Mandatory Minimum Gun Laws
April 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada struck down a law requiring mandatory minimum sentences for crimes involving prohibited unregistered guns. Chief Justice McLachlin, said the statute was unconstitutional and labelled the law cruel and unusual. The federal governments argued that the minimums do not breach the Charter protection against cruel and unusual punishment. The mandatory minimums enacted in 2008 were in response to the increasing number of handgun possession cases coming before the courts.
The ruling said the mandatory minimum sentence could entrap innocent people who pose “little or no threat to the citizens.” As the Court concluded, there exists a disparity between the severity of the licensing-type offence and the harsh mandatory minimum three-year term of incarceration. The government cites keeping Canadians safe as the reason for its tough sentencing laws yet Chief Justice McLachlin shot down the ill-conceived notion in her justification for her ruling stating “The government has not proved that mandatory minimum terms of incarceration act as a restraint against gun-related crimes,” she wrote. “Studies suggests that mandatory minimum sentences do not, in fact, deter crimes.”
Justice Minister Peter MacKay said in a statement that “the government will continue to be tough on those who commit serious crimes and jeopardize citizen’s safety, and he ensures that the government will take steps towards protecting Canadians from gun crime.”
There is certainly a need for gun control and minimum sentencing but as seen it should use in “extreme crimes.” In retrospect, the “over-use” of them isn’t necessarily doing a service to Canadians, by not keeping them safer and therefore. Wasting a lot of taxpayers’ dollars on unnecessary court challenges,” quoted the Supreme Court.