Women’s Organizations Call on National Party Leaders to Honour Their Campaign Promises to Ban Assault-Style Firearms

7 March 2023
March 7, 2023

Women For Gun Control

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/03/2023

Weapons designed for war are a threat to the safety of women and girls, groups say

Ottawa, ON: Thirty-one women’s and feminist organizations from across Canada are calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to honour his government’s longstanding commitment to ban assault-style firearms in Canada. The groups are also asking all opposition party leaders to respect the wishes of the majority of Canadians, who want these weapons banned, by supporting the reintroduction of amendments on assault-style firearms in Bill C-21 and ensuring the legislation’s swift passage during the minority Parliament.

The organizations’ call for action, which was made in the form of an open letter to all party leaders, comes on the eve of International Women’s Day, and as the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security resumes hearings this week to consider reintroduction of the critical amendments.

The open letter highlights that gun control is a feminist issue, since access to guns is a primary risk factor for armed violence, including femicide. Rural women are particularly vulnerable to firearm-related intimate partner violence, the letter notes.

“Assault-style firearms, which are designed for military use and have no legitimate civilian purpose, are a direct threat to the safety and security of women and girls”, the letter states. Members of the coalition are calling for decisive action to address this issue and protect women and communities from gun violence.

In the past few months, the public conversation regarding a Canadian ban on assault-style firearms has been derailed by disinformation from the gun lobby and other opponents of gun control. “As feminist and women’s organizations, we stand united in our commitment to end gender-based violence and promote the safety and wellbeing of all Canadians, including through a comprehensive federal ban on assault-style firearms in Canada”, says the open letter.

The coalition has also launched an online campaign, #Women4GunControl, inviting concerned citizens to reach out to their elected representatives. As well, representatives of the women’s organizations are meeting tomorrow with the Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino, and hope to soon meet with representatives of the other federal parties.

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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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