Gun Control in Canada

2698 WordsJul 3, 200911 Pages
Case Comment: Introduction: Gun control in Canada has a long and controversial history with supporters on different sides of the issue. There are those organizations who want the strictest gun control possible versus those pro-gun organizations that are staunchly opposed to tougher laws. The history of firearms control in Canada is rather widespread, dating back to early Confederation. The Constitution Act of 1867 divided legislative powers between the federal government and the provinces. The provinces were assigned property and civil rights powers under Section 92(27). The federal government was assigned powers relating to criminal law as well as a general power to legislate under peace, order and good government. In 1892, Canada's…show more content…
Summary: In Re Firearms Act (2000), a challenge was raised to Canada’s gun-control legislation, which is part of the Criminal Code. The Firearms Act’s main methods of control included of requirements to register all firearms and to license all firearms owners. The Supreme Court of Canada held that the pith and substance of the Act was in relation to the public safety, which is a reasonable objective of the Criminal Code. The Act attempted to achieve that purpose by prohibiting unlicensed owners and unregistered guns, which was backed by penalties. It was argued that the law was regulatory rather than criminal legislation. It was argued that only complete prohibition of guns would be a valid criminal law. The Supreme Court held it was within Parliament’s criminal law power to control access to firearms through prohibitions and penalties as set out in the Firearms Act. Therefore, the province has the right to issue licences to individuals to possess certain types of handguns, and the federal government has the right to issue registration certificates for certain types of firearms to those persons in order to regulate the issuance of such registrations, to declare to the public not to possess those firearms and to create criminal offences for such illegal possession. The Court collectively supported the gun-control legislation, relying on its prior decision in R. v Hydro-Quebec, in which the primary energy producer

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