Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau promised to “ensure that we’re strengthening gun control in this country” following the killing of at least 18 people by a gunman in Nova Scotia over the weekend, the deadliest shooting in Canadian history.
Speaking to reporters, Trudeau said he was “on the verge” of banning semi-automatic rifles, and could implement other measures following the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
“I can say that we were on the verge of introducing legislation to ban assault-style weapons across this country,” he said. “It was interrupted when the pandemic caused Parliament to be suspended, but we have every intention of moving forward on that measure, and potentially other measures, when Parliament returns.”
He added that his campaign “took very serious commitments” on gun control, which he is now “moving forward on” in order “to ensure that we’re strengthening gun control in this country.”
According to authorities, the 51-year-old gunman disguised himself as a police officer, pulling over random motorists and shooting them over a twelve-hour period, before being killed in a gun battle with police in Enfield — approximately 60 miles from the initial crime scene.
Authorities have not said what firearms the gunman used in the shooting or how he obtained them.
Rod Giltaca, chief executive of the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights, said the country should focus on supporting “those affected by this senseless tragedy,” not gun control.
“Just shy of 24 hours past the tragedy in Nova Scotia, the gun-control lobby is leveraging this community’s suffering for their own political gain,” he said. “No law in this country could have stopped a madman with this level of determination and resources.”