Gun Control – NAWL submits brief on Bill C-21 to the Senate

10 October 2023
October 10, 2023

The National Association of Women and the Law submitted a brief on Bill C-21: An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms) to the Standing Senate Committee on National Security, Defence and Veterans Affairs. 

NAWL’s overall position on the bill 

The National Association of Women and the Law supports Bill C-21 and recommends its quick adoption. While weaker in its original form, the bill now contains stronger measures to protect women who are victims of family and intimate partner violence.  

In our brief, we explain the changes made to the bill following our brief to the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, as well as highlight a few remaining issues. 

The use of firearms in intimate partner violence 

According to the final report of the Mass Casualty Commission:

  • Firearm-related intimate partner violence is more common in rural areas.
  • Having access to a firearm is linked to a more than tenfold increase in the likelihood that a man will kill his partner, as opposed to committing non-fatal violence. 
  • Twenty-five percent of female victims of firearm-related violent crimes were victimized by a current or former intimate partner, as opposed to 2% of male victims of firearm-related violent crimes.

You can download our full brief here. 

This brief was endorsed by the following organizations: 

  • Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes 
  • Association féministe d’éducation et d’action sociale 
  • Calgary Legal Guidance 
  • Canadian Federation of University Women
  • Ending Violence Association of Canada 
  • Fédération des femmes du Québec 
  • Fédération des maisons d’hébergement pour femmes 
  • Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre for Women and Children 
  • National Council of Women of Canada 
  • Network of Women with Disabilities NOW
  • Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses 
  • Persons Against Non-State Torture 
  • Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale 
  • South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario 
  • Women’s Shelters Canada 
  • Women’s Centre for Social Justice 
  • Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund 


about NAWL
The National Association of Women and the Law is a not-for-profit feminist organization that promotes the equality rights of women through legal education, research and law reform advocacy.
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