Gun Laws In Canada Help Counter U.S.-Style Massacres

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A firearms expert says Canada's tougher gun laws likely help insulate this country from U.S-style massacres like the one in Connecticut Friday that shocked the world.

A gunman shot and killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in the community of Newtown, making it one of the worst school massacres in U.S. history. The gunman was also found dead at the school, while his mother was found slain in her home, for a total of 28 lives lost.

It’s not yet been revealed exactly how many or what types of weapons the 20-year-old shooter used or how he acquired them.

In many U.S. states, weapons of many kinds are readily available for legal purchase with just a driver’s licence as ID.

“I guess you could say part of their problem would be the fact that their constitution allows it, unlike in Canada [where] it's more of a privilege,” said Tony Di Salvatore is a firearms instructor in Surrey, B.C.

It takes up to 60 days to obtain a firearm in this country, after registering, taking a course and going through background checks.

“It's … just not a five minute process,” Di Salvatore said.

Di Salvatore said Canada's gun controls used to be even stronger until the long-gun registry was dismantled this year.

He says it provided one extra check and balance to regulate weapons.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper signalled last week that his government might not act on recommendations from a federal advisory committee to further loosen gun regulations.

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