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Blair says more gun-control action needed, signals no new steps before election

Last Updated Jun 18, 2019 at 11:45 am PDT

FILE - Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair stands during question period in the House of Commons in West Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Blair says the Liberals don’t want to penalize law abiding and responsible handgun owners

A ban will be part of the federal Liberals' platform ahead of this fall's election

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – With the shooting at the Toronto Raptors championship celebration on Monday in the spotlight, the federal government says it will be prohibiting assault weapons in Canada, but that’s it.

Minister for Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair says the Liberals don’t want to penalize law abiding and responsible handgun owners, but they will be pitching new restrictions.

Entering a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Blair emphasized the importance of secure storage of firearms to prevent them from being stolen and ending up in the wrong hands.

“There are some very effective measures that we can do to prevent the theft, to prevent the straw purchase and illegal diversion of handguns and to prevent those weapons coming in from across the border,” he says. “But there are some weapons, in my opinion, that are so dangerous, there’s really no place in a safe and civilized society for them.”

Blair says that includes assault-style weapons, and a ban will be part of the federal Liberals’ platform ahead of this fall’s election.

He says the government is also open to working with municipalities to allow them to decide exactly where, or even if, firearms can be stored within their boundaries.

But Blair says it’s important not only to do the right thing, but to take the time to do it right.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked the minister last August to study the possibility of a ban on handguns and assault-style rifles after a shooting spree in Toronto.