The runup to the Summit of the Americas meeting this week in Los Angeles provided a platform for Chile’s new socialist President Gabriel Boric the opportunity to declare that he wants his nation to “imitate” Canadian gun control with an eye toward global gun bans.
Boric’s first televised remarks as president came last week as he addressed his ruling coalition that includes members of the Chile Communist Party. During his speech, he emphasized his plans to impose a total ban on firearm ownership and self-defense.
The translation of his speech detailed his claim that “gun violence will not be tolerated” in Chile. He announced a “Fewer Guns, More Safety” program designed to place “radical limitations” on gun ownership. He asked the legislature to approve laws that will move the country to a “total ban on gun ownership.”
Boric’s comments came just before he met in Canada with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week.
Trudeau announced his push last month to ban the sale or transfer of handguns in Canada. He described the legislative plan as a “national freeze” on handgun purchases in a step toward a full ban.
While visiting Trudeau, Boric said Monday that he hoped to imitate Canadian gun policies in his effort to take the power of self-defense away from his country’s citizens. During a joint press conference with the Canadian leader, he said that the two had discussed the details of eliminating private firearm ownership.
Boric went on in his remarks to call for global gun control legislation. He expressed his hope that international legislation will become possible because he believes the “possession of firearms is bad for societies.”
Current Chilean law allows residents over 18 to own up to two firearms following extensive registration requirements and pre-approval by a certified psychiatric examiner. Firearm permits also require applicants pass an official examination on the use and storage of firearms. A different process is required for a permit to possess a firearm in public. Certain classes of firearms, including all semi-automatics, are totally banned.
Chile has seen ongoing leftist violence since 2019, beginning with riots related to proposed increases in public transportation fares in the capital city Santiago. Boric’s presidential campaign did little to reduce his party’s calls for violence against his political rivals before his election.
President Joe Biden has also recently ramped up demands for new American gun control legislation. He used the emotional appeal of the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, to call for a ban on semi-automatic rifles and so-called “high-capacity magazines. He also demanded “red flag” laws that are expressly designed to permit administrative gun confiscation without due process of law.