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The Federal Liberals’ Bill Blair was doing country-wide consultations on whether handguns should be banned in Canada after last year’s marked increase in gun homicides in Toronto. Where are we with this? Outside of hunting weapons, is it reasonable to take the risk of allowing civilians to carry handguns and assault rifles? If so, what protections should be put in place to prevent the misuse of such weapons and their proliferation? If we ignore this opportunity to ban them, could we soon reach a point of no return, such that people buy guns to protect themselves from too many bad guys who won’t give them up? I think all assault rifles should be banned among civilians and that the restrictions and screening for handgun ownership should be severe. I’m also comfortable with a ban. Allowing such weapons on the market to satisfy collectors and target shooters isn’t worth the public safety risk. I also think that the penalty for illegal gun ownership should be quite harsh and widely publicized before and after a designated national gun amnesty period to hand in guns to police without any questions asked.