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Nearly half of Canadians think gun laws aren't strict enough, says new poll

About 17 per cent of surveyed Canadians say firearm laws are too strict.
Last week, the Government of Canada announced they would implement “new rules to better regulate non-restricted firearms.” | Noel Hendrickson/Stone/Getty Images

People in Canada and worldwide were reminded this weekend of the toll of gun violence after an American teenager emboldened by white supremacy ideology murdered 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York — only blocks from the U.S.-Canada border.

It was the 198th mass shooting in the U.S. this year.

It's not uncommon for Canadians to make a comparison when U.S. mass shootings break. That was the case Sunday with Catherine McKenna, the former federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, who tweeted that she was “feeling very fortunate to live in Canada.”

But that's not a feeling shared by all.

A recent Angus Reid survey of 5,000 Canadians found that 60 per cent reported that gun violence is rising in their province. Further, 43 per cent said gun violence was increasing in their community. 

Some provinces feel its increase more than others: 75 per cent of Quebecers and 66 per cent of Ontarians who responded were most likely to perceive this to be the case.

The study also found urban Canadians are more likely to say that their communities are more violent than rural communities. 

Data from Statistic Canada confirms that firearm offences have grown more frequent than years prior.

hen it comes to Canada's national gun policy, 44% said it's not strict enough. 

This comes on the heels of an announcement last week that the Government of Canada is implementing “new rules to better regulate non-restricted firearms.” These include banning assault-style firearms, strengthening border protections, and better regulation of sales and transfers of non-restricted firearms.

In Metro Vancouver, about 50 per cent surveyed said they support a federal buyback program for banned firearms, while overall, most Canadians oppose the idea.

Recently, gun control advocates sent a letter to Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino, asking him and the federal government to create a uniform national policy for banning guns instead of leaving it up to the provinces to avoid patchwork across the country.

And this is a sentiment 66 per cent of Canadians agree with, leaning towards federal regulation than provincial.