Washington: Canadian gun sellers are running out of guns after strong demand ahead of a proposed ban by Justin Trudeau.
The prime minister announced plans to halt gun sales after a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 21 people, including 19 children.
The bill, which has yet to be approved by parliament, would ban the buying, selling, transferring and importing of short-barreled firearms. Gun stores across Canada reported a surge in demand following the announcement. Some sold out within days.
In parts of the country, customers lined the streets, desperate for a firearm for the ban.
“Almost all stores are sold out, me too,” said Josko Kovic, owner of DoubleTap Sports in Toronto.
Trudeau’s announcement had led to an increase in panic buying. Jen Lavigne, co-owner of That Hunting Store in the capital Ottawa, said it sold 100 pistols in three days.
“This measure will only harm legal gun owners,” she said. “It won’t reduce crime because the bad guys don’t follow the rules.”
It is estimated that there are one million handguns in Canada, with a population of 38 million. The laws are stricter than in the US, with owners having to hold a firearms license. Buyers are also subject to background checks, which last at least 28 days.