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CANADA: Liberals warned to not 'download' gun control to victims

Women's groups support efforts to use available means to identify risks and swiftly remove firearms from people who pose a threat to themselves or others
Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, speaks during an announcement regarding the Government of Canada’s ongoing efforts to protect Canadians from the threat of gun violence during a press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Several women's groups are urging the federal Liberals to abandon the idea of allowing an endangered person to apply to a court for an order to remove firearms from a stalker or abuser.

They say the so-called red flag provision, proposed in a bill that did not pass last year, would lead to more tragedy by downloading responsibility for gun-law enforcement to potential victims.

The groups make the plea in a letter to Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Women and Gender Equality Minister Marci Ien as the government prepares new gun-control legislation.

The groups support efforts to use available means, as well as additional powers and community education, to identify risks and swiftly remove firearms from people who pose a threat to themselves or others.

The letter urges the government to focus on training, more rigorous screening, better enforcement and accountability of police and other government officials responsible for safeguarding the security of women and other potential victims of gun violence

The May 16 letter is signed by Tiffany Butler, executive director of the National Association of Women and the Law, on behalf of representatives of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, YWCA Toronto, the Canadian Women's Foundation, and Women's Shelter Canada, among others.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2022.

The Canadian Press