Wounded Quebec City mosque worshippers urge Trudeau to ban assault weapons

OTTAWA — Wounded worshippers and family members of those killed in the Quebec City mosque shooting are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to outlaw assault weapons.

In a Monday letter to Trudeau, more than 75 people express dismay that the Liberal government’s firearms bill does not ban assault rifles like the one carried by mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette.

Bissonnette, 28, pleaded guilty in March to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder.

Bissonnette began his January 2017 rampage with a .223-calibre Small Arms VZ58 Sporter rifle, which is legal, along with two illegal 30-cartridge magazines.

When the rifle jammed on the first shot, he turned to a handgun and five 10-bullet magazines.

The letter asks how much worse the carnage could have been had Bissonnette’s rifle been working.

“What kind of society allows a single individual to have so much destructive, lethal power at their disposal?” the letter says.

Witnesses and survivors of the attack hope the pain of reliving details through recent media reports will be made worthwhile by a government effort “to make sure such mass shootings never happen again, first and foremost by removing legal access to assault weapons and their deadly accessories,” the letter adds.

The federal bill introduced in March has been criticized by other gun-control advocates as too weak.

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