The rise in officer-involved shootings comes as Canada is seeing a surge in violent crime. According to the National Post, "there was a noticeable rise in the numbers of Canadians being raped, harassed, stabbed or assaulted" in both 2021 and 2022. Despite the rise in crime, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has continued to go after legal gun owners, the vast majority of whom use their weapons safely and only when absolutely necessary.
According to the Canadian Press, in 80 percent of incidents, the suspect had a weapon. Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Yukon, and BC all saw increases in police shootings over previous years, with the latter seeing such incidents nearly double from thirteen in 2021 to twenty-six in 2022
Despite being second and third on the list, behind BC, Ontario and Alberta actually saw slight decreases in police shootings this year.
A breakdown of shootings by law enforcement agencies showed that the RCMP were involved in the most, with thirty-five.
Use of force is often warranted, especially in cases where law enforcement needs to prevent a suspect from inflicting harm on them or others. In 2022, four officers were killed in the line of duty after responding to situations and firing shots themselves.
A recent amendment by the Liberals to Trudeau's pending gun control bill which would result in the largest gun prohibition in Canadian legislative history.
The amendment to Bill C-21 was initially pitched as a way to prevent the sale of Canadian handguns but its scope would criminalize "a firearm that is a rifle or shotgun, that is capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner and that is designed to accept a detachable cartridge magazine with a capacity greater than five cartridges of the type for which the firearm was originally designed."
In October, the Trudeau Liberals officially announced the implementation of their national handgun freeze. Canadians were no longer able to buy, sell, or transfer handguns, nor could they bring newly acquired handguns from elsewhere into the country.
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