Guns Must Not Be Used For Self-Defense, Canada’s Trudeau Insists
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told podcast this week that guns must never be used for self defense
Mert Alper Dervis / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Guns are for hunting and target practice, but never for self defense, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this week, continuing his crusade against firearms.

Trudeau, who is pushing a sweeping measure aimed at freezing the sale, purchase, or transfer of handguns in Canada, told the Pod Save America podcast his country takes a completely different view of firearms than its southern neighbor. No one in Canada has a right to defend themselves, their family or their property with a firearm, Trudeau declared.

“We have a culture where the difference is: Guns can be used for hunting or for sport shooting in Canada – and there are lots of gun owners, and they’re mostly law-respecting and law-abiding – but you can’t use a gun for self-protection in Canada,” Trudeau said. “That’s not a right that you have in the Constitution or anywhere else.”

The firearms freeze now being considered by lawmakers in Ottawa is Canada’s “most ambitious attempt yet to restrict access to firearms in this country,” the CBC reported.

Trudeau announced the measure last month shortly after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead. Although that attack was carried out by an 18-year-old loner with an AR-15 rifle, it sparked renewed calls for control of firearms, including handguns. Trudeau insisted that the massacre in Texas was not what prompted his effort.

“There’s this sense that Canada responded to the shooting in Texas by suddenly turning around and banning guns,” Trudeau said. “But we’ve been working on this for seven years … We’ve had a lot of setbacks … but since we got elected seven years ago, we’ve been steadily working on strengthening gun control.”

The Trudeau-backed measure allows current handgun owners to keep them, but it would cap the number already in Canada.

“This is a concrete and real national measure that will go a long way towards keeping Canadians safe,” Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa.

In 2010, Trudeau warned against gun control measures, saying that requirements to register them was a first step toward taking firearms away from citizens. But even then, he referred to guns as tools for hunting, and not self-defense.

“Here in Canada, we have a culture that has grown up with guns and it respects the need to go out into the wilderness and shoot things from time to time,” Trudeau said.

“The Trudeau government must stop punishing law-abiding gun owners and keep their hands off our guns,” the petition reads.

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