According to the Gun Violence Archive, 2022 has quickly become the year of mass shootings.
Researchers, who label mass shootings as incidents where four or more people are injured or killed (not including the shooter), noted that there have already been more than 231 mass shootings this year in the United States. With an average of more than one mass shooting per day, there hasn’t been a week in 2022 without at least one incident.
While America’s lawmakers grapple with deep ties to the National Rifle Association and a reluctance to do much about the gun violence crisis that most recently resulted in the deaths of young children in Uvalde, Texas, and senior citizens at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, Canada has provided the blueprint to stop mass shootings.
As of May 1, 2020, the government north of the border said it has prohibited over 1,500 models of assault-style firearms and certain components of some newly prohibited firearms, including AR-15 and M4 weapons.
To help accomplish that, lawmakers provided a criminal code amnesty period that remains in effect until October 2023. The government designed the amnesty period to “protect individuals or businesses who, at the time the prohibition came into force, were in lawful possession of a newly prohibited firearm from criminal liability while they take steps to comply with the law.”
Last month, Marco Mendicino, Canada’s minister of public safety, announced new and more stringent rules governing the sale or transfer of non-restricted firearms.
As of May 18, individuals and businesses transferring or selling a non-restricted firearm needed to confirm the recipient’s identity and check the validity of their firearms license with the Registrar of Firearms prior to completing the transfer, including by providing the recipient’s license number and any other information requested.
Canadian officials said the new rule would help prevent people who are not allowed to have a firearm from getting one.
Further, firearms businesses are required to retain sales and inventory records related to non-restricted firearms.
“This will make it easier for law enforcement to trace crime guns,” Mendicino said in a statement. “The records will be held by businesses — not government — and the police will need reasonable grounds to get access to them, often with judicial authorization.
“We are taking action to keep Canadians safe from gun violence,” the public safety minister asserted. “To that end, we are bringing into force common-sense regulations that strengthen public safety through validated ownership, transparent business records keeping, and license verification prior to purchasing a firearm.
“Today’s regulations will help ensure that firearms do not end up in the wrong hands, assist police in tracing guns used in crime, and are part of the broader strategy to keep communities safe,” he said.