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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.

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.

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“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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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Republicans ‘are still scared Mueller might go rogue’: Lawyer who defended Trump official explains GOP’s fear

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Republicans are terrified that special counsel Robert Mueller could harm President Donald Trump during public testimony before Congress, a lawyer who used to represent a Trump official explained on MSNBC on Monday.

Attorney Caroline Polisi, who represented George Papadopoulos, was interviewed on "The Beat" by Ari Melber.

The host played clips pointing out how hard it is for lawmakers to get information out of Mueller during congressional

"What's so interesting here, even in the face of all of this, they’re scared he may go rogue," Polisi explained.

"They’re still a little bit scared of that one percent possibility," she noted.

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Here are 3 things Americans must hear from Mueller’s testimony: Democratic senator

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No one can say with certainty what former special counsel Robert Mueller will tell the American people when he testifies before the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees on Wednesday.

But on Monday, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) told CNN's Wolf Blitzer the broad strokes of what Mueller will be expected to say — and what the American people should be listening for if they are not yet convinced President Donald Trump has committed impeachable offenses.

"Do you think there are Americans out there who still haven't made up their mind on this issue of impeachment, obstruction of justice, collusion and all of that?" Blitzer asked her. "Have the American people moved on?"

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New Orleans funk icon and co-founder of the Neville Brothers Art Neville dies at 81

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Art Neville, a New Orleans funk legend and co-founder of the Neville Brothers, has died, his brother said Monday. He was 81 years old.

The singer and keyboard player who answered to the sobriquet "Poppa Funk" was well known as the voice of the "Mardi Gras Mambo," which quickly became a mainstay of his home city's famed carnival after he first played it at age 17.

"Artie Poppa Funk Neville you are loved dearly by every one who knew you. Love always your lil' big brother AARON (we ask for privacy during this time of mourning)," his brother, soul singer Aaron Neville, tweeted.

His death follows that of another famed New Orleans musician, the blues pianist Dr. John, who died last month.

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