Steven Del Duca would ban all handguns

A provincial Liberal government would take aim at handguns if elected June 2.

In a campaign-style announcement in Scarborough, Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca said if he topples Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford, handguns would be banned within a year.

“I’ve had it with Doug Ford’s open for business policy for guns,” Del Duca said Tuesday behind a podium reading: “We Will Ban Handguns.”

“The Ford Conservatives are putting the interests of the gun lobby ahead of the Ontario victims of gun crime they swore an oath to protect. The result is handgun violence is spiraling out of control,” he said.

Del Duca said handguns would outlawed everywhere in Ontario within a year of him winning power.

“The choice on handguns is clear, more handguns and gun crime under the Ford Conservatives or a ban on handguns under the Ontario Liberals.”

Noting Ford’s government has “blocked municipal and federal efforts to ban handguns in Ontario,” Del Duca pointed out the premier himself opposes such prohibitions.

“This is unacceptable,” the Grit leader said.

After Toronto council requested a ban on the sale of handguns and ammunition in city limits in 2018, Ford said: “I wouldn’t support a ban on handguns.”

“There’s a lot of legal, responsible handgun owners. We have to refocus all our resources going after the bad guys, not the good guys,” the premier said at the time.

Del Duca said his government would accept Ottawa’s offer to bankroll a buy-back program and work with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stop gun-smuggling from the U.S.

“We will work with our partners and we will lead in this regard … within one year of taking office,” he said, adding the Liberals would also push other provinces toward a similar ban.

Robert Benzie is the Star’s Queen’s Park bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie

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