Canadian Government Admitted in 2018 That Gun Bans Don’t Reduce Crime

It’s a commonplace in the pro-gun community, but it bears repeating: gun laws primarily affect law-abiding citizens who would never commit the crimes those laws are supposedly designed to address.

Apparently, the Canadian government agrees.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unilaterally banned “assault weapons” in Canada and has continued his crusade for a handgun ban following last month’s mass murder in which 22 people died. But a 2018 report from Trudeau’s own government found that “most gun crimes are not committed with legally-owned firearms” and “any ban of handguns or assault weapons would primarily affect legal firearms owners.”

The report also investigated “assault weapon” and handgun bans in the United States and found that “the data does not conclusively demonstrate that these handgun or assault weapon bans have led to reductions in gun violence.”

“At least the government staff who wrote that report cared about facts and fairness, unlike the politicians who just launched a sudden and sweeping assault on honest gun owners and stores across Canada,” Nicolas Johnson told GunsAmerica. Johnson, a civil-liberties advocate who runs TheGunBlog.ca, was one of the people consulted in a follow-up report seeking feedback on gun bans among experts and stakeholders.

SEE ALSO: CCRKBA: Canada Rampage Proof Gun Control Won’t Prevent Tragedies

There is no constitutional right to own a firearm in Canada, so the gun control debate differs significantly from the debate in the U.S. Currently, that debate centers on where criminals acquire their firearms.

Proponents of Trudeau’s gun ban argue that if criminals acquire their firearms from domestic sources (theft and straw purchases are the most common), then drying up the domestic supply for legal gun owners will limit that illicit trade.

There are a few problems with this line of thinking.

First, there is some evidence to suggest that most of the crime guns used in Canada actually come from the United States. In December of 2019, Toronto police chief Mark Saunders reported that about 82 percent of crime guns had originated in the United States. If this is the case, banning handguns and “assault weapons” in Canada isn’t going to significantly dry up that trade.

Second, as in the United States, “assault weapons” are rarely used in crime. The exact percentage is unclear because Canada’s national database lumps rifles and shotguns into the same category, which combined accounted for 22 percent of all gun-related homicides in 2018. But Johnson said that “assault weapons” are only rarely used in any type of violent crime.

SEE ALSO: Justin Trudeau Announces ‘Assault Weapon’ Ban Targeting Thousands of Legal Gun Owners

Finally, the Canadian government doesn’t have any nationwide data on where crime guns come from. Toronto is an outlier in its ability and willingness to track the source of guns used in crime. Johnson explained that most law enforcement agencies don’t bother tracing a firearm’s source because the process is expensive and rarely bears fruit.

“If Calgary spends the budget to run a trace, and they find, ‘Lo and behold, this gun was stolen 10 years ago from a store or individual in Quebec.’ Now what? The crime was in Quebec, so it doesn’t help Calgary’s prosecution rate. It’s ancient. Good luck finding the person who committed the crime,” he said.

A 2019 Globe and Mail investigation wasn’t able to find crime gun source information when it asked 36 police forces across the country.

Trudeau, in other words, is flying blind. He doesn’t know whether his gun bans will stop violent crime, and even the data he does have (from Toronto) suggests that they won’t.

But that lack of information isn’t stopping him. The gun control debate may be different in Canada, but, in one way at least, the gun controllers are exactly the same.

Note: This article has been amended with an updated statement from Nicolas Johnson.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Stan d. Upnow May 17, 2020, 9:22 am

    Maybe when they get around to banning beer you Canadians will take to the streets to demand your rights. lol

  • Stan d. Upnow May 17, 2020, 8:55 am

    Stop already with the same sensible refutes based on facts. When are you gonna finally wake-up and understand that the Progressive-Socialists Know all that. They don’t care. It’s All about their agenda based on the Marxist maxims for seizing power & controlling the proletariat.

    You are witnessing some of that right now with P-S politicians in the U.S. trying to extend their draconian edicts against all balance and reason. They went right after gun shops & shows as “non-essential.” In some places you risk arrest if you Dare leave your home against their commands.
    Their out-of-control power trip illustrates how totally insipid their orders are– You can go out to buy lottery tickets, but you better not try to buy garden supplies!

    The real problem is a dumbed-down general populace who gulps the Left’s propaganda by the 5-gal. bucket.
    The useful idiots keep electing the same self-serving Communists(yeah, that’s you, Trudeau) while constantly complaining about their plight, not realizing that it’s exactly according to their rulers goals to keep them downtrodden and on the dole. The easy solution is to Vote Them Out Of Office.

  • Russ May 16, 2020, 12:53 pm

    Absolutely right. Canada just wants control over citizens and their legal firearms. They have failed in controlling illegal guns in the hands of criminals. Then they can control them like the liberal sheep they want all their citizens( subjects ) to be.

  • Reynaldo Martinez May 16, 2020, 10:04 am

    All he is doing is creating a black market for firearms.
    Now they will cost much more. You can keep Canada.

    • Stan d. Upnow May 17, 2020, 8:58 am

      Are you naive enough to think there isn’t already a Black Market for firearms? Think again.

  • Kane May 16, 2020, 12:54 am

    I remember when MMOORE was claiming that Canadians would never go on spree/rampage killings and only Americans did that type of act because on the military ‘industrial complex.’

    MMOORE like Trudeau prefer guess work and do NOT care about the consequences when they are proved wrong.

  • Gary L Moore May 15, 2020, 6:12 pm

    Thanks to God, you Canadians have him. If he was down here in the States , Trudeau probably wouldn’t last long.

    • Stan d. Upnow May 17, 2020, 9:03 am

      Wow, have you been buried under a rock for the last 12 years??
      In the USA, we had our own “Trudeau.” His name is Barack Hussein Obama.
      If Trudeau were in the U.S., he’d have wide support from the subversive Leftists.
      You’re another one who has the blinders on.

  • Grady May 15, 2020, 1:07 pm

    It is a well know fact that Liberalism is a Mental Illness…

  • perlcat May 15, 2020, 11:02 am

    God save us from liberals with “good intentions” doing stuff to us “for our own good”. I fear that FAR more than a Chinese bug.

    • Stan d. Upnow May 17, 2020, 9:06 am

      I hope you understand that that is just a cover to implement their goals. People will more readily accept bad policies if they’re sold as being “for our own good.”

  • Pipeman May 15, 2020, 10:56 am

    As a licensed Canadian firearms owner I will personally have to give up three of my semiautomatics. The Liberal ban on guns is an ideological issue that has nothing to do with facts or statistics. Mr. Trudeau represents the Liberal elite in Canada and their mandate is to eliminate weapons and at the same time reduce sentences for crimes of all types believing everyone is inherently good. The Liberal’s believe utopia is in reach if we all just believe in each other and treat everyone fair and equal. Reality and human nature does not influence their mindset or thinking. Lets hope the three or four constitutional challenges being put forward can reverse this badly formulated ban.

    • Stan d. Upnow May 17, 2020, 9:13 am

      If you give up your guns, you’re as stupid as the Australians, who now vastly regret that choice, belatedly. YES, it is a choice! Ever hear of civil disobedience?

  • joefoam May 15, 2020, 9:54 am

    And Trudeau was able to do his deeds with just a stroke of a pen. Dictatorship at its finest. As for its effectiveness, most aware individuals know this is just a political play. Gun control has been attempted for over a century and has not made a difference anywhere in the world.

    • Stan d. Upnow May 17, 2020, 9:18 am

      “Gun control has been attempted for over a century and has not made a difference anywhere in the world.”

      Are you That ignorant?! No wonder you Canadians are in such a bind.
      Gun control has not only been attempted, it’s been implemented in most countries up to the present day.
      Throughout history, that’s one of the first things dictators & despots do: disarm the populace.

  • Ghost May 15, 2020, 7:22 am

    Ban on guns has nothing to do with crime…It has everything to do with “CONTROL”. Every evil Liberal in Office knows that. The peoples last line of positive defense against Tyranny of Government.

  • Linc Qimiq May 15, 2020, 3:04 am

    if u ban all gun how people use self defense without gun if crime trying to rob u .. THAT’S FUCK UP !!!

  • SuperG May 12, 2020, 11:21 am

    I would have appreciated a link to that Canadian report. When you cite something, it is best to supply the corroborating evidence, else it is just hearsay,

  • stan May 12, 2020, 9:40 am

    This for sharing this information , because every one should ask the question why the government is lying

    • Lawrence Greenberg May 12, 2020, 1:44 pm

      Why is the government lying? Because governments always lie. Governments have their own agenda which, sadly, rarely has anything to do with the best interests of their citizens.

      • Stan d. Upnow May 17, 2020, 9:25 am

        Finally, someone who understands what’s going on.

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