Canada introduces a bill banning the sale of handguns less than a week after 19 children and two teachers were killed in a shooting at a Texas school.
“The day this legislation goes into effect, it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns into Canada,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters.
If passed, the “national freeze” on small arms possession is expected to come into effect in the fall.
Canada already has much stricter gun control restrictions than the US, but the murders at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texashave raised concerns about gun violence worldwide.
The type of weapon used in the attack, the AR-15 rifle, was banned from use or sale in Canada two years ago, along with about 1,500 other models of assault weapons.
Along with Trudeau, Public Security Secretary Marco Mendicino said a mandatory program to buy back and compensate owners of such weapons will soon be launched.
The new legislation, Bill C-21, proposes that the firearms license of those involved in domestic violence or criminal harassment, such as stalking, be revoked.
Tougher penalties would be imposed on gun traffickers and traffickers, and law enforcement would have access to tools such as wiretapping to stop gun crime.
The law also requires long-gun magazines to be permanently changed so that they can never hold more than five rounds.
Large capacity warehouses may not be sold or transferred.
Read more: Texas school shooting: The full timeline of police response to the massacre
“Except for using firearms for target shooting and hunting, there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in everyday life,” Trudeau said.
One in 200,000 people are killed by firearms in Canada, compared to four in 100,000 in the US, according to a 2021
analysis by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
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According to Trudeau’s office, the number of registered handguns in Canada increased 71% to 1.1 million between 2010 and 2020.
Handguns were the most serious weapon present in most firearms-related violent crimes between 2009 and 2020, accounting for 59% of those crimes.