NDP Leader Singh Wants Feds To Immediately Allow Cities To Ban Handguns

OTTAWA — Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh wants the prime minister to immediately give cities the leeway to ban handguns.

Singh officially submitted a lengthy letter to Justin Trudeau outlining a long-term approach to tackling crime, stressing that simply adding more policing is not a solution to gun violence in cities.

That’s because some measures, such as street checks and carding, have amplified distrust between police and racialized communities, Indigenous peoples and those struggling with mental illness, reported Canadian Press.

Instead, he says allowing cities to ban handguns would help municipal authorities deal with the fact that many gun crimes are committed with legal guns.

“The federal government should not stand in the way of municipal leaders who know their communities best, and want to ban these weapons to keep their residents safe,” he wrote.

Singh also wants the government to spend $100 million a year, starting next year, on efforts to combat gang violence — a target the Trudeau government has pledged to reach after 2022. He says this funding should focus on prevention, especially looking at youth gangs, bullying and cyberbullying.

He also wants more resources for the Canada Border Services Agency to curtail cross-border weapons smuggling.

In the wake of a deadly shooting in Toronto last month, Toronto city council passed a motion urging the federal government to forbid the sale of handguns in the city and for the province to outlaw the sale of handgun ammunition in the city.

The federal government has said it’s considering a number of different ways to crack down on handguns, including giving municipalities the ability to do so.

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