New law will introduce a ‘national freeze’ on buying, selling and transferring handguns in Canada, government says.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced new legislation that his government says will usher in “some of the strongest gun control measures” in decades, including a “freeze” on gun purchases and sales in the country.
Speaking at a news conference in Ottawa Monday night, Trudeau cited a series of mass shootings in Canada over the decades, as well as recent attacks in the United States, as part of his administration’s push to introduce Bill C-21.
“Canadians all agree that we need less gun violence. We must not allow the arms debate to become so polarized that nothing is done about it. We can’t let that happen in our country,” Trudeau told reporters.
“Gun violence is a complex problem, but in the end the math is actually quite simple. The fewer guns in our communities, the safer everyone will be.”
Canada has stricter gun control restrictions than the US, but gun control proponents have called for tougher measures in recent years amid a string of mass shootings, including an attack on a mosque in Quebec in 2017 that killed six worshipers and a deadly shooting in Toronto in 2018. .
In 2020, the Trudeau administration banned more than 1,500 models and variants of “assault” firearms in the wake of a deadly attack in the eastern province of Nova Scotia that year.
That ban included the AR-15, which was used by a gunman to kill 26 adults and children in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre in the US, and the Ruger Mini-14 rifle, which a gunman used to kill 14 women. murder in a Montreal technical school in 1989.
During Monday’s press conference, Canadian Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino also said the government plans to launch a mandatory buyback program for those “assault-type” weapons that were previously banned.
“Today, our government introduced Canada’s most significant action against gun violence in a generation,” said Mendicino, who told reporters there are an estimated 1 million handguns in circulation in Canada.
“Combined with the measures we have already taken, this is the next important step in our fight to end gun violence,” he said.
In a statement detailing Bill C-21, the government said the legislation would introduce “a national freeze on handguns to prevent individuals from bringing newly acquired handguns into Canada and buying, selling and transferring them in the country.”
It said the public safety minister has already introduced regulatory changes to “help stop the growth of privately owned small arms in Canada”, and the measures are expected to come into effect in the coming months.
The legislation allows Canada to revoke firearms licenses from individuals involved in domestic violence and harassment, including stalking, Ottawa also said, while a new “red flag” law would allow Canadian courts to challenge individuals identified as dangerous. required to surrender their firearms.
The government will also require long-gun magazines to be permanently changed so that they can never hold more than five rounds, and will ban the sale and transfer of large-capacity magazines.
Today our government introduced Canada’s most significant action against gun violence in a generation.
Bill C-21 will introduce a national gun freeze, tackle organized crime, address the role of guns in gender-based violence and more. pic.twitter.com/2OXnt6ec8Q
— Marco Mendicino (@marcomendicino) May 30, 2022