Is it time for stricter gun control?

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A new poll suggests more and more Canadians support stricter gun control policies.

Stricter gun control is a contentious issue in Canada. But a new poll suggests Canadian attitudes are shifting to favor stricter control on guns. Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, the polling firm, also tracked opinions for many other political and social issues. When it comes to guns, results show that more than half of Canadians support a mandatory buyback program for prohibited firearms.

This is in line with the latest Liberal government legislation, or Bill C-21. The new bill would introduce a buyback for assault-style weapons. Gun owners would keep their firearms only under strict conditions. Among these, it would be imperative for them to register and safely store assault-style firearms.

Compared to the U.S., more people in Canada believe there should be stricter gun control. In the U.S., the percentage of people who believe there should be less control or prefer not to answer is also higher. This shows the different cultural attitudes regarding firearms between Canadians and U.S. citizens.

Canadian survivor organizations take a stance.

Of the 66 percent that believes there should be stricter control, at least 52 percent also believe the buyback program should be mandatory. Only 35 percent of respondents believe that the buyback program should be voluntary. Nonetheless, the poll itself did not concern itself with Canadian views on banning smaller types of firearms such as handguns.

Meanwhile, survivor associations such as PolySeSouvient decided to take a stronger stance, banning PM Justin Trudeau from commemorations over the Polytechnique mass shooting of 1989. These associations maintain that the government should strengthen Bill C-21 to provide a safer country.

If the government passes the new legislation, it would also mean greater discretion to municipalities. PolySeSouvient, however, is urging MPs to vote against Bill C-21. The organization believes that it can only be efficient if a national ban on handguns.