Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that his government will introduce new legislation to implement a ‘national freeze’ on handgun ownership and prevent people from buying and selling handguns anywhere in the country.
‘The day this legislation goes into effect it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns in Canada,’ Trudeau told reporters.
If passed, the freeze on handguns is expected to come into force in the autumn. Canada’s public safety minister has tabled regulatory amendments in parliament to ensure it can be implemented swiftly, according to a ministry statement.
The killing last week of 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas has fed concern about gun violence worldwide. Canada already has significantly stronger gun ownership restrictions than its neighbor to the south.
Canada banned the sale and use of some 1,500 models of assault weapons, like the AR-15 rifle, two years ago. Shortly afterwards, gun supporters marched to Parliament Hill during the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights in protest to the ban.