Gun control advocates urging Quebec to tighten rules as mosque shooting anniversary approaches

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As the third anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting approaches, gun control advocates are urging the province to tighten rules around reference checks for those seeking gun permits.

Advocates have pressed for change since it was revealed that the mosque shooter, Alexandre Bissonnette, did not acknowledge when applying for a firearm permit that he had experienced periods of depression, and his family did not report it to authorities.

Suzanne Laplante-Edward, whose daughter was killed in the 1989 shooting at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique, notes that no one verified Bissonnette's statements and if they'd done so, the weapons used in the attack would have remained out of his reach.

Laplante-Edward and other family members of Montreal Massacre victims had a chance to discuss the issue with Premier Francois Legault during a recent ceremony.

She says they had a very good meeting and says the premier agrees it is imperative for the Quebec government to act quickly to fill in the gaps on background checks.

The federal government has promised a range of measures to tighten gun control rules, and Quebec says it has had discussions with Public Safety Minister Bill Blair about upcoming changes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 1, 2010.