Chile’s President Gabriel Boric met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and afterward made a statement calling for international regulations on owning firearms.
Trudeau’s government has aggressively promoted policies and laws that significantly restrict gun ownership. For example, Trudeau recently introduced a ban on the sale or transfer of handguns in response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Crime is also surging in Canada, which was an additional factor cited for the legislation.
For his part, Boric announced his intention to ban all guns in Chile during his first annual speech as president. Currently, Citizens in the country over the age of 18 can own up to two firearms, but there are extensive background checks and they must provide justification for the purchase. Chile’s gun crime has increased due to the country’s expansion of drug cartel activity. It is unclear how taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens will decrease violent crime.
There has been increased pressure for gun control after the rash of mass shootings in the United States. In addition to the Uvalde shooting, there was the Buffalo, New York, grocery store shooting where 10 people were killed.
Although the pleas for gun control are satisfying emotionally, leaders like Trudeau and Boric have been unable to show evidence that prohibitive firearms legislation decreases violent crime. One only needs to look at the cities and states in the U.S. that have the strictest measures for guns to see that it doesn’t; they typically have the highest gun crime.
The gun bans in Canada and Chile are expected to survive judicial scrutiny. Unlike the United States, countries in the international community do not have a Second Amendment that enshrines gun ownership as a right. Individual states can regulate them, but attempts to do so are invariably challenged in the courts.
There is unquestionably momentum throughout the international community for more restrictions to be placed on guns, and leaders like Trudeau and Boric intend to take maximum advantage of the current climate.