New federal firearms bill will be introduced on Monday: Lametti

Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino will table new firearms legislation on Monday, according to his colleague Justice Minister David Lametti.

On the Monday, May 30 "notice paper" — the document where MPs and ministers signal plans to soon table bills and motions — Mendicino has given notice of a new bill titled "An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms)".

In an interview with CTV's Question Period that will air on Sunday, Lametti pointed to the advance notice given to the House of Commons, and confirmed the plan is to see the new bill unveiled shortly after MPs return to the Commons on May 30 to kick off their last four-week stretch of sitting before adjourning for the summer.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled that the federal government would be moving ahead on new gun-control measures "in the coming weeks."

After the last election, Medicino was tasked with moving forward on a slate of gun-related changes, though it remains to be seen what specifically will be included in this new bill. Lametti would not comment on the contents of the bill in advance, per parliamentary convention.

Though, he did note that there are "a number of different" outstanding measures, between a past unpassed bill and 2021 election campaign commitments.

The coming legislation does have the same title as a previously failed bill from the last Parliament, which died on the order paper after Trudeau called the 2021 election.

Among the outstanding Liberal gun-control promises from that legislation and from Mendicino's mandate letter that could be included in the new bill:

  • Following through on requiring owners of banned firearms sell them back to the government to be destroyed or "rendered inoperable";
  • Moving to ban the sale or transfer of high-capacity magazines that can hold more than the legal number of bullets;
  • Requiring long-gun magazines be permanently altered "so that they can never hold more than five rounds”;
  • Providing funding to provinces and territories who move ahead with banning handguns in their municipalities;
  • Increasing the maximum penalties for firearm trafficking and smuggling; and
  • Tabling "red flag laws" that would allow firearms to be immediately removed if the owner is deemed a threat to themselves or others. This is a commitment Lametti has shared responsibility for.

Speaking about the May 24 mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas, the public safety minister said it is a reminder that "we still have a lot of work to do" in Canada.

"It's not just about writing responsible and common-sense laws. It's not just about investing more in law enforcement… It's about stopping crime from occurring in the first place, isn't it?" Mendicino said on May 25.

In the interview airing Sunday, Lametti said that a number of the above commitments have been part of recent discussions.

"I'm not going to pre-empt what minister Mendocino might or might not announce on Monday. What I can say is that we've heard from survivors of gun violence, we've seen a spate of gun violence… On the other hand, we also know that we have we have legitimate sport shooters, for example… There is hunting, and we don't want to do anything that that trenches upon those legitimate interests as well," Lametti said.

"So these kinds of discussions are important, they're ongoing, they're serious. We know we have to address this. We've promised to, you've got something coming on Monday."