magazine with more than five rounds — whether it actually has such a magazine or not.

Firearms advocates said including those rules in the bill would have effectively banned a number of popular hunting rifles.

While PolySeSouvient — a gun control advocacy group which includes survivors of the 1989 mass shooting at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique — criticized the government for dropping those amendments, it welcomed the passage of Bill C-21 on Thursday.

“Bill C-21 contains solid measures to better protect victims of domestic abuse from gun threats and violence thanks to a series of measures related to this oft-neglected aspect of gun control,” PolySeSouvient spokesperson Nathalie Provost said in a media statement.

“These measures represent concrete and effective progress and will save many lives,” she said.

The bill passed in the Senate without any amendments by a vote of 60 to 24. It now awaits Royal Assent to officially become law.

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