Liberals to unveil details of plan to restrict assault rifles, handguns

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will unveil his party’s plan to restrict assault rifles and handguns in Toronto today.

Trudeau will be making the 10:30 a.m. ET announcement in Toronto’s Greektown, the site of a deadly gun rampage last summer.

Faisal Hussain walked through the Danforth neighbourhood on July 22, 2018, shooting at people on the street, on patios and in restaurants.

He killed 10-year-old Julianna Kozis and 18-year-old Reese Fallon. Thirteen others were injured. Hussain, 29, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after a gunfight with police.

Today’s Liberal announcement is expected to be a two-pronged policy promise to restrict or prohibit assault rifles and to allow cities to impose bans on handguns.

The policy differences between the Liberals and Conservatives on guns are stark.

In a radio interview in Kitchener earlier this week, Trudeau accused Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer of “being in the pocket” of the gun lobby.

During an event in Saint John today, Scheer called that a “ridiculous accusation” made by a leader mired in scandal and desperate to change the channel.

Very different party positions

“Our plan goes after the real criminals. We’re going after illegal firearms, we’re standing up for honest Canadians, farmers and hunters, people who use firearms responsibly and legally,” he said.

“It’s easy to ask law-abiding Canadians to follow more laws. It’s harder to go after the criminals and illegal firearms. Conservatives are ready to do the hard work that will actually improve safety in our communities.”

Bill Blair, who served as the Liberal government’s point man on gun control, told the CBC’s Fifth Estate a re-elected Liberal government would ban some types of “assault-style” rifles and bring in additional restrictions on where firearms can be possessed or stored.

Toronto Mayor John Tory, whose city has been reeling from eruptions of gun violence, has been calling for a national handgun ban for more than a year, but in August he said he would be happy with a city-wide ban.