Firearms regulation: Canada in the international context

Chronic Dis Can. 1998;19(1):25-34.


Gun deaths and injuries in Canada are a serious public health problem, claiming more than 1200 lives each year and resulting in over 1000 hospitalizations. While the issue has been hotly debated in recent years, considerable research in an international context suggests that there is a relationship between access to firearms and deaths and injuries caused by firearms. Interventions to reduce access to firearms include regulation, education and engineering. Legislative reforms aimed at reducing gun deaths and injuries have been introduced recently in Canada and in many other countries. Although domestic controls can affect the supply of guns, efforts are being co-ordinated increasingly on an interjurisdictional basis to decrease the illegal trafficking of firearms. As well, the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Commission recently passed a resolution encouraging all countries who have not done so to strengthen their domestic gun controls since weak controls in one country can affect security in others.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Firearms / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Wounds, Gunshot / epidemiology
  • Wounds, Gunshot / prevention & control*