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Saskatchewan seeks to protect right to own handguns ahead of Ottawa ban

“We will take every opportunity that we can to make sure that the status quo does remain,” said Premier Scott Moe.

Saskatchewan passed a municipal government bill on Tuesday which will prevent cities in the province from being able to legislate a handgun ban.

The new amendment comes ahead of an expected announcement by the Trudeau government which would give municipalities the ability to ban handguns for law-abiding firearm owners within their cities. 

“We will take every opportunity that we can to make sure that the status quo does remain,” said Premier Scott Moe. 

“It’s extremely concerning — not only the introduction of this ban — the fact that they have not consulted with provinces on this ban.”

The premier had wide-ranging support from municipal officials, including Regina’s Mayor Michael Fougere, according to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. 

“This is quite rightly provincial jurisdiction that they take this matter up and deal with it,” said Fougere. 

“I think it’s not the jurisdiction of municipalities to be banning guns or rifles. So I’m supportive of the initiative of the province.”

Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed that a handgun ban bill was currently being reviewed.

“We know there is more to do on strengthening gun control in this country which is why we’re going to be moving forward when Parliament allows it with stronger measures around borders, stronger measures around safe storage,” Trudeau said.

“Measures around handguns to permit municipalities to ban handguns within their city limits.”

The announcement came on the heels of another sweeping ban on what the Liberals referred to as “assault-style” weapons. 

The law, which banned the sale, distribution, and ownership of 1,500 different types of firearms, was brought into force through an Order in Council, effectively bypassing any debate in the House of Commons. 

In response to Trudeau’s earlier ban, Saskatchewan announced it would be appointing a chief firearms officer to advocate for firearms rights within the province with the federal government. 

“We believe a provincially-appointed chief firearms officer will be well-positioned to represent Saskatchewan’s position on firearms regulation to the federal government,” said Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell.

“Our government will always stand beside law-abiding Saskatchewan firearms owners, and we believe a provincially-appointed CFO will assist in that advocacy.”

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