Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns welcomes stronger background checks as part of key progress on gun violence reduction
Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns (CDPG) is very pleased with today’s announcement by Public Safety Minister Bill Blair regarding the implementation of key aspects of Bill C-71 (An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms), including the improving of background checks on new gun purchasers from only five years to a lifetime to take affect July 7th.
"Expanding background checks is a critically important strategy in reducing gun violence. Like all preventative public health measures, better screening will save lives,” said Dr. Najma Ahmed, Co-Chair, Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns. It is smart, evidence-informed policy."
CDPG was formed in February 2019, at a time when Bill C-71 was running into trouble in the Senate. Members of CDPG went to Ottawa and, along with other advocates, urged the Senators to pass the law. “It is our moral and professional obligation to inform Senators of what we see and what we know so that you can do your job better and make the public safe.”
Gun violence is a persistent public health challenge in this country. In fact, Canada has the 5th highest age-adjusted, gun mortality rate of 23 OECD peer countries. Bill C-71 and the coming into force of regulations around the transporting of firearms, better verification of firearm licenses for the selling or transferring of non-restricted guns, and improved record keeping requirements of gun retailers, are significant and welcome measures.
“Evidence from around the world is clear: reducing access to guns will save lives,” said Dr. Philip Berger, Senior Advisor to CDPG. ” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair are to be commended for their commitment to seeing Bill C-71 and its regulations through, and we urge all party leaders to commit to maintaining this legislation and pushing harder for gun control in Canada.”
There is still much to do, including strengthening and passing Bill C-21 and new funding and measures to address the social determinants of health – poverty, racism, and access to education, among others.
About Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns
Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns (CDPG) is a grassroots organization concerned about the increasing public health impact of firearms. We represent physicians working in collaboration with nurses, paramedics, rehabilitation specialists, psychologists, researchers, and other front-line health care professionals. We have all witnessed first-hand the emotional and physical trauma and devastation caused by guns. CDPG calls for a comprehensive public policy response to this crisis in our communities, including preventative tools to reduce gun use and their consequences on youth violence, domestic abuse, and suicide.
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