The Canadian government on Monday introduced a new law that, if passed, would implement a “national freeze” on buying, importing, transferring and selling handguns.
This is the latest in a series of steps that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken to restrict the sale of firearms since 22 persons were killed in Nova Scotia province in 2020 after a gunman went on a shooting spree. After the attack, the government had banned 1,500 types of military-grade and assault-style firearms.
Trudeau’s proposal also came just a week after a teenager killed 19 children and two teachers in an elementary school in Uvalde city of Texas, reigniting a debate in the United States about whether Congress should impose more restrictions on the sale of firearms to curb gun violence.
Canada has stricter gun regulations than the US and also does not guarantee citizens a constitutional right to possess arms, the BBC reported.
“Other than using firearms for sport shooting and hunting, there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives,” Trudeau said at a press conference on Monday. “As we see gun violence continue to rise, it is our duty to keep taking action.”
There are approximately one million (10 lakh) handguns in Canada, according to the government.
The proposed law would allow the authorities to take away the firearms licences of those involved in domestic violence or stalking, the Canadian government said. The Bill would allow courts to temporarily remove firearms from residents deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.
It would also ban rifle magazines capable of holding more than five bullets.
The Bill is likely to pass with the support of the New Democratic Party, Reuters reported.