FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – MP Bob Zimmer believes new gun legislation introduced by the federal government targets lawful gun owners instead of illegal activity.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Bill C-21 Tuesday, which is new legislation to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act.

The legislation would allow municipalities to ban handguns through by-laws restricting storage and transportation. This includes federal penalties to anyone that violates the by-laws.

Zimmer believes resources are being used to target law-abiding gun owners, which he calls ‘irresponsible’.

“What’s news to this government, it seems, but not news to anybody else is that criminals don’t obey firearms laws in the first place. So having a handgun ban in municipalities will hardly change illegal firearms used in any municipality,” says Zimmer.

The amendment will leave municipalities with a big decision that will include conversations with the federal government. After Trudeau’s announcement, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart announced his plans to seek and implement a handgun ban in Vancouver.

“We’re already seeing mayors line up to enact this particular gun law once it passes, but again, very troubling for us lawful firearms guys,” says Zimmer.

Last month, the Liberal government shot down Bill C-238, a conservative bill seeking stricter penalties for illegal gun activity.

“I believe that even folks that don’t own handguns or firearms see this is it’s an ill-written bill, and it doesn’t target the real problem.”

Bill C-21 would also:

During Trudeau’s announcement, he mentioned recent tragedies in Toronto and Montréal, stating “one Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many”.

“This is why our government has taken some of the strongest action in our country’s history against gun violence. We will continue to take steps to strengthen gun control measures, remove dangerous weapons from our streets, and make sure everyone can feel safe from violence,” says Trudeau.

The new legislation also proposes a buyback of a wide array of recently banned firearms the government considers assault-style weapons. A two-year amnesty was implemented last May to give owners time to get rid of their weapons without facing criminal charges.