Here’s where the federal parties stand on gun regulation as cities such as Montreal experience a summer of gun violence




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A recent rise in gun violence in Quebec, which included a triple homicide in Montreal on Aug. 2 and two more deadly shootings the following week, has reignited criticism of the federal government’s proposed gun control legislation and sparked calls for new measures ahead of the federal election.

The Quebec government, the city of Montreal, and gun control groups have attacked the Trudeau government’s controversial plan to tighten gun restrictions, which was introduced in February, claiming that its measures will do little to reduce gun violence or improve public safety.

“Bill C-21 is unsatisfactory,” Guillaume Cloutier, associate chief of staff to Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, tweeted last week in response to a shooting that murdered three people in Rivière-des-Prairies in Montreal’s east end.

Bill C-21, if passed, would establish a voluntary buyback scheme for blacklisted firearms, including assault-style rifles, raise criminal penalties for gun smuggling and trafficking, and allow municipalities to ban handguns. Only twice has the bill been considered in the House of Commons.

Critics have criticized the buyback program’s voluntary nature as well as the choice to shift responsibility for firearm bans to municipalities. Many people have stated that local bans would be difficult to enforce, and other governments, such as Ontario, have already rejected the proposal.

The Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights, a gun-owner advocacy group, has criticized the bill, claiming it is directed at the wrong people and pledging to resist any steps that result in the “confiscation of legal guns from RCMP-vetted gun owners.”

According to a March Leger poll, two-thirds of Canadians support tougher gun-control legislation, and more than half say they should include a forced buyback scheme for outlawed firearms, which is consistent with the viewpoint of gun-control advocacy groups.

With gun violence on the rise in major Canadian cities like Vancouver — or increasing both more widespread and brutal, as it is in Toronto — it looks that gun regulation may be on voters’ minds as they travel to the polls.