[JURIST] Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty [official website] on Thursday urged Canadian officials to embrace his call for an outright ban on handguns. Acknowledging that all federal leaders should use the upcoming October election to discuss the issue, McGuinty commented [The Globe and Mail local coverage]:
We have an opportunity as a distinct Canadian society to say, 'We are not going to do what other countries have. We're going to do everything we can to eliminate handguns.'To combat increased gun violence in Canada's biggest city, Toronto Mayor David Miller [official website] launched a similar campaign for a country-wide handgun ban [official campaign website] last spring, stating [press release]:
Toronto continues to face unacceptable incidents of gun violence. These cannot be fully addressed without a total ban on handguns. Handguns are designed for one purpose and that is to kill people and have no place in our society. Statistics show that in jurisdictions with gun bans, supply is limited and shootings are less common.The Toronto Star has more.
Last summer, Miller and several regional and city leaders, including Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay [official website], wrote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official website] urging [letter text, PDF] the federal government to support the domestic handgun ban and "do everything possible" to stop the flow of foreign handguns into the country. Prime Minister Harper has yet to support an outright prohibition on handguns, but maintains [Canwest News Service local coverage] that his government "needs to do more to deal with offenders who use guns to commit crimes."