Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says with the recent surge in shootings and deaths in the Lower Mainland gang conflict, he is “fully supportive” of the federal government’s new bill that, if passed, would allow municipalities to ban handguns.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday (Feb. 16) the measures will be backed up with serious penalties to enforce these bylaws, including jail time for people who violate municipal rules.
Those bans would be enforced through bylaws restricting their possession, storage and transportation.
In a press release, McCallum said the new legislation gives municipalities “the ability to take direct action on banning handguns.”
He added he is directing staff to “immediately” begin work on a bylaw for council approval “as quickly as possible.”
In Vancouver, Mayor Kennedy Stewart said “at the earliest opportunity,” he will be bringing forward a motion directing staff to prepare a handgun ban bylaw.
In the last two months, there have been several shootings and deaths related to the Lower Mainland gun conflict.
– With files from The Canadian Press, Sarah Grochowski