Canada: Within week of Texas shootout, Justin Trudeau proposes handgun freeze
"What this means is that it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada," Trudeau said. "In other words, we're capping the market for handguns."
Within a week of Texas school shooting that shook America, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced (May 30) a proposed freeze on handgun ownership. Effectively, this measure would ban gun imports and sale.
The shooting in the school in Texas, USA took place on May 24.
Trudeau's bill will have to be passed by the parliament. Ruling Liberals are currently holding minority of seats.
"We're introducing legislation to implement a national freeze on handgun ownership," Trudeau told a news conference, joined by dozens of families and friends of victims of gun violence.
"What this means is that it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada," he said. "In other words, we're capping the market for handguns."
In April 2020, Canadian government banned 1500 types of firearms. The step came after the country's worst mass shooting. Twenty three people were dead in the tragedy.
The government statistical agency reported last week that firearms-related violent crimes account for less than three percent of all violent crimes in Canada.
But since 2009 the per capita rate of guns being pointed at someone has nearly tripled, while the rate at which a gun was fired with an intent to kill or wound is up five-fold.
Almost two-thirds of gun crimes in urban areas involved handguns.
Canadian police often point at gun-smuggling taking place across the border from USA. They say that this is the main source of illegal handguns in Canada.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino estimated there are about one million handguns in this country -- up significantly from a decade ago.
Trudeau commented, "People should be free to go to the supermarket, their school or their place of worship without fear. People should be free to go to the park or to a birthday party without worrying about what might happen from a stray bullet.
"Gun violence is a complex problem," he said. "But at the end of the day, the math is really quite simple: the fewer the guns in our communities, the safer everyone will be."
(With inputs from agencies)
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