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Canada announces new bill to freeze handgun sales

May 31, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced efforts to tighten gun control after mass shootings in the United States reignited broader debate on the need for stricter gun measures.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with government officials and gun-control advocates, speaks at a news conference about firearm-control legislation that was tabled today in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada May 30, 2022.
"One Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many," said Prime Minister TrudeauImage: Blair Gable/REUTERS

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced new legislation on Monday to tighten gun control  laws.

The new bill, expected to go into force this fall after being passed by Parliament, puts a national freeze on handguns.

Once enacted, the bill would make it illegal for Canadians to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada, Trudeau said.

Families of shooting victims in Canada joined Trudeau at the press conference in the capital city of Ottawa as he announced the new measures.

"We are capping the number of handguns in the country," Trudeau said.

He added that if someone really wanted to keep their assault weapon, it would have to be completely inoperable.

Canada has already banned over 1,500 types of military-style assault firearms and expanded background checks to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

New bill imposes greater fines for criminal wrongdoing

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said guns are often smuggled into the country from the United States. 

The new legislation would fight smuggling and trafficking by increasing criminal penalties and strengthen border measures.

The bill would also take away firearms from people involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment, such as stalking.

Canada announced new measures as the US debates stricter gun control laws in the wake of mass shootings at a grocery store in Buffalo city, New York, and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

rm/jsi (AP, Reuters)

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