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Ontario AG asks for power to ban handguns

[JURIST] Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant [official profile] has asked the Canadian federal government for the power to ban handguns, vowing to look to constitutional options if he is refused. Last last week Bryant criticized current Canadian firearms laws [Canadian Criminal Code provisions] permitting collectors to own guns for sporting competitions as ineffective, due to "the dangers caused even by safe storage of these weapons of human misery." Bryant's statements come after a wave of thefts from handgun collectors and a rash of gun-related violence [Toronto Star report] in Ontario, where a reported 2 million guns are registered. In December, outgoing Prime Minister Paul Martin [official website] proposed a national ban on handguns [JURIST report]; less than three weeks later Toronto mayor David Miller lashed out at lax US gun laws [JURIST report] after a shooting spree on a main downtown street left one person killed and six bystanders wounded. New Prime Minister Stephen Harper, [official profile] who cited cracking down on crime as a key issue in the January's Canadian federal election, will face the issue next, but is not in favor of a handgun ban. The Toronto Star has more.

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