Gun Control Laws in Canada
In his Jan. 27, 2000 State of the Union Address, President Clinton proposed a law requiring the licensing of all American handgun owners.
"Now, specifically, I propose a plan to ensure that all new handgun buyers must first have a photo license from their state showing they passed the Brady background check and a gun safety course, before they get the gun." -- President Clinton, 1/27/2000
The proposal was immediately opposed by American firearms owners, dealers, and manufacturers, as well as many members of the U.S. Congress.
Canadian Firearms Act
Since Dec. 1, 1998, the day Canada's Firearms Act of 1995 went into full effect, Canadian gun owners have become very familiar with these:
This is a sample Canadian firearms license. Canadians who already own guns have until Jan. 1, 2001 to get a license. Licenses for "possession only" and for "possession and acquisition" are available. Buying a gun in Canada now requires a "possession and acquisition" license.
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To own or buy rifles and shotguns, Canadians are required to take the Canadian Firearms Safety Course. Owning or buying handguns, requires completion of the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course.
Spousal Notification Required
Under the new law, all Canadian citizens applying for a firearms license are required to have their present and past spouse or common-law partner sign the application. Refusal of the spouse, for any reason, to sign the application will trigger further investigation by law enforcement officers.
In addition, the Canadian government has set up a "spousal notification" toll-free information line (1-800-731-4000) through which spouses can report crimes or express concerns about a person's qualifications to posses firearms.
Handgun Ownership Restricted
Canada, with a population of 31 million, limits possession of handguns to collectors, target shooters and those who can demonstrate a need of guns to protect their lives.
In addition to licensing all gun owners and buyers, the Canadian Firearms Act requires every gun in the Country to have a certificate of registration.
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