When it comes to stopping gun violence, it's all about the border, critics say_freckle removal los angeles

When it comes to stopping gun violence, it's all about the border, critics sayCritics of the government's proposed new restrictions on firearms in Canada say gun smuggling from the United States remains a key factor in the problem of gun violence in this country.

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Stopping smuggling should be the focus, not a handgun freeze, critics say

Chris Hall · CBC News(The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)

Conservative public safety critic Raquel Dancho said Bill C-21 won't make a meaningful contribution to reducing gun violence in Canada and her party would spend far more on combating smuggling and organized crime than the Liberals. 

"If they wanted to get serious about gun smuggling, they would have announced billions of extra dollars for border security and to combat gang activity, which is the source of gun violence in cities like Toronto," she said.

"And now, the money that is going to be spent on the firearm buyback, for example, and the expenses that will be related to this so-called handgun freeze, those resources would make more of an impact on reducing gun violence if they were spent on hiring more police officers and more border agents. That's where the impact will be made."

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Grand Chief Benedict said controlling the flow of guns in communities like his is challenging — because of the closeness of the border and because so many Americans own firearms.

"Nothing against my American friends but carrying guns is pretty normal to them. But in Canada, it's not," he said.

"In my community you can drive to the Walmart in Massena in New York with the proper ID, buy a gun and walk out of there. You're not going to do that in Walmart or even the Canadian Tire in Canada."

Mendicino said he's spoken with Grand Chief Benedict and is working with his community to address its needs.

"But he's right," he said. "We've got a lot more to do."

  • Listen to CBC Radio's The House: Big moves on guns, drugs


Chris Hall

National Affairs Editor

Chris Hall is the CBC's National Affairs Editor and host of The House on CBC Radio, based in the Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa. He began his reporting career with the Ottawa Citizen, before moving to CBC Radio in 1992, where he worked as a national radio reporter in Toronto, Halifax and St. John's. He returned to Ottawa and the Hill in 1998. Follow him on Twitter: @chrishallcbc

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