In a letter addressed today to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair, members of Northern Ontario Large Urban Mayors (NOLUM) – which includes Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano – urged the federal government to reconsider recent proposed gun legislation.
The legislation in question would allow individual municipalities to ban handguns, the letter states.
"We strongly believe it is important that the Federal Government of Canada put in place legislation ensuring uniformity across the country when it comes to rules related to handguns."
Full text of the NOLUM letter follows:
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Blair:
We are the five members NOLUM, Northern Ontario Large Urban Mayors, representing the cities of North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Greater Sudbury, Timmins and Thunder Bay.
We are writing to express our concern for the newly tabled federal gun legislation, which would allow individual municipalities the discretion to ban handguns through by-laws, restricting their possession, storage and transportation.
In Northern Ontario alone, there are approximately 145 municipalities. We cannot begin to imagine the complexity the large number of municipalities in our area would create for law enforcement officials. On a matter such as handguns, it is clear to us that the Federal Government must own the responsibility for setting the rules. We strongly believe it is important that the Federal Government of Canada put in place legislation ensuring uniformity across the country when it comes to rules related to handguns.
We urge you to reconsider the patchwork approach of giving municipalities the authority to set by-laws related to the possession, storage and transportation of handguns. We see no utility in allowing municipalities to set their own set of by-laws, and in fact, what we do anticipate is confusion and frustration for both law enforcement professionals, handgun owners and others.
Thank you for your consideration of our input on what we feel is a very important matter.
Mayor Al McDonald
City of North Bay
Mayor Christian Provenzano
City of Sault Ste. Marie
Mayor Brian Bigger
City of Greater Sudbury
Mayor George Pirie
City of Timmins
Mayor Bill Mauro
City of Thunder Bay