The Liberal government announced Wednesday it would allow private individuals to openly carry guns in Canada.
The decision comes amid concerns about a spike in gun violence, including a spate of deadly shootings in Toronto and Montreal that killed seven and injured dozens more.
The Liberals plan to allow people to carry concealed weapons in public places in Canada, including churches, churches, colleges and public places such as libraries, schools, theatres and movie theatres.
The Conservatives have said the Liberals’ decision would open the door to more gun violence and a wider swath of people in Canada being allowed to openly conceal their weapons.
In a news release, the Liberals said it was “essential to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and the mentally ill.”
The announcement comes amid fears about a rise in gun deaths, including the recent shootings in Montreal and Toronto that killed six and injured hundreds.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Liberal government is working to strengthen laws to prevent gun violence.
The Liberals plan a new approach to controlling firearms, one that will include increased oversight and stricter gun licensing.