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Canada unveils slightly stricter gun laws

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The Canadian government unveiled slightly stricter gun laws on Tuesday that include enhanced background checks and restrictions on who can own firearms, in response to a spike in gang-related gun crimes.

Checks used to go back only five years but now will look at a person’s entire “life history” before a gun ownership license is issued, according to the draft legislation.

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Persons with a mental illness linked to violence, who have a history of violence or have been convicted of criminal offenses such as harassment or drug trafficking would be prohibited from owning a gun.

Vendors would also be obliged to verify the validity of buyers’ firearm licenses before completing a transaction, and keep a sales record for 20 years — which would be accessible by police authorized by the courts.

The legislation would not add to the current list of restricted or prohibited weapons. Instead it would put the onus on federal police to make decisions on gun classifications in order to remove political interference.

“While Canada is one of the safest countries in the world, increased gun crime has caused too much violence and taken too many lives in communities of all kinds,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said in a statement.

“With this legislation and our other measures, we are taking concrete steps to make our country less vulnerable to the scourge of gun violence, while being fair to responsible, law-abiding firearms owners and businesses,” he said.

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The proposed law comes as Canada’s overall crime rate continues to fall, but gun crimes are on the rise.

According to government statistics, the number of crimes involving guns increased 30 percent to 2,465 from 2013 to 2016, while gun homicides (many of them involving gangs) rose by two-thirds to 223.

Most firearms owned by Canadians are non-restricted long guns such as hunting rifles and shotguns.

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For the most part, handguns, semi-automatics or fully automatic firearms are already restricted or prohibited.

Under the new law, two groups of guns (Swiss and Czech assault rifles) that were downgraded by the previous Tory administration in 2015 would be relisted at a higher classification.

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However, owners would be allowed to keep them under a grandfather clause as long as they followed the new classification rules limiting their use to activities such as target practice or as part of a collection.


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‘Moscow Mitch’ blunder means Donald Trump can never be vindicated: Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for violating a legal principle that has existed for over 1,000 -- and his move means that President Donald Trump can never be vindicated during impeachment.

Tribe, who has taught at Harvard Law School for 50 years and argued 36 cases before the United States Supreme Court, has been advising Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats during the impeachment inquiry. He was interviewed on Friday by MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber.

Tribe said, "what it looks like is that the majority leader is going to conduct this trial as though he's a member of the defense team," Tribe said. "You know, it's an ancient principle, centuries-old -- actually over a millennium old -- that you can't be a judge on your own case and effectively, to allow Donald Trump to call the shots, violates that principle."

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Democrats ‘are being more republican than Republicans’ in Judiciary Committee memo: Post columnist

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A Washington Post editorial is singing the praises of the Judiciary Committee's memo about the impeachment charges President Donald Trump is facing. The memo, titled “Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment” details the fundamental principles of the Constitution the founders outlined to guarantee the country wouldn't fall at the hands of corruption.

"The memo is remarkably originalist. Regardless of what happens with the impeachment, we are getting a much-needed civics lesson," The Post explained.

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Victim of Stephen Miller policy was murdered and dismembered — his body was found in 2 suitcases

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Controversial White House advisor Stephen Miller has pushed President Donald Trump to enact harsh immigration policies, which are getting more attention after a grisly murder.

"A 35-year-old man from El Salvador returned to Mexico under a controversial Trump administration program was brutally murdered in Tijuana while waiting for an outcome to his U.S. asylum case, according to his family’s attorney,'" The Sand Diego Union-Tribune reported Friday. "During a seven-month period, the man and his family repeatedly told U.S. officials — including a San Diego immigration court judge, officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and border agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection — that they were not safe in Tijuana, the lawyer said."

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